Political Science, Ph.D.


Requirement Hours
Requirements 72 sem. hrs.
Students select a major and minor field from the following three fields:
Political philosophy/political theory
American politics/constitutional law
International relations/comparative politics
Major field requirement 18 sem. hrs.
Minor field requirement 12 sem. hrs.
Third field requirement 3 sem. hrs.
Methodology/Language Requirements1 3-9 sem. hrs.
Electives (may include 9 sem. hrs. in interdisciplinary concentration) 9-24 sem. hrs.
Dissertation work 12 sem. hrs.

Includes PSC 5323 Research Design and Research Methods

Political Science Preparation

  1. Either an M.A. thesis or a comprehensive exam in the student’s second year is required for the M.A. degree, which will be used in the evaluation of a student’s preparation to continue on for the Ph.D.
  2. Doctoral students who choose international relations/comparative politics as their major field may elect to receive a Master of Arts in international relations rather than in political science by completing the requirements for that degree, but substituting the “writing and special study options” of the M.A. in political science for those of the terminal M.A. in international relations. In addition, those doctoral students who choose to receive an M.A. in international relations may request that the third field requirement of the M.A. degree in political science be postponed until the student’s third year of study.

  3. Comprehensive exams in both major and minor fields of study.

  4. An approved dissertation prospectus.

  5. Student must register for 12 credits of PSC 6V99 Dissertation. 3-6 of these hours may be taken in a section of 6V99 designed for the purpose of discussion and criticism of dissertation chapters and journal articles.  Dissertation writing group will also serve as a forum for research presentations for job interviews when appropriate. This special section of PSC 6V99 Dissertation is designed to increase students’ skills and writing strategies for presenting their work to the scholarly community, facilitate completion of the dissertation, improve the quality of written work, and produce important publications at the dissertation stage helpful to students’ careers.

Methodology/Language Preparation

  1. PSC 5323 Research Design and Research Methods, (3 hours).
  2. Competency in either one foreign language (classical or modern) or a course in advanced research methods and statistics, such as SOC 5312 Social Science Data Analysis (cross-listed as PSC 5312 Social Science Data Analysis). When appropriate, a second foreign language or course in statistics will be recommended.

Professional Paper

  1. All students must complete a professional paper approved by two professors who have worked with the student in the subfield in which the paper is written.

Teaching Preparation

  1. 3-4 semesters of work as a teaching apprentice for undergraduate courses.
  2. 3 credits of PSC 5396 Teaching Political Science, must be taken in conjunction with teaching apprenticeships. (These can be included in field requirements).
    Up to 6 credits of PSC 5396 Teaching Political Science may be taken, but 3 credits of PSC 5396 Teaching Political Science are required.
  3. Teaching experience in one or more undergraduate courses.

Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. degree from another institution will find the requirements modified to take appropriate account of their previous graduate work.