Doctor of Philosophy
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The Program

The Ph.D. degree is designed primarily for those of you who want to teach and do research. Our program requires 90 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree (including dissertation). The M.A. is not required for admission. 

As a doctoral student, you must select three fields of study from the six we offer--American government, international relations, comparative governments, public administration, public policy, and political theory. Ordinarily, you would take about 9 to 12 hours in each field. Additionally, you must complete one "core" or required course from two of the three fields not chosen for specialization. You must also complete a research tool, ranging from quantitative research techniques to foreign language or some combination of the two. 

After finishing the coursework, research tool, and general examinations, you will prepare a prospectus for the dissertation. When your faculty committee approves the prospectus, you begin writing the dissertation. You might receive up to 30 or more credit hours for the dissertation (as part of the total of 90). 

In all, if you carried a normal full-time load (9 hours a semester), you might finish the Ph.D. degree in four or five years. You might require less time if you entered with a master's degree.


Minimum of 90 hours beyond B.A. (master’s degree not required)
   - Three required courses (regardless of fields):
        PSc 5913 (Introductory Data Analysis)
        PSc 5933 (Intermediate Data Analysis)
        PSc 6003 (Survey of a Discipline)

Concentration in three of six fields:               
                American Government & Politics
                Comparative Politics
                Public Administration
                Public Policy
                International Relations
                Political Theory
        •    A minimum of 9 hours of course work in each concentration
            field, including certain required courses in each field

- Distribution–one required course from two of three non-concentration fields
 Research tool–one of the following:      
        •    Proficiency in foreign language
        •    Proficiency in research methods (6 additional hours of methods beyond PSc 5913 and Psc 5933, including one advanced quantitative course and an additional methods course.

   Up to 12 hours may be taken from departments other than political science, with not more than 6 hours from any other department or not more than 6 hours to be applied to any one field of study

    -Comprehensive Exam & PSc 5950 (Independent Directed Research)
     -  Dissertation (usually not more than 30 hours)
     - Two semesters in residence (full-time student)

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