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Political Science



Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A.



B. Arneil, M. Byers, M. Cameron, P. Dauvergne, A. Ellermann, K. Harrison, K. Huebner, A. Jacobs, C. Kam, S. LaSelva, S. Lightfoot, R. M. Price, P. Quirk, L. M. Sundstrom, Y. Tiberghien.

Associate Professors

 G. Baier, B. Baum, A. Chowdhury, K. Coleman, G. Coulthard, F. E. Cutler, C. Doberstein, L. Janara, G. Jeong, X. Li, K. Ostwald, M. Wright.

Assistant Professors

 A. Afsahi, S. Borwein, V. Hopkins, A. Jurkevics, N. Sultan, M. Weaver.

Program Overview

The Department of Political Science offers opportunities for advanced study in the major fields of political science. It is a major centre for the study of Canadian politics with a strong core of faculty actively engaged in research touching on Canadian themes. The Department is a leading centre for the study of parties and elections in Canada. It has a long tradition of the study of federalism and the normative dimensions underlying Canadian politics. Much current work focuses on issues of public policy.

The University is one of North America's leading centres for Asian studies and the Department is an important element of that research strength with faculty members specializing in the study of the region. Several department members are associated with the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and the Institute of Asian Research on campus.

The Department has highly regarded expertise in the area of international relations, especially international security, global governance, institutions and non-state actors, norms and ethics, and global indigenous politics. Department faculty are also active in the interdisciplinary Liu Institute for the Study of Global Issues.

The Department has recognized expertise in the study of democratization and democratic institutions from a variety of perspectives. Many faculty are engaged in the work of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions within the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and within the Department’s own Institute for European Studies.

The Department is a recognized focal point for research in comparative politics, particularly political attitudes and political behaviour, parties, institutions, and political economy and policy in democracies.

The Department is also noted for its strengths in critical political theory, US politics, and indigenous politics. Individual faculty members' interests cover a broad spectrum of political systems and embrace a variety of methodological approaches.

The UBC Library is one of North America's major university research libraries and is a depository for UN, Canadian, and BC Government publications, as well as many US Government documents. The Asian Research Library is a particularly important research centre. The Department and UBC Library hold joint memberships in the Inter-University Consortium for Political Research and the International Survey Library Association. The UBC Library Data Services has one of the largest collections of data sets in Canada, at Abacus Dataverse Network.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

As a general rule, the Department requires that applicants to the Ph.D. program have an undergraduate degree and an Political Science. Criteria for admission include evidence of outstanding previous work, research interests compatible with those of the Department, and letters of reference indicating a strong potential to contribute to the discipline. Admission is competitive.

Transfer from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Political Science Graduate Program. Please see the Department for details.

Program Requirements

The basic requirements are 36 course credits in the first two years of study, including a methods requirement consisting of any political theory course and at least two methods courses designated by the department. Students are also required to fulfill the course requirements of a major and a minor field of study from among our several research subfields (that is, Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and US Politics) and to pass a comprehensive examination in their chosen major field of study, normally in the fall of the third year. Students who enter our Ph.D. program from our M.A. program, or who have taken appropriate graduate courses in Political Science at other universities, may be excused up to 18 credits of coursework at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor.

The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

As a general rule, successful applicants will have minimum first-class standing (80% or higher at UBC or equivalent) in each of the last 2 years of undergraduate study, in accordance with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies criteria for admission.

All applicants must meet the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Secondary English Language Proficiency standards.

Program Requirements

This is a one-year program for full-time students. Students may also complete the degree on a part-time basis. The basic requirements normally include six one-term seminars and a thesis which has as its model a 35 page article for submission for publication. The grade assigned to a successful thesis will jointly be determined by the thesis supervisor and the second reader.

Contact Information

Department of Political Science
C425-1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604.822.2717
Fax: 604.822.5540
Josephine Calazan, Graduate Program Assistant

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