Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Political Science


The rigorous training and applied nature of the department’s core offerings and eight (8) doctoral fields provide the analytical expertise and practical experience for both academic and research-based positions.

These degree programs attract students interested in academic careers, teaching and research, government and public service, and positions in the private sector where an in-depth knowledge of domestic and international politics, economics and business is of importance.
Requirements of the Program

Students entering the PhD program select two fields of study from among the following:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Public Policy
  • World Politics
  • Methods

Students typically fulfill a standard set of core requirements, and qualify in two major doctoral fields. They will take core courses focusing on the embodiment of ideas, at least one course on statistical analysis, a transdisciplinary course, multiple topic-focused courses and electives totaling 72 units.

A minimum of 72-units of graduate-level coursework:

  • A two-course sequence in statistics and research design for the social sciences resulting in one research tool (8 units).
  • Demonstration of competence in a second research tool relevant to the student's areas of study (4 units).
  • Successful completion of six (6) courses in each of two major fields of study.
  • Available standard fields and their respective requirements are
    listed below.
  • A second special field may be designed in consultation with
    the Faculty Advisor.
  • Successful completion of the written qualifying examinations in two major fields.
  • Successful dissertation proposal defense.
  • Successful completion of the dissertation.

Transdisciplinary course requirement (T-course)

All doctoral students are REQUIRED to complete the transdisciplinary course requirement during their SECOND year of coursework. The course will count as four (4) of the regular 72 or 80 units toward your degree— it will not add any additional units to your degree requirements, nor count against the total number of transfer units from previous graduate course work.






Contact Information:

For program inquiries
Annekah Hall
Assistant Director of Admissions

For application questions


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