Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Department of Political Science

Graduate Study
Political Science - Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral degree is generally undertaken by students wishing to teach political science and government at the college level and by those seeking professional careers in political and social research. Special attention is given at the doctoral level to intensive training in political research.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, of the College of Social Science, and of the Department of Political Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Political Science

The doctoral student must:

1. Earn at least 45 credits in political science courses including:
a. All of the following courses (15 credits):
PLS 800 Proseminar: Political Theory and Research Methods 3
PLS 801 Quantitative Techniques in Public Policy and Political Science I 3
PLS 802 Quantitative Techniques in Public Policy and Political Science II 3
PLS 803 Political Thought 3
PLS 809 Proseminar in Formal Theory 3
b. At least four courses in a major field, approved by the student's guidance committee, selected from one of the following political science fields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, public policy or political philosophy.
c. At least three courses in a minor field, approved by the student's guidance committee, selected from one of the following political science fields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, public policy, research methodology, or formal theory.
2. Pass a comprehensive examination in both the major and minor field.
3. Successfully write and defend a doctoral dissertation in a public oral examination.

Additional requirements and evaluations are described in the Ph.D. Handbook on the department's Web site at www.pls.msu.edu.

Academic Standards

Academic standards for the Doctor of Philosophy degree program are described in the Ph.D. Handbook on the department's Web site at www.pls.msu.edu.