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Through rigorous research and applied curriculum, the PhD in Political Science provides an in-depth understanding of politics and government and the underpinnings of national and global civil society.

In the contemporary world, understanding politics and policy is one key to successful, peaceful, and prosperous national and global civil society. The PhD program in Political Science equips you with the politics and international studies expertise to make an impact not only in American political life and thought but also in political arenas around the globe. You will develop the analytical ability and practical experience for both academic and research-based positions. Our highly engaged faculty-scholars conduct research on a range of contemporary issues, such as voting rights, non-state war, the rise of China, conserving liberty, environmental justice, state capacity, data visualization, citizen participation, globalization, corruption, the administrative state, and immigration. Our program prepares scholars for academic careers, teaching, and research as well as government and public service.

Program Highlights

Program at a Glance

72 units

4 years (full-time) to 7 years (part-time)

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

Politics & Policy

Division of Politics & Economics

PhD in Political Science

Featured Courses

PP 302
American Political Behavior

This seminar provides a thorough overview of the current research on political behavior. We will survey the literature on party identification, political sophistication, voting, ideology, information processing, tolerance, participation and turnout, and public opinion. In addition, students will explore the various methodological strategies for scientific inquiry in this area, develop important and innovative student research programs and prepare for qualifying examinations through comprehensive reviews of the literature.

PP 338
Policy Design and Implementation

Explores how policy analysis can help us devise better public policies—and then make them work in practice.

PP 430
Perspectives in Conflict & Peace

This class will review current theories of international and domestic conflict including proposals that lead to their resolution.

PP 487
Applied Data Analysis

This course deals with more advance topics in the use of statistical methods beyond ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation, with emphasis on applied analysis of political data in the R computing environment.

SPE 350
Theories and Issues in Comparative Politics

This course introduces major topics in comparative politics and provides basic training for comparative politics graduate students. The main purpose of this course is to introduce key questions as well as classic and modern approaches in comparative politics. The course focuses not on facts but on the task of causal (positive) explanation.

SPE 410
Political Economy of International Development

This course is about political institutions and economic development. In recent years, there has been a surge of literature on political and economic development, at the very heart of which is the relationship between political systems and economic performance.

Areas of Concentration


Research Spotlight


Faculty & Research

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

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John Moore

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3925