Requirements for the PhD in Political Science

Required Coursework 72 sem. hrs.

Students select a major and minor field from the following three fields:
Political philosophy/political theory
American politics/constitutional law
Comparative politics/international relations

major field requirement...................................................................... 18 sem. hrs.

minor field requirement...................................................................... 12 sem. hrs.

third field requirement........................................................................ 3 sem. hrs.

Methodology/Language Requirements.................................................. 3-9 sem. hrs.
(includes PSC 5323 Research Design and Research Methods)

electives (may include 9 sem. hrs. in interdisciplinary concentration)...... 18-24 sem. hrs.

dissertation work................................................................................ 12 sem. hrs.

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

Political Science Preparation

1. Students must complete the requirements for the MA degree before their third
year of coursework. Those requirements consist of 36 hours of graduate study
(which must include at least 9 credit hours in their major field, 6 credit hours in
their minor field, and 3 credit hours in their third field) and either successfully
defend an MA thesis or pass a comprehensive MA examination, based on their
course work in the political science department. At least 18 of those credit hours
must be at the 5000 level, exclusive of thesis credits. Students who choose to
write an MA thesis will receive 6 hours of credit toward the 36. The MA
comprehensive examination or MA thesis will serve as an opportunity to evaluate
a student's preparation for doctoral study.
2. Doctoral students who choose comparative politics/international relations as
their major field may elect to receive a Masters of Arts in International
Relations rather than in political science by completing the requirements of that
degree, but substituting writing and special study options of the MA in political
science for those of the MA 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. PhD comprehensive exams are required in both major and minor fields of
study. Major comprehensive exams will occur over two days, the exam for
each day lasting four hours. Minor comprehensive exams will also occur over
two days, the exam for each day lasting three hours. Eligibility for exams
include completion of all course work, the professional paper, and the
language requirement when appropriate. Major and minor exams are usually
scheduled over a two week period in August, before fall classes begin.
4. For major comprehensive exams in international relations/comparative politics,
students have the option of preparing in international relations, comparative
politics or a combination of both, upon the recommendation of the faculty in
these fields. For major comprehensive exams in American politics/constitutional
law, students choose to prepare in three of the following fields: Congress and
the Presidency; Constitutional Law and the Courts; Political Parties,
Participation, and Public Opinion; Public Policy and Administration; American
Political Development and Thought. For minor comprehensive exams in
American politics/constitutional law, students choose to prepare in two of the
above fields. Reading lists for all fields are available on the blackboards of all
doctoral students in the program.
5. Students will be graded on a scale from distinction, high pass, pass, or fail. The
grade of distinction is reserved for rare cases of excellence. Failed exams may
be retaken in accordance with Graduate School guidelines.
6. A dissertation prospectus must be approved by a committee composed of three
or more faculty chosen by the student and the graduate director, in accordance
with Graduate School guidelines. Failure to defend a prospectus by the end of
the fourth year can result in a suspension of funding for the following fall, until
such time as the prospectus is complete. A date for the prospectus defense can
be set only after every member of the committee has had a chance to read the
prospectus and deems it defensible. All prospectus defenses are open to the
public.
7. Students 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 is designed to increase students'
skills and writing strategies for presenting their work to the scholarly community,
facilitate completion of dissertation, improve quality of written work, and produce
important publications at the dissertation stage helpful to students' careers.
8. An approved dissertation and a successful oral defense, before a committee
constituted in accordance with Graduate School guidelines. A date for the
dissertation defense can be set only after all committee members have read the
dissertation and deemed it defensible. All dissertation defenses are open to the
public.

Methodology/Language Preparation

1. PSC 5323, Research Design and Research Methods (3 sem. hrs.)
2. Competency in either one foreign language (classical or modern), as defined by
the Graduate School), or a course in advanced research methods and statistics,
such as SOC 5312 (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 present a professional paper (25-30 pages) approved by two professors who
have worked with the student in one of the departments' PhD fields.

Teaching Preparation

1. 3-4 semesters work as a teaching apprentice for undergraduate courses
2. 6 credits of PSC 5396, Teaching Political Science (and not more than 9 credits),
should be taken in conjunction with teaching apprenticeships (these can be
included in field requirements)
3. Teaching experience as a teacher of record in one or more undergraduate
courses

Residence Requirement

1. Three years of residence (minimum on-campus time) and course work