Parliament hill

Political Science

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The Department of Political Science has an excellent reputation for dynamic teaching and research that reflects wide-ranging ideological and intellectual diversity among our faculty. Our competitive graduate program thrives under the national and global profile of our distinguished faculty members with expertise in indigenous politics, gender and politics, Canadian politics, international security, global political economy, and the history of political thought.

Political Science faculty members publish extensively in the top Canadian and international journals and have been instrumental in shaping many of the central debates in contemporary politics in Canada and around the world.

In this program, students will be challenged to grapple with and contribute to debates spanning all major fields of study in political science.

We have an exceptional record of placing our doctoral students in academics, government, the public sector, business and law.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Topics may include sexual ethics, history of political thought, political theory, Canadian political process, foreign policy and more.

  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.

  • Research Methods: Students demonstrate knowledge of research methods or complete a course on quantitative analysis in political science.

  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research dissertation.


University instructor, government policy analyst, researcher, consultant, non-governmental organizations, international organizations.

A PhD in political science is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Four courses in a primary field and two courses in a secondary field

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, and must agree to oversee the student's research before admission will be granted

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Gavin Cameron

    Gavin Cameron

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Rob Huebert

    Rob Huebert

    Accepting Inquiries
  3. Jack Lucas

    Jack Lucas

    Accepting Inquiries
  4. Roberta Rice

    Roberta Rice

    Accepting Inquiries
    Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Indigenous Politics
  5. Anthony Sayers

    Anthony Sayers

    Accepting Inquiries
    Political Parties, Elections and Representation, Federalism
  6. Melanee Thomas

    Melanee Thomas

    Accepting Inquiries
    Gender and Politics, Canadian Politics, Political Behaviour, Energy Transition, Research Methods
  7. Lisa Young

    Lisa Young

    Accepting Inquiries
    Political Parties, Election Law and Political Finance, Women in Politics

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A Master of Arts in Political Science or a strong background in Political Science.


A supervisor is required, and must agree to oversee the student's research before admission will be granted.

Additional supervisors to those listed above may be found on the Political Science Research page. Contact the Political Science Graduate Program Office for more information. 


  • A statement of research interests
  • Email confirmation from a potential supervisor who is interested in supervising your work

Work samples

Sample of written work, preferably a paper submitted for a Political Science course.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Political Science

Social Sciences Building, Room 756
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website