Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science curriculum

Major fields/concentrations of study

There are several types of requirements and electives.

  • General departmental requirements are required for all Ph.D. students and are aimed at the development of basic analytic and methodological skills
  • Within each major concentration, there are core requirementselectives, and dissertation credit requirements. Core requirements vary from nine to 21 credit hours and are specific to the major concentration
  • Students also are required to take at least six hours in each of two disciplinary minors
  • At least 30 credits must be taken in courses open only to graduate students, that is, in courses at the 7000-level and above

A course may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement unless specifically approved by the graduate director.

American politics and government

General requirements (seven credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Policy 3
PS 5630  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640   Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II   3
PS 8600 Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry 3

Core requirements: American politics and government (nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7030 American Political Processes 3
PS 7040 American Governmental Institutions: Congress and the Courts  3

And one of the following:

Course # Title Credits
PS 6010 Political Psychology 3
PS 6080  Gender and Politics 3
PS 7045 American Governmental Institutions: The Presidency 3
PS 7050  American Political Culture  

American politics and government electives (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5030 African American Politics 4
PS 5040  Religion and Politics  4
PS 5050 Mass Media and Politics 3
PS 5110  Constitutional Law 4
PS 5120  Constitutional Rights and Liberties  4
PS 6020 Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism  3
PS 6050 Class, Race and Politics in America 3
PS 6070  Labor and American Politics  3
PS 6120  Administrative Law and Regulatory Politics  3
PS 7010  The New Institutionalism  3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • Comparative politics
  • Public policy
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • World politics
  • Urban politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Comparative politics

General requirements (seven credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Polic 3
PS 5630  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II  3
PS 8600 Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry 3

Core requirements: comparative politics (nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7710 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3
PS 7711 Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics 3

And one of the following:

Course # Title Credits
PS 7720 Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrialized Democracies 3
PS 7730 Comparative Politics of the Developing World 3

Comparative politics electives (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5560 Biopolitics 3
PS 5999  Special Topics: Field Research/Mexico 3
PS 7010 The New Institutionalism 3
PS 7470  Comparative Public Policy  3
PS 7711 Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics (may be taken more than once when offered on different topics) 3
 PS 7740 Comparative Political Economy 3
PS 7810  Seminar in World Politics 3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Urban politics
  • World politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Political theory

General requirements (seven credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Policy 3
PS 5630  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II 3
PS 8600  Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry 3

Core requirements: political theory (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7550 Topics in the History of Political Thought 3
PS 7650 Contemporary Political and Social Theory 3

Political theory electives (nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5560 Biopolitics 4
PS 5999  Special Topics: Politics of Science Fiction 3
PS 5999 Special Topics: Law, Authority and Resistance 3
PS 7550 Topics in the History of Political Thought (may be taken more than once for credit when topic is different) 3
PS 7580 Political Theory of Public Law  
SOC 6050

Sociological Theory Before 1920

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Urban politics
  • World politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Public administration

General requirements (13 credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Policy 3
PS 5630 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I   4
PS 6640  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II  3
PS 8600 Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry  3

Core requirements: public administration (21 credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7300 Public Administration and its Environment 3
PS 7320 Organization Theory and Behavior 3
PS 7330  Public Budgeting and Finance  3
PS 7340 Public Personnel Management and Labor Relations 3
PS 7350  Managing Public Organizations 3
PS 7410 Policy Formation and Implementation  3
PS 7480 Policy Analysis for Public Administration 3

Public administration electives (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5899 Dispute Resolution 3
PS 6020 Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism 3
PS 6120  Administrative Law and Regulatory Politics 3
PS 7250 Seminar in Urban Administration 3
PS 7460 Program Evaluation  3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics
  • Public policy
  • Urban politics
  • World politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Public policy

General requirements (13 credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Policy 3
PS 5630 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640  Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II  3
PS 8600  Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry  3

Core requirements: public policy (nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7410 Policy Formation and Implementation 3
PS 7460 Program Evaluation 3
PS 7470  Comparative Public Policy 3
PS 7480  Policy Analysis for Public Administration 3

Public policy electives (minimum of nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5560 Biopolitics 4
PS 6860 American Foreign Policy 3
 PS 7240  Urban Public Policy 3
PS 7300  Public Administration and its Environment 3
PS 7330  Public Budgeting and Finance 3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • Urban politics
  • World politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Urban politics

General requirements (13 credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods for Politics and Policy 3
PS 5630 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II  3
PS 8600 Philosophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry 3

Core requirements: urban politics (nine credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7210 Approaches to the Study of Urban Politics 3
PS 7240  Urban Public Policy  3
PS 7250 Seminar in Urban Administration 3

Urban politics electives (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 5030 African American Politics 4
PS 6020 Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism 3
PS 6050 Class, Race and Politics in America  3
PS 6070 Labor and American Politics 3
PS 6440  Regional, State and Urban Economic Development  3
PS 7260 Urban Poverty and Racial Segregation 3
PS 7330 Public Budgeting and Finance  3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • World politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


World politics

General requirements (13 credits)

Required of all Ph.D. students.

Course # Title Credits
PS 7760 Research Methods in Policy and Politics 3
PS 5630 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I  4
PS 6640 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II  3
PS 8600 Philisophical Problems of Political and Social Inquiry 3

Core requirements: World politics (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7810 Seminar in World Politics 3
PS 7811 Advanced Seminar in World Politics (Theories of War) 3

Two minor fields (at least six credits in each) from the following:

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Urban politics

Dissertation (minimum of 30 credits)

 PS 9991-9994 (7.5 credits each)


Minor field requirements

American government and politics (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7030 American Political Process 3
PS 7040 American Governmental Institutions: Congress and the Courts 3

Comparative politics (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7710 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3
PS #### Any other 7000-level comparative politics course 3

Public administration (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7300 Public Administration and its Environment 3

Public policy (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7410 Policy Formation and Implementation 3
PS 7470 Comparative Public Policy 3

Urban politics (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7210 Approaches to the Study of Urban Politics 3

World politics (six credits)

Course # Title Credits
PS 7810 Seminar in World Politics 3

Courses in other departments

In consultation with the graduate advisor, Ph.D. students are typically permitted to take up to two graduate-level courses in other departments.

Teaching and research assistantships

The Department of Political Science allocates a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships and fellowships each year. All graduate students (including newly admitted students) are eligible to apply for these assistantships.