Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Facts




Application deadlines (to be considered for funding)



Required tests in addition to English Language Proficiency i.e. GRE. GMAT. See below or visit



English Language Proficiency. for minimum score, see below or visit MA– n/a*
MA– required*

Minimum GPA

PhD- 3.7


Tuition fee

Please visit and refer to Domestic Fees.

Please visit and refer to International Fees.

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD

MA-consult with graduate coordinator
PhD- consult with graduate coordinator

MA-consult with graduate coordinator
PhD- consult with graduate coordinator

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission?

PhD: Before

PhD: Before

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor?

PhD - Yes

PhD - Yes

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant?

MA- in consult with graduate coordinator
PhD- in consult with graduate coordinator

MA- in consult with graduate coordinator
PhD- in consult with graduate coordinator

Program length (full-time only)

MA-1 year
PhD-5 years

MA-1 year
PhD-5 years

*All applicants must meet the Faculty of Graduate Studies English Language Proficiency requirements​.
*For more information on admission requirements, please review the program'​s FGS Calendar entry: Graduate Calendar ​​​
*Language proficiency - unless medium of instruction has been in English for the past 2 years, a letter of attestation will be required
*Admission is based on a combination of academic study and work experience.


Who is eligible to apply for the MA program?
If you are a graduate with an honours degree of an approved program (four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent) with a 3.7 grade point average, you are eligible. 3 years degree programs are not eligible. Find out how to apply.

What happens if I don’t have an honours degree?
File considerations are on a case by case basis. If you do not have an honours degree, the admissions committee will consider whether you have the enough experience in a similar or related degree to pursue an MA in political science.

What if I do not have an undergraduate degree in Political Science; but I want to an MA in Political Science?
The committee will consider your file to determine whether your degree is in a cognate area, and whether you have taken political science classes in your undergraduate degree.

What is the application timeline and deadline?

The department has only one entry starting in the fall of every year.
For Domestic and International applicants:
Deadline for admission:
December 1 – To be considered for admission and funding
January 31 – To be considered for admission.

Applications received after June 31st may or may not be considered

Students wishing to be considered for funding are strongly advised to submit their application including supporting documents no later than December 1st. Applications submitted after this date may or may not be considered for funding.

Can I submit my supporting documents online?
Yes, you can email us your resume, sample of written work, personal statement, statement of research interests and english procificency letter (if applicable).

All original transcripts must be sent directly from your institution to the department at:

Mary Okwese
Administrative & Graduate Secretary
Department of Political Science
Dalhousie University
6299 South St, Room 301
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Can my referees email my reference to the department?
Yes, references can be emailed to only if they are sent directly by the referee and from an  institutional/academic/government email address. References sent from personal email address (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.) will not be accepted. All referees are encouraged to use the Dalhousie e-reference system. Applicants must ensure they include an institutional email address for each referee on their online application.

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission for the PhD program?
When applying to our PhD program, we ask that applicant please contact potential supervisors prior to applying. When reviewing applications once received, we will not admit a student to the PhD program unless there is a great fit with a supervisor who is willing to supervise the applicant’s area of research interest. Reaching out to faculty prior to applying will allow you to have them recognize your name and your area of interest when reviewing your file but will also provide you with the opportunity to decide whether or not our program would be a great fit for your area of interest and you personally. We do ask that you submit a research interest statement, this is mainly to get a sense of what you want to research. However, we do understand that sometimes, that the research area may change slightly but not usually entirely different. I would strongly recommend that you review our faculty profiles on our website and reach out to individuals that you have an interest in working with should you apply and be admitted to our PhD program. Here is the link to our faculty page:

How is the program structured?
MA program may be done on a part-time basis, but part-time students are not eligible for funding. PhD programs must be completed on a full-time basis, with 2 years residency.

How long is the program?
The MA program usually takes between one and two years to complete. The average full-time student takes about 16 months to complete the program. The PhD program usually takes between three and five years to complete. The average full-time student takes about 5 years to complete the program.

How much does the program cost?
Please see the Dalhousie Money Matters website for current information on tuition and fees.

How much funding should I expect as an MA or PhD student?
This depends on funding available to the department each year. Funding allocations are also dependent on the number of competitive students in the application pool.

How many courses do I need to take?
MA Degree Program
The MA program consists of six half-year classes (18 credit hours) and a thesis.

PhD Degree Program
The principal requirements for the PhD program consist of four half-year classes (12 credit hours); comprehensive examinations in major and minor fields, a thesis proposal; and an original thesis.

Am I required to be at Dalhousie for any part of the program?
Yes. All courses are offered in-class.

How much time will I spend on each course?
Each three credit course is equivalent to 36 hours of instruction. Most students will need about 160 hours to complete a course. You may need longer depending on how quickly you read and write. In a condensed summer term, this means 160 hours in half the time.

Are marks the only consideration for admission?
No, we use a more nuanced process to assess applicants. We also consider your experience, letter of intent, and references.  We also try to make sure that you are a good fit for the program and that we can provide supervision for your research interest topic.

How do I choose a thesis topic?
Although some students start the program with a thesis topic in mind, many are inspired by their coursework or our faculty members. Learn more about our research.

How do I select a supervisor?
You will choose a supervisor in collaboration with the graduate coordinator who will help connect you with a potential supervisor suitable for your research topic and work style. You may also ask faculty members in research areas that are similar to yours if they would be willing to supervise you. You do not need to identify a supervisor before you start the program, however, it is strongly recommended that you have an area of interest and potential supervisors in mind after your first semester of courses.

Is there a distance learning option?
No. The program is designed as a full-time on campus research program. However, fieldwork off campus might be required pending research topic.

Can I manage this program along with working full time or parenting?
Our graduate students generally choose to be employed as TAs in the department, although this is optional. Those pursing full-time studies should not work more than 15hours a week. If exceptions are required, student must consult with their supervisor and graduate coordinator.