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Political science (PhD)

The PhD program takes about 4 years to complete following an MA degree. In first year, you will focus on coursework: 6 graduate courses including POLI 600 (Professional Development Seminar).

At least 1, but no more than 2, of the graduate courses may be taken outside the Department of Political Science. Two of the other courses must be "field" seminars and are designed to prepare you for candidacy examinations.

PhD students normally take 2 candidacy examinations during the second year of doctoral study and then prepare and defend a dissertation proposal. Students should aim to have their dissertation proposal approved before the end of their second year of study. Once approved, you will spend about 2 years writing your dissertation.

Learn about research areas for PhD students in the Department of Political Science

Meet some of our current grad students


Learn everything you need to know about becoming a UVic grad student, from finding a supervisor to submitting your application.

Political Science PhD application FAQ

Political Science PhD admission requirements


Every year, UVic awards $12 million to help fund graduate students through a combination of:

  • UVic fellowships and awards
  • teaching assistantships
  • research assistantships

Most of our students also receive external awards and scholarships, and financial aid and bursaries. Consideration for funding is automatic. A funding offer is normally included with an offer of admission.

Funding and employment for graduate students