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MSS Program Details

Submitted by swbarnar on Tue, 09/20/2016 - 11:14am

Students may transfer from the thesis — to the course-based program and vice versa. However, only course-based students may enroll in the co-op program. Thesis-based MSS students may apply to transfer to the course-based co-op program during their first year of study.

Students in the MSS program have a maximum of four years to complete their requirements, but are expected to complete their programs in two years. MSS Students receiving financial support through the University and the Centre will be funded through their first two years.

Thesis-based MSS Course Work

Students applying for the thesis-based MSS must first contact and obtain consent from a potential supervisor. 

See a list of affiliated faculty. 

In order to fulfill the thesis-based MSS, students must complete 6 HCEs (Half-Course Equivalents).

All students must complete non-credit one-week block course at the beginning of the program:

  • STST 603: Military and Strategic Studies: Questions and Methods 

All students must take the following three half-courses:

  • POLI 681: Advanced Analysis of International Relations
  • POLI 685: Strategic Studies Advanced Seminar
  • STST 655: Classics of Strategy

Each student may choose any other three half-courses that are pertinent to their program of studies. These classes are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director and the student's supervisor. 

Course-based MSS Course Work

In order to fulfil the course-based MSS, students must complete 12 HCEs (Half-Course Equivalents).

All students must complete non-credit one-week block course at the beginning of the program:

  • STST 603: Military and Strategic Studies: Questions and Methods 

All students must take the following three half-courses:

  • POLI 681: Advanced Analysis of International Relations
  • POLI 685: Strategic Studies Advanced Seminar
  • STST 655: Classics of Strategy

Each student may choose any other nine half-courses that are pertinent to their program of studies. These classes are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director and the student's supervisor. 

Co-Op Program

As a part of the course-based MSS, students participating in the Co-op program will complete 9 HCEs. An 8 month paid work placement will be worth an additional 3 HCEs.

Students must complete all course work prior to the start of the work placement. CMSS does not guarantee that co-op students will obtain a work placement.

In order to fulfil the course-based MSS, students must complete 9 HCEs (Half-Course Equivalents).

All students must complete non-credit one-week block course at the beginning of the program:

  • STST 603: Military and Strategic Studies: Questions and Methods 

All students must take the following three half-courses:

  • POLI 681: Advanced Analysis of International Relations
  • POLI 685: Strategic Studies Advanced Seminar
  • STST 655: Classics of Strategy

Each student may choose any other six half-courses that are pertinent to their program of studies. These classes are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director and the student's supervisor. 

In their Co-op terms, Co-op students will enroll in:

  • STST 601: MSS 1st Term Co-operative Education (Winter Term)
  • STST 602A: MSS 2nd Term Co-operative Education (Spring Term)
  • STST 602B: MSS 2nd Term Co-operative Education (Summer Term)

These courses cover the 8-month co-op work placement during the second year, and replace 3 of the 12 required HCEs of the course-based MSS.

MSS Thesis Proposal

NOTE: As of the Fall 2014 term, all incoming MSS thesis students, and all MSS students switching from the course-based to the thesis-based program will be required to present their supervisors with a formal thesis proposal for approval normally no later than the end of their second term (usually the end of the Winter term of their first year for students entering in the thesis stream; for students transferring from the course-based stream, where at all possible the same general timeline should apply.) Satisfactory development of such a proposal will be a factor noted in the student's annual progress report.

The proposal should generally be 7-10 double-spaced pages in length, not counting a brief preliminary bibliography. The content of the proposal should generally cover the following components:

  1. It should concisely state the research problem and explain its context and significance in the relevant literature.
  2. It should clearly identify the intent of the research project, including (if applicable) any hypothesis to be tested. In essence, it should note the general argument or thesis to be studied or presented, at least at this preliminary stage of the research.
  3. It should identify subsidiary or component issues which should be addressed to further the research and the argument.
  4. It should address any relevant methodological concerns, including (as appropriate) information and data sources, data analysis methods, case selection and the like.
  5. It should suggest an initial general structure for the thesis.

The Graduate Program Administrator should be notified in writing when a proposal has been deemed satisfactory, and a copy of that proposal should be placed in the student's file.

Students and supervisors should note that the development of applications for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and other competitive scholarships will greatly assist the development of this proposal.

Students who entered the MSS thesis program before the Fall of 2104 may be grandfathered from this requirement if they wish.

MSS Thesis Requirements and Examination

An MSS thesis student must present and defend a thesis before an examining committee consisting normally of the supervisor and at least two other examiners, one of whom is external to CMSS. The Neutral Chair will normally be the Graduate Program Director or his or her designate.

A notice giving the date and other information, including the composition of the examining committee, should be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at least four weeks before the defence. The final copy of the thesis should be presented to the examiners, either in hard copy or electronically, at least three weeks before the defence. Candidates and supervisors should keep these requirements in mind.

Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations state that

The thesis should demonstrate that the candidate is acquainted with the published literature in the subject of the thesis; that appropriate research methods have been used; and that appropriate levels of critical analysis have been applied. The research embodied in the thesis should make some original contribution to knowledge in the field.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis and Examination Guidelines can be found here.