photo of a Master's student in a workshop

The MA, offered on a full– and part–time basis, is a research degree that emphasizes the attainment of a basic capacity for critical research, analysis, and academic writing. Graduates are capable of taking up social science research in both public and private sector positions or of gaining admission to the best professional and doctoral programs in Canada and abroad. Although the majority of our MA candidates plan to pursue doctoral degrees, others are interested in upgrading professional skills or working in research and public service agencies.

Please note that completion of the MA does not guarantee admission to our doctoral program. Applications from internal MA candidates are reviewed by the program's admissions committee in the context of all other applications, and using standards that apply to all PhD applications. As with all applicants, internal MA applicants must apply directly to the admissions office. There is no internal application process.

Duration of the MA

Our MA program offers one year of funding for full-time, registered MA students. Students are allowed a maximum of one year, or three terms of full-time study at the MA level, after which they must register part-time. During this period, continuous registration must be maintained. The time for completion will be shorter for students who are able to study throughout the summer, and who choose a clear and viable topic early. Students who begin the program on a full-time basis, must register part-time if a second year of study is required.

The MA program is also available as a part-time degree. The time limit is the same whether one is registered full- or part- time. Students admitted on a part-time basis do not receive funding from the university.

Degree Requirements

We offer two options leading to the MA degree:  the thesis option and the research review paper option.  The thesis option involves twelve course credits and a research-based thesis.  Students choosing the research review paper option are required to complete eighteen course credits and write a major paper based on a critical review of a body of literature.

Advancement from MA to PhD

Internal MA students must apply to the PhD in the same manner as all other external applicants.  As is the case with all external applications, internal applications will be reviewed by the program's admissions committee in the context of all other applications, and using standards that apply to all candidates to the program.  Please note that advancement to our PhD program is NOT assured by completion of the MA.