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Columbia Campus    
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
    
 
  Feb 02, 2023
 
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Political Science, Ph.D.


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The doctoral degree program with a major in political science is specifically designed to prepare students for academic and top-level public service careers. Students acquire a general knowledge of the discipline of political science, its history, its subject matter, its relationship to other disciplines and professions, and the aspirations and obligations of political scientists.

Admission is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s potential for successful graduate work. It is expected that applicants to the political science doctoral program will demonstrate a strong potential for advanced scholarly study. Admission will be based on a holistic evaluation of the candidate’s complete academic background, including grades, test scores, past research accomplishments, and the evaluations contained in letters of reference. The admission decision depends in part on the qualifications of the total pool of applicants. There are no formal minimums since strength in one area may offset relative weakness in another area. However, the admissions committee uses the following indicators as rough benchmarks of the probability of success in our graduate program: scores of at least 600 verbal, 600 quantitative, and 4.5 analytical on the three sections of the GRE, an undergraduate GPA of 3.50 or above, and a TOEFL score of 620 (if applicable) or a comparable score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam.

The admission deadlines for political science are:

  • December 15: fall admission with departmental financial support (applications received after this date will be considered for financial support depending on availability of aid);
  • July 1: fall admission.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the discipline and their theoretical and substantive knowledge of two of the discipline’s recognized fields.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of basic quantitative skills and, for those students for which it is appropriate, their knowledge of more advanced quantitative skills. 
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to design syllabi and other instructional materials and to be proficient in the classroom.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to conduct original research.

Degree Requirements (63 Post Baccalaureate Hours)

Distribution of Hours


  First Field: 15 credit hours (including Gateway Proseminar)
  Second Field: 9 credit hours (including Gateway Proseminar)
  Core Courses: 21credit hours
  Electives: 6 credit hours
  Dissertation: 12 hours
  Total: 63 credit hours

Distribution of Fields


Students will choose a first field and a second field from the following list:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • Public Law
  • Research Methodology

Field Requirements


Students are required to take the “Gateway Proseminar” in each of their fields. The majority of courses taken to satisfy a field requirement must be taken within the Department of Political Science. For the methods second field, students are required to take 9 hours of course work beyond the core POLI 502  and POLI 701  courses. Students taking political theory as a first (or second) field must take 15 (or 9) hours of course work beyond the POLI 703  or POLI 707  course taken in the core. Students taking POLI 707  as a core course can count 707 as satisfying one of the Gateway Proseminar course requirements (since POLI 707  is the Gateway Proseminar for the field of political theory). Counting POLI 707  twice in this way does not decrease the number of courses or credit requirements students need to meet the Ph.D. requirements.

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