Students in the MA Political Economy program must complete a Master’s Research Essay (MRE) or Thesis as part of their program requirements. Typically, Full-time students will choose a path during their second term in the program, while taking PECO 5001 [0.5 credit] The Methodology of Political Economy. By the end of this course, students will have their MRE or Thesis proposals complete and will have secured a supervisor.  Part-time students should have their proposals completed by the time they finish all of their coursework.

Full-time students will typically begin registering in PECO 5908 Research Essay [1.0 credit] or PECO 5909 Thesis [2.0 credit] during their 3rd term (Summer) of the program. Keep in mind that once you register in either of these courses, you must maintain registration each term until completion. If you fail to register, you will lose your status in the program.

Looking for a list of past topics and supervisors? Click here!

Thesis and MRE – Main Differences Summarized:

Thesis Research Essay
Credits 2.0 credits 1.0 credits
Time to completion At least three terms, full-time At least two terms, full-time
Proposal Length 8-10 pages 3-5 pages
Manuscript Length 80-100 pages 40-60 pages
Supervision Supervisor and committee member, or two co-supervisors Supervisor and a second reader
Content Original application of new or existing knowledge to a new problem or setting; may include analysis of primary or secondary research data from archives, interviews, policy documents, etc. Raises issues and presents arguments based on an engagement with the work of others. Primarily a library-based paper, but could include primary research.
Archived University library, Institute Office. May be deposited with Library and Archives Canada. Institute Office
Final Submission Formal oral defence as regulated by FGPA. Examination board includes supervisor, committee member, external examiner, and chair of defence. Final paper is submitted to supervisor and is graded by the supervisor and a second reader. An oral defence is customary but optional.
Grade Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory Letter grade

For more information on the  MRE and Thesis, proposal requirements, defence, final papers, please review the  IPE MA Thesis and Research Essay information.

MRE/Thesis Proposal Approval Form


Each term has  deadlines for submissions of your MRE or Thesis for marking/oral defence. These dates can be flexible depending on when you would like to graduate.  If you have a preferred graduation date, it is very import to make sure you submit by the deadlines indicate below. anything submitted after these dates may not be eligible for graduation, but if deposited prior to a date specified by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, students will not have to register for the following term.

A  committee needs a minimum of 4 weeks to be able to review the thesis prior to a defence taking place.

Submission Date March 1 August 1 December 1
If submitted by this date, student may be eligible for Summer Graduation If submitted by this date, student may be eligible for Fall Graduation If submitted by this date, student may be eligible for Winter Graduation

Have a question? contact the IPE Institute Administrator.