Wilfrid Laurier is the only university in Ontario with a graduate political science stream dedicated to public opinion and electoral studies. Moreover, students in this stream can take part in the projects and studies carried out by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP).
Students studying in the international relations and comparative stream benefit from our strong to the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and the Academic Council on the United Nations (ACUNS), all of which attract top scholars and speakers from across the world.
Our MA program is deliberately kept small to provide an excellent faculty-student ratio, assure individual attention, and foster positive mentoring relationships with students.
Welcome from the Graduate Officer
Welcome to graduate studies in political science at Wilfrid Laurier University. On this site you will find information concerning our master's program. First, allow me, as Graduate Officer, to draw your attention to what we think are our strongest and most distinctive features: the opportunity to develop your skills and the opportunity to work closely with active research faculty in your field. Laurier is well known at the undergraduate level for its small classes and the accessibility of its faculty. That is even more the case at the graduate level where the ratio of faculty to master's students is effectively one-to-one. Whether in classes, through supervision of your research projects, as a teaching assistant, or as a research assistant, students are in frequent and direct contact with faculty members who share similar research interests. We believe this level of engagement makes for an effective and memorable learning experience. We invite you to take a closer look! - K. Rygiel
The MA in political science allows students to specialize in one of three fields:
- Canadian Political Studies
- Comparative Politics/International Relations
- Public Opinion and Electoral Studies
However, apart from your chosen field of specialization, all students complete two comprehensive core seminars: PO 601 (The Scope of Political Science) and PO 602 (Understanding Research Methods). The purpose of these compulsory seminars is twofold:
- to provide students with a grounding in central theoretical debates in political science; and
- to introduce students to the logic of research design and methodology.
Students who proceed to doctoral studies will find that the knowledge they acquire from both core courses extremely beneficial. On the other hand, our emphasis on research strategies and methodological questions will enable those for whom the MA is a terminal degree to enter the workforce with an impressive set of marketable skills. Many of our graduates launched great careers and attribute their success to their MA training.