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Prospective students

Political science explores how societies make decisions and distribute goods. We use concepts such as power, authority, legitimacy and governance to analyze and understand political systems and behaviour.

In our department, we study politics from the local to the global level. We cover a wide range of issues from the future of democracy to Indigenous politics, economic inequality, climate change and migration, and the impact of international law.

Our students develop skills crucial for good citizenship and in high demand in the labor market. Graduates in political science are well prepared for careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, locally, within Canada and internationally.


Why study political science at UVic?


Master of Arts (MA) program

Our MA program in political science builds skills and capacities whether you’re advancing your career outside academia or planning to continue your studies. Our program will develop your analytical capacities, research and writing skills, as well as theoretical understandings of political science.

You’ll engage in coursework as you research and write an original thesis or major research paper. You’ll work with your supervisor to focus your research on a topic of contemporary importance in political science.

Our recent graduates have completed research projects on historical injustices, democracy and censorship, climate migration, Indigenous-settler relations, labour exploitation and protest movements.

You have the option of combining this program with the interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought MA or the graduate certificate in Indigenous Nationhood. Or explore critical global challenges in migration, surveillance and democracy with our MA stream in Politics of Global Challenges.


The PhD in political science program is a research-intensive program resulting in a dissertation. We 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 UVic units and centres like the Faculty of Law and Centre for Global Studies can be beneficial to your research.

You could combine this program with the interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought PhD or the graduate certificate in Indigenous Nationhood.

Meet our current grad students

Meet some of our alumni