Ph.D. Requirements

To earn the Ph.D. in Political Science each student must:

1. Accumulate 15 course units in credits.

This will normally entail:

  • 8 regular courses during a student's first year
  • 5 regular courses during the student's second year, in addition to his or her TA responsibilities
  • Two remaining courses in the third year, generally in the fall, with an eye toward writing a rough draft of the dissertation prospectus, which is to be delivered to the members of the student's prospective dissertation committee by the end of the fall semester
  • Dissertation research credits as needed

2. Achieve at least a B+ grade point average

3. Satisfy the research skills requirements

4. Write a research paper in the primary field. The paper will reflect a significant, original research project. 

5. Pass the preliminary examinations in two of the four general fields and display competence in a third field (either general, thematic, or specialized).

6. Satisfy the teaching requirements.

7. Prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus.

8. Write and successfully defend a dissertation.


Please also see the Graduate Program Brochure for more detailed information on the Ph.D. requirements, including a list of frequently offered graduate courses.