A full account of degree requirements and procedures is contained in the Politics student handbook.
To earn the PhD in Politics, a student must complete and pass the following:
- 30 credits of coursework beyond the MA, including the PhD Seminar (GPOL 7300) and field seminars in the student's choice of major and minor fields
- Methods training appropriate to the student's project and trajectory of study
- A language requirement
- Written exams in two fields (political theory, comparative politics, global politics, or American politics)
- An oral defense of a PhD dissertation proposal
- A dissertation
- An oral defense of the dissertation
All PhD students are required to complete methods training in order to become conversant in methodological themes and debates in their field of study. Each student’s primary faculty advisor suggests and approves methods training most appropriate to the student’s project or trajectory of study. This training may include but is not limited to courses in qualitative and quantitative methods, independent study with a professor on methods, intensive summer courses, or embedded methods training in elective courses appropriate to the dissertation project.
PhD Field Seminars
PhD students must take two of four field seminars in political theory, comparative politics, global politics, or American politics. These courses address key debates in these fields and prepare students for the PhD qualifying examinations.
This course is designed to focus the work of PhD students, primarily research papers and dissertation proposals, in order to prepare them to write a dissertation. The specific direction of the course is always shaped by the work and interests of the students along with relevant work introduced by the instructor.
PhD Qualifying Examinations
Students must take written PhD qualifying examinations in both their major and minor fields (political theory, comparative politics, global politics, or American politics). An oral defense of students' dissertation proposal is also a required examination. Complete information about PhD examinations is contained in the department handbook.
Foreign Language Requirement
All PhD candidates must demonstrate reading knowledge in a foreign language appropriate to their dissertation topic by passing a language examination administered by the department.
Students can use elective courses toward completing one of the university’s graduate minors. These structured pathways of study immerse master's and doctoral students in disciplines outside their primary field and expose them to alternative modes of research and practice. Completed graduate minors are officially recorded on students' transcript.
The written dissertation and its defense before a committee of four faculty members constitute the remaining requirements for the PhD.