Course-based master's degree with research paper and internship

During your course-based master's program, you must write a research paper integrating knowledge acquired from your courses. You must then complete an internship in Quebec or abroad, a source of invaluable professional experience.

You also have the option of spending a semester at a foreign university, or enrolling in the joint master’s degree program with Sciences Po Bordeaux if you meet the requirements.

Research paper

Definition of a research paper

A research paper is a synthesis, and critical analysis of a topic. It is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to reflect the author’s thinking at the time of writing. It allows you to discuss a topic related to your program of study and show your knowledge in a particular field. It demonstrates your ability to discuss a relevant topic in your field in a systematic way. The research paper is a clearly articulated effort designed to meet a clearly defined objective. It is a less ambitious endeavour than a thesis, both in terms of its objectives and its form and content. It is not expected to contribute to the advancement of science.

The steps in writing a research paper

To complete a course-based master’s in International Studies, you must produce a research paper on a multidisciplinary topic of your choice once you have completed your coursework, and before you start your internship. The paper counts for 9 credits. You will prepare your research paper under the supervision of an ESEI professor, with the approval of the program director. Your paper will be evaluated by your supervisor and a second evaluator from another discipline.

Additional information about the research paper

Research paper approval and registration process

Before starting your research paper, you will need to pick a topic and find a supervisor and second evaluator. You will then have to have your topic approved by the supervisor and the second evaluator and enrol in the course ETI-Essai (9 credits). These pre-registration steps can be completed as soon as you have identified your topic, your supervisor, and the second evaluator.

To register for ETI-Essai , you must first: 

  1. Choose a topic with an international dimension that you will analyze from the perspective of two disciplines (at least one of which must be political science, law, or economics/management)   
  2. Find a Université Laval professor who agrees to act as your supervisor and a second faculty member (ideally a professor) who agrees to act as second evaluator.
  3. Complete the research paper topic approval form ETI-601 Approbation du sujet d’essai and have it signed by your supervisor and the second evaluator. Email the form to Academic Advising at to have it approved by the program director.

Once your topic has been approved, the program director will register you for the ETI-Essai course for the appropriate semester.


  • You must register in this course before you start writing your paper.
  • The course counts for 9 credits but does not qualify you for full time student status. To achieve full-time status, you must sign up for 3 additional course credits or discuss your options with Academic Advising.
  • The research paper must be submitted before you start your internship.
Useful documents

Please refer to the following documents in the Forms and useful documents section:

  • Guide d'encadrement de l'essai (Guide to Research Paper Supervision)
  • Normes de rédaction de l'essai de la maîtrise en études internationales (Research Paper Writing Standards for the Master’s Degree in International Studies)  
  • Formulaire ETI-601 Approbation du sujet d’essai (Form ETI-601 Approval of Research Paper Topic)

All required forms are also in this section.

Supervision of your research paper

View the faculty directory to find  professors who may be interested in supervising your research paper. Your supervisor must be a Université Laval professor and the second evaluator must be a Université Laval faculty member, and ideally also a professor.

Examples of our students' research papers

Master’s internship

At the end of your course-based master's program, you will have the opportunity to gain practical experience in international relations with an internship. You will work for at least three months at an international organization or an international division of a public and or private sector entity, either in Québec or abroad. You will be given tasks that help advance projects at the host organization, much as an entry-level professional would be.

Internships are an opportunity to put knowledge acquired during your courses into practice, develop your ability to analyze and synthesize actionable information, and assess your career objectives.

Given the international nature of this master’s, the internships may require extensive travel. Your choice of country for an internship will also depend on your ability to speak and write the language of the host nation.

Internship approval and registration process

Before starting your internship, you must have it approved and then register for the course ETI-Stage (6 credits). The pre-registration process must be completed as soon as you receive confirmation of your internship.  

