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University of British Columbia Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :07 Jan 
International :07 Jan 

PhD Political Science

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

8270.58 USD
4707.66 USD

Application fee

International 162 USD
National 100 USD
Faculty of Arts
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)92
GRE (avg)320
GMAT (avg)646

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About this course

The Department of Political Science offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs that are structured around five substantive fields: Canadian politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and U.S. Politics.

We offer in the range of 25 graduate seminar courses per year and ample support for mentoring grad students in their professional development, through research collaboration, workshops, and colloquia. We have the most successful doctoral graduates of any program in Canada, judged by our record of placing graduates in academic positions in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and elsewhere.

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Eligibility Criteria

As a general rule, the Department requires that applicants to the Ph.D. program have an undergraduate degree and an M.A.in 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 and the Department admits approximately 12 students each year.

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Course Modules

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 two methods courses designated by the department. Students are also required to pass two comprehensive examinations (chosen from Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and US Politics) 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.

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How to Apply

  • Online UBC application form. When you submit an online application at www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online, the completed form is automatically forwarded to the Graduate Program Assistant. Non-refundable processing fee payable to UBC. See the cover of the official UBC application form for the exact amount.
  • TWO original, official copies of transcripts from each and every post-secondary institution (e.g., community college, university, technical-vocational institution) where you have previously attended or are currently attending. These must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Department of Educational Studies. Photocopies are not acceptable. All transcripts from non-English-speaking countries must be accompanied by official certified English translations. Applicants  who are sending transcripts from an institution in the People’s Republic of China must also send an official degree certificate in both Chinese and English. For information on submitting international transcripts please go to www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/international-students-transcripts. Without complete documentation, the application review process cannot begin.
  • Three references – The purpose of the references is to give as complete an idea as possible of your relevant background and capacity to complete the degree. Two of the references should be from a course instructor or other person able to assess your academic ability. Other suitable referees include a supervisor, president, academic dean, or another person to whom you are, or have been, accountable in employment or as a volunteer. The reference letters must be in English. If the original letter is in another language, the letter must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
There are three possible formats for references:Electronic references: In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note that we are unable to accept emails from Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, MSN or other free email accounts for referees.) Once the online application has been submitted, a unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.
  • Paper letters of reference: Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on referee’s official letterhead and must be mailed directly to the relevant program (see address below) in a sealed and endorsed envelope by the referee.
  • Paper reference forms: UBC provides a general reference form. Your referee may fill out this form and mail it directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.
  • Statement of intent. You need to describe in one to two pages your specific interests in pursuing a graduate degree and precisely why you are applying to the Higher Education Program in the Department of Educational Studies. This statement should relate your academic background, work experience and other relevant considerations to the course work and research that you propose to pursue toward a graduate degree. Some applicants will have more precise academic goals or intellectual passions than others, but anyone applying to the Higher Education Program is doing so for some purpose, and these reasons need to be made explicit in your statement of intent.
  • Writing Sample. You must also include an example of scholarly writing, preferably a senior undergraduate paper written for a university course. It is useful to include the instructor's comments or other assessment. Other acceptable writing samples include policy reports generated as part of your work life. The sample of writing should demonstrate your ability to think clearly about complex issues and to communicate in an organized and readable manner.

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