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Political Science

In our Master of Arts (MA) and PhD degree programs, you’ll research local, national, and global hot-button issues. You can focus on a variety of topics such as Indigenous land claims and treaty rights, social movements, privacy and surveillance, democracy or international law.

You’ll benefit from UVic’s proximity to the BC Legislature and ties to provincial government.

Degree programs offered

The MA program will develop your analytical capacities, theoretical understanding and research skills. You’ll engage in coursework as you research and write an original thesis or major research paper.

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

  • Contemporary political theory
  • International and transnational politics
  • Democratic constitutionalism
  • Comparative public policy and governance
  • Politics in the global south
  • Cultural, social and political thought
  • Indigenous nationhood
  • Canadian politics

We encourage interdisciplinary approaches and have research linkages with units and centres such as the Faculty of Law and Centre for Global Studies.

In this interdisciplinary program you’ll engage with theory that transcends disciplinary boundaries. You’ll address key issues across the fields of culture, society, and politics.

This competitive program is open to MA and PhD students in select Social Sciences and Humanities departments, such as Political Science.

The Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Nationhood (IN) allows you to specialize in intersections of Indigenous governance, politics and law. This is a multi-disciplinary program and includes courses from Indigenous Governance, Political Science, and Law.

The IN provides advanced training in the theoretical, technical and applied aspects of Indigenous Nationhood. You can earn this certificate on its own, or complement your graduate degree.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 1-2 years Yes Yes
PhD 4 years Yes Yes
IN Certificate 1-2 years No Yes

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate, Certificate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Contemporary political theory
  • International and transnational politics
  • Democratic constitutionalism
  • Comparative public policy and governance
  • Cultural, Social and Political Thought
  • Politics of the global south
  • Indigenous nationhood
  • Canadian politics

Find a supervisor

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

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this 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 Comparative politics, European integration, political economy

Andrew Wender

Associate Teaching Professor 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

Colin Bennett

Professor Comparative politics, public policy, politics of information

Feng Xu

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

Guoguang Wu

Professor Comparative politics, global political economy, Global South (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)

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

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 and Graduate Advisor Canadian politics, constitutionalism, citizenship, reparations

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

Reeta Tremblay

Professor Comparative federalism, public policy, identity politics, Global South (South Asia)

Rita Dhamoon

Assistant Professor Identity politics, gender, Canadian politics

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

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: apply by January 15 for September entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

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 the graduate secretary or 250-721-7486.

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