We’re pleased to offer students an MA Program unlike any other in Canada. We attract passionate and promising candidates from all parts of the country, each with their own research backgrounds and diverse academic interests. A common misconception is that Political Economy is best suited for students with Economics or Political Science research backgrounds, however our graduate programs attract successful students with a diverse range in backgrounds such as Sociology, Communications, Political Science, Economics, History, Geography, African Studies, Public Affairs and many other related disciplines. Click here to see some of the past thesis and research papers that have been completed by MA Students.

On this page, you will find a guide to submitting an application and next steps for those granted admission to program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Acting Administrator Tabbatha Malouin.

Prerequisites for Admission Consideration:

A four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with at least a B+ average in a relevant discipline

  • The normal requirement for admission is an honours BA, with at least high honours standing in one of the disciplines represented in the Institute. Prospective applicants without such qualifications may be considered if they have both a strong academic record and relevant work experience.

Degree Requirements

The MA degree is a 5.0 credit program, one of which may be at the 4000 (honours undergraduate) level. A student studying full-time typically takes two years to complete the program. Students may study part-time, but will longer to complete their degree.

Each candidate, in consultation with the Institute, must select and follow one of two patterns:

  1. 3.0 course credits (or the equivalent), and a thesis equivalent to 2.0 credits, accompanied by an oral thesis examination or,
  2. 4.0 course credits (or the equivalent), and a research essay equivalent to 1.0 credit, accompanied by an oral examination of the research essay.

Note: a one-semester seminar is usually valued at half (.5) a credit

All MA students enrolled in the Institute are required to take:

All MA students must maintain at least B standing (8.0 GPA).

Application Process: What you need to apply

  1. Two confidential Referee Appraisal Forms. These are generated electronically to those listed on your OUAC Application form. Ensure the information is correct and the referees have been informed of their role. Referees should be able to comment on your academic background and aptitude for graduate school.
  2. One copy of Academic Transcripts/Audits from the university or universities you have attended. If you are currently completing your undergraduate degree, upload an interim transcript/audit before the February 1 deadline. Upon recommendation of admission, original official transcripts will be required.
  3. One Statement of Intent outlining your interests and objectives in the Political Economy program. The statement should point to who you are, why you wish to study political economy, what you hope to achieve in our program, and how it can satisfy your own interests.


  1. African Studies Specialization Form for applicants interested in applying to the collaborative master’s program in African Studies.
  2. One Resumé/Curriculum Vitae.
  3. One Writing Sample – a written work or essay that you feel displays your skills as a writer, researcher or thinker.

Refer to the Carleton University graduate calendar for more information concerning general admission procedures.

Course Registration:

After receiving and accepting your offer of admission, use the online graduate calendar to browse course descriptions before beginning registration.

Before you can register, you will need to consult with Acting Administrator Tabbatha Malouin or Director Justin Paulson concerning your courses

You will be assigned a time of day when registration will open, depending on the last two digits of your student number. You may register anytime thereafter. The registration time ticket schedule for graduate students can be found online.