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Degree Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. Program Must:

  • complete 42 semester hours in advanced courses or seminars
  • successfully complete general examinations in both their major and minor areas
  • write and defend a dissertation
  • meet certain additional requirements

Most students will complete course work in five or six semesters, take exams, and spend one to two years on the dissertation.

Course Requirements

  • core courses in the major and minor field
  • three or more additional courses in the student's major field
  • two courses beyond the core course in the student's minor field
  • a comprehensive sequence of courses in quantitative methodology and research design.

Teaching Assistantships

In addition to course work, graduate students are required to serve as teaching assistants for at least two semesters. The department has regular teaching colloquia designed to help students learn to teach. Some of the advanced graduate students are given the opportunity to teach their own courses.

Master’s Degree

The Political Science department has no M.A. program as such, and students seeking only a master's degree will typically not be admitted. However, the Master of Arts degree is earned as a student progresses toward the Ph.D. The M.A. requires 36 semester hours of course work, all of which must be taken at the graduate level, and the completion of two research papers in seminars taken over the course of study.

For More Information

For detailed information on requirements for the Ph.D. degree, read our Graduate Program Rules.