The thesis-based MA requires *18 of graduate-level courses (usually 6 3-credit courses) and a thesis (registering in a minimum of *6 of thesis registrations). All MA students are required to take POLS 599 as one of their courses, which is offered every year, typically in the fall semester. Thesis-based MA students may take up to two courses outside Political Science at the University of Alberta.
The minimum period of residence for full-time programs is two four-month terms of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta. Full-time students in the MA thesis-based program will normally complete the program within 24 months, and must complete the program in four years.
At a minimum, the thesis should reveal that the student is able to work in a scholarly manner and is acquainted with the principal works published on the subject of the thesis. As far as possible, it should be an original contribution. The thesis should be approximately 20,000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography. More extensive direction and feedback will be provided by the supervisor.
The Master’s thesis must also undergo an oral defence. Master’s defences are conducted by an examining committee consisting of the supervisor, a second member (usually a faculty member in the Political Science Department), an arms-length examiner, and a chair.
All graduate students at the University of Alberta are required to take eight hours of Graduate Ethics Training (GET). Five hours of this requirement can be met by registering through the FGSR website to take a self-guided online course. The remaining three can be met by taking a department seminar on academic integrity offered every spring, or by taking three hours of approved seminars offered by FGSR or other units on campus.