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Political Science (PhD)

The PhD in political science program is a research-intensive program dedicated to completing a dissertation. We’ll consider applicants with a research interest in one of the following areas:

  • Canadian politics
  • comparative public policy and governance
  • contemporary political theory
  • cultural, social and political thought
  • democratic constitutionalism
  • Indigenous nationhood
  • international and transnational politics
  • politics in the global south

We encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Our connections with units and centres such as the Faculty of Law and Centre for Global Studies can be hugely beneficial to your research.

You have the option of combining this program with the interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought PhD or the graduate certificate in Indigenous Nationhood.

Expected length Project or thesis Course-based
4 years Yes Yes

Quick facts

Program options:
Study options:
Full-time study
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional


Graduates with a PhD in Political Science will:

  • have developed a critical understanding of the scholarship related to a field of study
  • have demonstrated original thinking and the capacity to push existing research traditions in novel directions
  • have shown their familiarity with standards of ethical conduct in research
  • have shown they are capable of engaging with colleagues and the wider community as a political scientist with specialist skills in their subfields
  • have demonstrated their ability to make a significant and original scholarly contribution within the discipline of political science and more widely
  • pursue careers in academia, but also in government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the private and third sectors

Find a supervisor

All graduate students must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you are advised to list a potential supervisor on your application
  • one faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

A. Claire Cutler

Professor International relations theory, international law and organization

Amy Verdun

Professor & Chair Academic Women's Caucus Comparative politics, European integration, political economy

Andrew Wender

Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Religion, Culture and Society Program Political theory, politics and religion, politics of the Middle East

Avigail Eisenberg

Professor Democratic theory, normative political theory, history of ideas (19th-20thC), pluralism, identity politics

Feng Xu

Associate Professor and Graduate Director Comparative politics, gender, migration and citizenship, Global South (East Asia)

Jamie Lawson

Associate Professor Canadian politics, political economy, environmental politics

Justin Leifso

Assistant Professor Canadian politics; Canadian public policy; Neoliberalism

Kelly Aguirre

Assistant Professor Indigenous politics; decolonial and critical theory

Lois Harder

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Citizenship law, social policy, regulation of intimate life.

Mara Marin

Assistant Professor Political theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, critiques of capitalism

Marlea Clarke

Associate Professor Comparative politics, political economy of development, Global South (Africa)

Matt James

Associate Professor Reparations, social memory, social movements, transitional justice

Michelle Bonner

Professor and Undergraduate Advisor Comparative politics, democracy, human rights, Global South (Latin America)

Oliver Schmidtke

Professor and Director, Centre for Global Studies Citizenship and immigration, European integration

Rita Dhamoon

Assistant Professor Identity politics, gender, Canadian politics

Sarah E. Sharma

Assistant Professor International political economy; global environmental governance; global north-global south relations

Scott Watson

Associate Professor and Chair International relations theory, securitization, migration

Simon Glezos

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Director Political theory, international relations theory, theories of the state

Will Greaves

Assistant Professor Global Security, International Relations, Arctic Politics, Canadian Foreign Policy, Environmental Politics

Show me program details

Providing you accurate admission requirements, application deadlines, tuition fee estimates and scholarships depends on your situation. Tell us about yourself:

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact Rachel Richmond at or 250-721-7486.

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