School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Political Studies

Csergö, Z.

Graduate Chair
Lister, A.

Amyot, G.G., Conaghan, C., Farrelly, C.1, Haglund, D.G.2, Hiebert, J., Little, M., McGarry, J., Moore, M.3, Nossal, K.R.,

Associate Professor
Cox, W., Csergö, Z., Goodyear-Grant, E., Grant, J.A., Haklai, O.2, Lister, A., MacDonald, E.3, Rose, J., von Hlatky, S

Assistant Professor
Hanniman, K..

Professor Emeritus
Banting, K.G., Berman, B.J., Black, E.R., Franks, C.E.S., Gunn, J.A.W., Lele, J.K., Leys, C., Meisel, J., Page, S.C., Pentland, C.C., Perlin, G.C.

Boulden, J., Breede, H.C., Brock, K.L., Jolicoeur, P.,Kymlicka, W., Leuprecht, C., Soederberg, S., Sokolsky, J., Wolfe, R.D.

1 - On Leave July 1-December 31, 2018
2 - On Leave January 1-June 30, 2018
3 - On Leave July 1 2017-June 30, 2018

Relevant Facilities

The Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity (CSDD)

The Centre was established as the Centre for the Study of Democracy in 1993 with a broad set of objectives related to research, education, and policy to support democratic development. Under its new mandate as the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity, its objectives have been expanded to incorporate a specific stream of activities focused on research, education, and international assistance to promote and support democratic development in ethnically and culturally diverse societies. (

Canadian Opinion Research Archive (CORA)

The Canadian Opinion Research Archive makes available commercial and independent surveys to the academic, research and journalistic communities. Founded in 1992, CORA contains hundreds of surveys including thousands of discrete items collected by major commercial Canadian firms dating back to the 1970s. The CORA website ( includes readily accessible results from these surveys, tracking Canadian opinion over time on frequently asked survey questions, as well as tabular results from recent Canadian surveys, and more general information on polling. Individuals conducting research for non-commercial purposes are able to get access to the CORA electronic holdings and conduct searches of the database. Researchers are able to conduct the full range of bivariate and multivariate analysis on data through the Nesstar interface.

The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (IIGR)

This institute was established to provide a centre for research into the problems of intergovernmental relations in Canada and elsewhere. The Institute is pleased to support the work of graduate students with an interest in federalism keeping in mind that the Institute does not offer courses or grant degrees.

The Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP)

The Centre was established in 1975. It is an interdisciplinary research centre located in the School of Policy Studies. The Centre's research interests focus on defence policy, homeland security policy, and Canada's international policy. The Centre offers no courses, but welcomes the active involvement of graduate students who have complementary research interest. (

Documents Library

An extensive collection of government documents is available in Stauffer Library, which is strongest in Canadian federal, provincial and local government and town-planning publications. There are also extensive British and American holdings and substantial amounts of materials for Australia, France, India, New Zealand and Pakistan, as well as a collection of publications of the United Nations and several international agencies.

School of Policy Studies

Departmental staff occasionally contribute to the teaching program of the School of Policy Studies. During the Spring Session (April-June), the School offers seminars in public policy in which there is sometimes room for Politics students. Special enrolment permission should be sought from both the Graduate Chair and the School. (

Studies in National and International Development (SNID)

SNID is Queen's University's longest-running weekly, interdisciplinary seminar series. Since 1983, SNID has proudly hosted prominent Canadian and international scholars who bring fresh perspectives to issues of local, national and global development.

SNID seminars take place on most (but not all) Thursdays during the fall and winter semester, from 1-2:30 in MC D214. For more information about SNID and the current seminar series, please see the SNID website ( can also find information on how to subscribe to the listserv, which provides timely notice of upcoming SNID events.

Financial Assistance

The department is able to offer a number of teaching assistantships, which involve assisting professors in undergraduate courses. For details, consult the Graduate Chair.

Programs of Study

Applicants are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants to the M.A. program must have a 4-year undergraduate degree in political science or equivalent with a minimum B+ average; applicants to the Ph.D. must have an M.A. in political science or equivalent with an A- average.

Further information regarding program requirements may be found in the Graduate Handbook, available on the Department's website.

Master of Arts

The M.A. is a one-year program that consists of six half-courses, with a 50-60 page major research paper (POLS-898*) (which may be developed out of a term paper in one of the courses). This MRP will be supervised by a member of faculty, and graded by that person and one other faculty member who has knowledge of the subject.  All students will be expected to enrol in three half-courses in the first term.

Master of Arts Collaborative Program, Political Thought Specialization

Master's students seeking this specialization will be required to take four graduate-only courses on different aspects of political thought. Students would also be required to take two electives in other areas of Philosophy and Political Studies and to write a Major Research Project (POLS-898).

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates for the Ph.D. are required to pass POLS-900* and five other one-term courses offered for graduate credit; to demonstrate translation proficiency in a language other than English; to pass examinations in two fields of concentration; to defend a thesis proposal; and to submit and defend a thesis.

Fields of Concentration

The fields of concentration offered by the department are i) Canadian politics; ii) comparative politics iii) gender and politics; iv) international relations; v) political theory. Candidates will choose two fields of concentration in consultation with the Graduate Chair.

Language Requirement

Candidates must demonstrate translating competence in a language other than English that is appropriate to their thesis research. French is mandatory for candidates writing theses in Canadian politics. The language requirement should be met as early as possible in the student’s program, and not later than one year after acceptance of the student’s thesis proposal. Graduate School regulations state that it must be fulfilled at least one year prior to the submission of the student’s thesis.


Each candidate must submit a thesis proposal, which will include a substantial review of the literature in the field. The proposal should normally be submitted in the fifth term after initial registration. The proposal must be accepted by a thesis committee before the candidate is permitted to proceed. The thesis will be examined by a committee as required by the general regulations.

Field Exams

Before proceeding to the thesis, students must pass qualifying examinations in their chosen fields. These examinations will be held each year at the beginning of term 4. For the first field, the student takes a written and oral exam.  For the second field, only a written exam is taken.  Only those students who have completed all work in six courses will be permitted to write the field examinations. Candidates who fail one field examination may rewrite that examination in January; candidates who fail any two attempts at field exams (including rewrites) will be required to withdraw from the program.