Political Science, Ph.D.
The doctoral degree program with a major in political science is specifically designed to prepare students for academic and top-level public service careers. Students acquire a general knowledge of the discipline of political science, its history, its subject matter, its relationship to other disciplines and professions, and the aspirations and obligations of political scientists.
- Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the discipline and their theoretical and substantive knowledge of two of the discipline’s subrecognized fields.
- Students will develop a research design to examine an important theoretical question in political science that has the potential to contribute to understanding in the field.
- Students will demonstrate their knowledge of basic quantitative skills and, for those students for which it is appropriate, their knowledge of more advanced quantitative skills.
- Students will demonstrate their ability to conduct original research.
Admission is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s potential for successful graduate work. It is expected that applicants to the political science doctoral program will demonstrate a strong potential for advanced scholarly study. Admission will be based on a holistic evaluation of the candidate’s complete academic background, including grades, test scores, past research accomplishments, and the evaluations contained in letters of reference. The admission decision depends in part on the qualifications of the total pool of applicants. There are no formal minimums since strength in one area may offset relative weakness in another area. However, the admissions committee uses the following indicators as rough benchmarks of the probability of success in our graduate program: scores of at least 600 verbal, 600 quantitative, and 4.5 analytical on the three sections of the GRE, an undergraduate GPA of 3.50 or above, and a TOEFL score of 620 (if applicable) or a comparable score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam.
The admission deadlines for political science are:
December 15: fall admission with departmental financial support (applications received after this date will be considered for financial support depending on availability of aid);
July 1: fall admission.
Degree Requirements (63 Post-Baccalaureate Hours)
Distribution of Hours
- First Field: 15 credit hours (including Gateway Proseminar)
- Second Field: 9 credit hours (including Gateway Proseminar)
- Core Courses: 21credit hours
- Electives: 6 credit hours
- Dissertation: 12 hours
- Total: 63 credit hours
Distribution of Fields
Students will choose a first field and a second field from the following list:
- American Politics
- Comparative Politics
- International Relations
- Political Theory
- Public Administration and Public Policy
- Public Law
- Research Methodology
|POLI 502||Methods of Political Analysis||3|
|POLI 701||Theories of Political Inquiry||3|
|POLI 706||Advanced Methods of Political Analysis||3|
|POLI 707||Classics of Political Theory||3|
|or POLI 703||Democratic Theory|
|POLI 803||Research Methods in Political Science||3|
|or POLI 709||Qualitative Methods of Political Analysis|
|Select two “Gateway Proseminars” taken outside first or second fields|
|Total Credit Hours||15|
Students are required to take the “Gateway Proseminar” in each of their fields. The majority of courses taken to satisfy a field requirement must be taken within the Department of Political Science. For the methods second field, students are required to take 9 hours of course work beyond the core POLI 502 and POLI 701 courses. Students taking political theory as a first (or second) field must take 15 (or 9) hours of course work beyond the POLI 703 or POLI 707 course taken in the core. Students taking POLI 707 as a core course can count POLI 707 as satisfying one of the Gateway Proseminar course requirements (since POLI 707 is the Gateway Proseminar for the field of political theory). Counting POLI 707 twice in this way does not decrease the number of courses or credit requirements students need to meet the Ph.D. requirements.
Degree Requirements (Minimum of 30 Post-Master's Hours)
Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program who have a Master’s degree in Political Science or a closely related field will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours. The distribution of these courses across fields will depend upon the coursework completed as part of the Master’s program, but will at a minimum consist of POLI 701, POLI 706, one additional core course and three courses in the student’s first field. An individual’s specific requirements will be determined by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with faculty from the student’s first field; this will be done before the student’s first semester of coursework.