Graduate Studies

The Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta is internationally acclaimed for its critical, progressive, and plural approaches to the study of politics. We offer five graduate degrees - MA (course-based), MA (thesis-based), and PhD with the option of completing a PhD with either a traditional dissertation or dissertation-by-publication. The graduate program draws on the diverse talents of our 28 full-time faculty members. With a graduate student body of around 70, we offer a collegial and supportive environment for students who are committed to the advanced study of power, governance, and political life.

We are Canada's premier institution for the study of Gender and Politics, Critical Political Economy, and the politics of Canada and Alberta. There are also clusters of faculty working on more specific themes: Indigenous politics and decolonization; China and the world; the politics of resource extraction and environmentalism; ethnic politics and migration; and globalization. The department is home to three Canada Research Chairs-Yasmeen Abu-Laban in the Politics of Citizenship and Human Rights, Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez in Comparative Indigenous Feminist Studies, and Joshua St. Pierre in Critical Disability Studies. Additionally, Mojtaba Mahdavi holds the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies and Cressida Heyes holds the Henry Marshall Tory Chair. Our faculty are a close-knit group of emerging and established scholars who stress excellence in teaching and mentoring, and who seek to integrate graduate students as junior scholars into our intellectual community.

Every year we invite applications to our graduate degree programs from outstanding students who are excited to mesh their talents and interests with our department expertise. We seek applicants who are highly self-directed, committed, and curious; although we offer a broad graduate education in Political Science, we are most interested in students who have thought carefully about how to match their own projected research with a cluster of faculty and who are interested in critical approaches within our discipline. We fully support students at all levels in pursuing a diversity of career paths, whether within academia, in para-academic or "alt-ac" careers, or in professional directions related to Political Science (such as public service, political office, law, journalism, or working for NGOs).

The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce Canada's newest and most innovative graduate program in public policy. The Master of Arts in Policy Studies (MAPS) prepares students to conduct leading research in public policy and advance solutions to our world's most pressing policy challenges. MAPS exposes students to the interaction of politics and policy while connecting them to top practitioners and leading policy experts from across the policy community. Our first cohort of students entered the program in Fall 2020. We are looking to make connections with potential students who have questions about the program, and with professionals and organizations that are interested in supporting the program through hiring a student or contributing to program development.

For more information, please stay tuned to our website for updates:

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