Political Science, Ph.D.

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);
April 1: fall admission.

Degree Requirements (63 Post-Baccalaureate Hours)

Distribution of Hours

Requirements Credit Hours
Core Courses 12
First Field (including Gateway Proseminar) 15
Second Field (including Gateway Proseminar) 9
Electives 9
Coursework Minimum 45
Dissertation 18
Minimum Total 63

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 (second field only)
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • Public Law
  • Research Methodology (second field only)

Field Requirements

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 701POLI 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.

Core Curriculum (4 courses/12 hours)

Course Title Credits
POLI 502Methods of Political Analysis3
POLI 701Theories of Political Inquiry3
POLI 706Advanced Methods of Political Analysis3
Select one additional research methodology course from the following two:
Qualitative Methods of Political Analysis
Research Methods in Political Science
First Field (5 courses)15
Select from any fields of Political Science except Research Methods
Second Field (3 courses)9
Select from any fields of Political Science
Electives (3 courses)9


Course Title Credits
American Politics
POLI 554Law and Society3
POLI 567American Local Government3
POLI/WGST 708Women in American Politics3
POLI 720Political Communication3
POLI 721Race and Public Policy|3
POLI 736Public Opinion and Political Attitudes3
POLI 760American Government and Politics ((gateway proseminar))3
POLI 761American National Government for Professionals3
POLI 762Politics of the Budgetary Process3
POLI 763Legislative Process and Behavior3
POLI 764Problems of the Presidency3
POLI 765Political Parties and Interest Groups3
POLI 766Electoral Behavior3
POLI 767State Government3
POLI 768Local Government Administration3
POLI 791Selected Topics in American Politics3
POLI 798Selected Topics in Public Law3
POLI 850Seminar in Public Law3
POLI 865Seminar in Urban Politics3
Comparative Politics
POLI 703Democratic Theory3
POLI 718Revolution and Politics3
POLI 719Political and Social Change3
POLI 720Political Communication3
POLI 724Religion and Politics3
POLI 737Nationalism and Politics3
POLI 758The State and Economic Life3
POLI 780Theories of Comparative Politics ((gateway proseminar))3
POLI 781Government and Politics of Japan3
POLI 782Problems in Chinese Government and Politics3
POLI 783Dynamics of Middle East Politics3
POLI 784Government and Politics of Europe3
POLI 785Contemporary Russian Politics3
POLI 792Selected Topics in Comparative Politics3
POLI 798Selected Topics in Public Law3
POLI 802Seminar in Comparative Administration3
POLI 831Seminar on Europe3
POLI 880Seminar in Comparative Politics3
International Relations
POLI 715International Relations Theory ((gateway proseminar))3
POLI 717Comparative Foreign Policy3
POLI/RELG 724Religion and Politics3
POLI 725International Conflict3
POLI 732International Law3
POLI 733International Organization3
POLI 734Economics of International Politics3
POLI 735International Cooperation3
POLI 740Formulation and Conduct of United States Foreign Policy3
POLI 741Contemporary United States Foreign Policy3
POLI 742Problems in National Security3
POLI 745Russian Foreign Policy3
POLI 746Chinese Foreign Policy3
POLI 747Japanese Foreign Policy3
POLI 749International Relations of the Middle East3
POLI 794Selected Topics in International Relations3
POLI 795Selected Topics in International Law and Organization3
POLI 815Seminar in Advanced International Relations Theory3
POLI 816Seminar in Comparative Study of Foreign Policy3
POLI 817Seminar in International Organization and Cooperation3
Political Theory
POLI 504Politics and Ethics3
POLI 505Utopian Political Thought3
POLI 703Democratic Theory3
POLI/WGST 704Political Theory and Feminism3
POLI 705Theory of Marxism3
POLI 707Classics of Political Theory3
POLI 800Selected Topics in Political Theory3
POLI 801Selected Thinkers in Political Theory3
Public Administration/Public Policy
POLI 721Race and Public Policy|3
POLI 754Public Accountability and Ethics3
POLI 755Grants Administration3
POLI 757Health Politics3
POLI 759Information Systems and Public Administration3
POLI 762Politics of the Budgetary Process3
POLI 768Local Government Administration3
POLI 770Perspectives on Public Administration ((gateway proseminar))3
POLI 771Public Data Analysis3
POLI 772Contemporary Administrative Organization3
POLI 773Human Resources Administration in Government3
POLI 774The Public Policy Process ((gateway proseminar))3
POLI 775Financial Administration3
POLI 776Policy Formation and Program Planning3
POLI 777Policy Evaluation3
POLI 778Practicum in Public Administration3
POLI 779Public Administration Internship3
POLI 797Selected Topics in Public Administration3
POLI 802Seminar in Comparative Administration3
Public Law
POLI 726Seminar in Judicial Politics3
POLI 727Models for Understanding Political Institutions3
POLI 728Judicial Politics in Europe and the Common Law World3
POLI 729Courts in Developing Countries3
POLI 732International Law3
POLI 760American Government and Politics3
POLI 780Theories of Comparative Politics3
POLI 798Selected Topics in Public Law3
POLI 850Seminar in Public Law3
LAWS 525Constitutional Law I3
LAWS 526Constitutional Law II3
LAWS 812International Human Rights Seminar2
LAWS 660
LAWS 803Women and the Law3
Research Methodology
POLI 709Qualitative Methods of Political Analysis3
POLI 771Public Data Analysis3
POLI 777Policy Evaluation3
POLI 803Research Methods in Political Science3
POLI 806Seminar in Advanced Methods of Political Analysis3