should I take the quantitative methods course (PSc 5913)?
Ordinarily, PSc 5913 is offered in the fall. You should try and
take it in your first semester.
have previously taken a graduate method course. Must I complete PSc
No. Exceptions to the proficiency in research methods requirement
described in the Graduate Studies in
Political Science Statement must be approved by the course
instructor and the Graduate Program Director.
graduate credits from another institution. Can this reduce the
coursework I must take?
The student must request an evaluation of transfer credit. Presumably,
where previous graduate coursework parallels courses offered in our
department, committees should be sympathetic to counting that work in
lieu of such courses from this department.
Do I have to take three
core courses in my concentration field if I have had previous course
work, even undergraduate preparation, in one or more fields?
No. The Graduate
Studies in Political
Science Statement allows advisory committees to make appropriate
adjustments to various program requirements. Changes should be
consistent with the spirit of the program and need the approval of the
Graduate Program Director. Exceptions should be spelled out in the M.A.
courses with M.A. and Ph.D. students, are the expectations the same for
This depends on the professor, but it is not unusual for the
expectations for Ph.D. students to be higher. Some professors even
include additional readings and assignments for doctoral students in
their class syllabus.
M.A. students expected to present research papers at professional
conferences and to try to have them published?
No. Although we have had students who have done this in the past. For
superior papers and/or superior students, this is often encouraged by
M.A. students eligible for travel funding to present conference papers?
Yes. The funding is at the discretion of the Department Chair and
subject to the availability of funds.
should I form my committee?
This will normally be done before the M.A. Advisory Worksheet is filed.
A good time to start, for full-time graduate students, is before the
end of the second semester (or in the semester when they will complete
18 credit hours).
do I form my committee?
Start by talking to your faculty advisor or other professors that you
have had classes with or share similar interests. Set up an appointment
to explore committee membership. At this meeting, be prepared to tell
them what classes you have taken and what your general idea is for the
research you will be conducting.
criteria should I consider when trying to choose between the Thesis and
Research Paper (non-thesis) Option?
If you plan on continuing your graduate studies, then a Thesis may be
preferable. Also, a Thesis is a published document and it would be
available to other scholars through the University of Michigan
Dissertation and Thesis repository, as well as through the University
of Oklahoma Library and the Political Science Department Library.
does the final research paper differ from a Thesis?
The research paper is not published or filed with the University.
It is normally a project of a slightly smaller scale than a Thesis.
kind of research do I do for the Thesis or Research Paper?
Do research on a topic of interest to you. If you don’t have a specific
topic, is there something in the media or in journal articles
that you have read that you would like to know more about, or something
that government does that you feel strongly about? These may be topics.
Also, many professors have research projects that you may be able to
become active in. Talk to professors that you admire and ask them for
ideas. You can also get helpful hints about types of research papers on
the M.P.A. website at http://www.ou.edu/cas/psc/pa.
research involves data from sources that should be exempt from full
board review by the Institutional
Review Board (IRB). Do I
still need IRB approval?
Yes. Although some data may be exempt from IRB oversight,
determination must be made by the IRB. A copy of
IRB approval must be
attached to the student’s Admission to Candidacy when this form is
submitted to the Graduate College. Do not wait until you are ready to
defend to obtain IRB approval.
Doing so will delay your defense
significantly. For a full description of the university’s research
policies and procedures and appropriate forms, see the IRB
I take the comprehensive examination during a semester when I'm still
taking course work?
Yes, with the permission of your committee. Ordinarily, students should
not plan on holding the oral defense and comprehensive exam if they
have more than one substantive course left to complete.
I take the comprehensive examination if I have not completed PSc 5913?
No. The Graduate College requires the student to complete this class
before it will give permission for the student to take the
all my committee be present for the oral exam?
Yes, all members must be physically