To register for the ETI-Stage course (6 credits) , you must first:

  1. Submit a duly completed internship mandate (see Useful Documents below). This document must contain all required information, including the name and contact information of your internship supervisor and internship start and end dates. Submit it in Excel format to the person in charge of internships.
  2. Have the internship mandate validated by the ESEI program director. If the internship is approved, you will receive a confirmation email. At this stage, your internship is not yet approved, but your supervisor will confirm that the internship mandate is admissible and can count for credit in your program.

    PLEASE NOTE: if you want to do an internship outside Canada, you must register your name in the Mobility register (in French only) at the ULaval International Office at least six weeks before your internship starts. Upon receipt of the confirmation email from the International Office, you should forward this email as soon as possible to the program coordinator at:
  3. Submitting your research paper before leaving to do your internship.

Once your internship mandate has been approved and you’ve submitted your research paper, the program director will officially register you for the 6 credit course ETI-Stage for the appropriate semester.

Please note, you must register for the course before starting your internship.

Useful documents

Please refer to the following documents in the Forms and useful documents section:

  • Guide du programme de stage (Internship program guide)
  • Guide de rédaction du rapport de stage (Guide to writing internship reports)
  • Internship Mandate and Evaluation Report

Financial support for internships outside Québec

Students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and who are doing an internship outside of Québec can apply for a scholarship from the International Office under the Out-of-province Internship Mobility Program.


Information for international students

International students with study permits who are doing an internship in Canada must have an internship work permit issued by Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

Examples of organizations where our students have completed their internships


International relations
African Union Commission, Ethiopia

International development
Regroupement des Diplômés Sans Emploi du Sénégal (RDSE), Senegal
International trade and investment, Ethiopia
Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), Morocco

International security
UN Stabilization Mission in DR Congo, (MONUSCO), DR Congo

Latin America

International relations
Canadian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina

International development

Lawyers Without Borders (international law), Guatemala

SUCO Solidarité Union Coopération, Peru

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Costa Rica

International trade and investment
Québec Government Office in Mexico City, economics department


International relations
The Takshashila Institution, India

Canadian Embassy in Myanmar

International development
Love 146 – Asian Team, Cambodia (no longer in operation)
Dton Naam, Thailand

African Refugee Development Center, Israel


International relations

Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie (MRIF), Government of Québec

Environment Canada, Gatineau

National Assembly of Québec, Québec City

Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa

International development

International Bureau for Children’s Rights (international law), Montréal

L’AMIE, Montréal

Centre de solidarité internationale OCI Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean, Saguenay

Projet accompagnement Québec-Guatemala, Montréal

International trade and investment

U.S. Consulate General Montreal, Montréal

Québec International, Québec City

Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie (MRIF), Government of Québec

Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa

World Trade Centre, Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain (Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal), Montréal

International security

Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, Montréal

Public Safety Canada

United States

International relations
Coalition for the International Criminal Court, New York
Washington Center, Washington
Organization of American States (OAS), Washington

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Senegal to the United Nations, New York

Développement international
Partnership International, Washington
Young American Business Trust, Washington 

Sécurité internationale
The International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, Washington
Search for Common Ground, Washington


International relations
Québec Government Office in Berlin, Germany
European Parliament, Belgium
United Nations Environment Program, France

International development
World Wind Energy Association, Germany

International trade and investment
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland 

International security
Canadian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Austria
Scutum Security First, France

University exchange opportunities

As part of your course-based master’s, you can spend a semester at a university abroad.

Learn more about these exchange programs: International Profile Program, BCI Québec Exchange Program, and the General Student Exchange Agreement Program (Programme Ententes  générales d’échanges d’étudiants).

Joint master's degree program with Sciences Po Bordeaux

If you have an outstanding academic record, you can apply for the joint master’s degree program in International Relations with Sciences Po Bordeaux. 

Learn more about the joint degree program and the eligibility requirements


Information on admission to the master’s program

See the page on admissions and selection criteria for our programs


For more information

Contact the Academic Advising team