MA in Social & Political Thought
- Degree Requirements
- Course Work
- The Major Research Paper
- MA Oral Exams
- Transition from the SPTH MA to the PhD
- Timeline for completion of MA
* A full course is a 6 credit course and is usually offered over two terms.
A half course is a 3 credit course and is usually offered over one term.
Availability of places in undergraduate language courses is determined by the Undergraduate offices; therefore, students are highly encouraged to investigate language courses at the earliest possible date and to ensure that all paperwork is submitted promptly to both the undergraduate and graduate offices.
the major research paper
MA oral exams
Once the director reviews and approved the books, the program assistant will be asked to set up the exam by the GPD.
Exams cannot be held over the holidays when the University is closed, nor does that time count as three weeks should the student notify the program just as the University is closing for the holidays.
An MA oral is booked for a 2 hour period, but may take less time.
The student is asked questions directly and indirectly related to the works that have been selected. Some aspect of the MRP that relates to the texts can be asked at the comps. Students need to demonstrate a clear understanding of the texts and an ability to explain the main arguments and concepts.
The Examination Committee
The Director's Rep
The student and the supervisor may make recommendations for a Director’s Rep, but the Director makes the final selection. Usually the student and Director will develop a list of two or three faculty member names and rank the list. The Director generally - but not always - selects a director's rep from the names provided by the supervisor. Once the Graduate Program Director identifies the director's rep preference, the Program Assistant will ascertain the faculty members’ availability, and will set up the exam and notifiy all participants. The exam must occur on the York (or Glendon) campus. Off campus exams are not an option.
The Director’s Rep attends the exam, is responsible for handling the paperwork at the exam, ensuring all the committee members are present, explaining the process to other members that may never have sat on an SPTH comps exam (comps procedures vary from program to program at York), and aids in mediating the committee's questions, The Director’s Rep ensures that the signed paperwork is returned back to the SPTH Program Office.
The student is requested to provide the Director or Director's Rep with a copy of the MRP at least three weeks prior to the date of the Oral Exam (this copy does not have to be bound).
Timeline for MRP and Comprehensive exam
The MRP must be read and passed by both readers (the to program office needs to have both “passes” )before we can begin booking the comprehensive exam.
The student must then email the director (and copy the program assistant),
1) the booklist (Title and author) of the three books
2) the date and time that the comps is tentatively planned for (both the student and the committee members have agreed on the time, and are available for that time and date)
and – if a preference has been indicated by the student or committee members –
3) any suggestions for the director’s rep.
The student does not select or contact the director’s rep. Once the director has approved the books and ranked the list of any director’s rep, and program assistant will contact the first name on the list, and see if that faculty member is willing and able to participate in the exam.
The reason that three weeks advance notice is needed is that the office needs time to arrange for a director’s rep, and the director’s rep may need time to review the books that are to be examined. Three weeks time in the minimum time to book the exam once the MRP has been passed.
transition from the spth ma to phd
Students currently in Social & Political Thought MA, and wishing to be considered for Advancement internally for the SPTH PHD must submit their application on-line by January 7th, 2014, and upload their documents for consideration in the upcoming September 2014 Session. Incomplete files will be at a distinct disadvantage.
SPTH MA students who are continuing to the PhD level must complete all the MA degree requirements by the end of the academic year if they are to be accorded PhD status. Students who have not completed these requirements on time will have to register as MA students. (Exceptions can be made if all course work and the Major Research Paper are completed and only the oral exam remains with the written approval of the Director.)
Students advance for a September start date.
Students are asked to note that their advancement to PhD is conditional on the successful completion of all MA degree requirement by the date agreed upon in writing when advanced to the PhD. Failure to successfully complete MA degree requirement by the stipulated date may require the student to withdraw from the PhD program, and return to the MA program as either a full time or part time student.
SPTH Advancing Policy
All current (by email) and incoming (in acceptance packages) students will be made aware of these conditions
* As the on-line application system will expect 3 letters of reference, internal candicates may list the third name as the Graduate Program director who will insert a blank letter that will indicate: this applicant is an candidate seeking internal advancement, and as per the admissions policy sest March 2013, only 2 references are required from internal candidates. (If the director is already one of the referees, alternative arrangements can be made by request just to ensure Admissions receives a thrid reference document and identifies electronically that all documents are received.)
This policy established by the SPTH Executive, March 20, 2013
What should the student have completed, and by when: