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Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science

The Political Science Ph.D. program at Texas Tech University is designed to produce capable and active research scholars. Its emphasis is on preparing talented individuals for faculty careers at major, research-oriented, academic institutions. We welcome as well applicants whose career interests may lean to either non-academic settings, or academic institutions stressing teaching, but our preparation of, and standards for, of all graduate students are the same. It takes a competent research scholar to maintain currency in the field and thus provide their students or employers with the best contemporary information the discipline has to offer. The Department offers two tracks: the M.A.-Ph.D. Track and the Ph.D. Track. A student with an accredited bachelors degree can apply directly for admission into the Ph.D. program via the M.A./Ph.D. track. The M.A. portion of this degree plan requires 36 hours of doctoral level course work and a final oral examination, administered by a departmental examination committee. Students who already have the masters degree can apply for admission directly into the Ph.D. program.

Basic Requirements

A doctoral degree candidate must fulfill the following general degree requirements to receive a Ph.D.: 1) complete 60 hours of coursework beyond their bachelor’s degree; 2) pass 6 hours of required methods classes with at least a B; 3) complete 12 hours of coursework in two major fields and 9 hours of coursework in one minor field; 4) pass a Preliminary Exam in their second semester; 5) pass written, Ph.D. Qualifying exams in their two major fields; 6) pass their oral defense of their Dissertation Prospectus; and 7) write an original dissertation and successfully defend it in an oral examination. For a more detailed discussion of the basic requirements, students should consult the Graduate Handbook.

Fields and Coursework

All students must select three fields of study for their doctoral program. Two of these will be major fields, a primary major field and a secondary major field. The primary major field is the area where the student expects to write his or her dissertation. Students must pass qualifying exams in their two major fields at the end of their coursework and before proceeding to the dissertation. A third (minor) field is also required and is satisfied by coursework only. At present, all doctoral students must select their two major fields from among the areas of: American politics, comparative politics, or international relations. A students minor field may be selected from the three above, or also from: public administration, public policy, or research methodology. On rare occasions, and with the approval of the Graduate Director, a students minor field may be taken outside the department if that field clearly represents a strong supplement to the students work in one or both of her major fields. Students must complete 12 hours of coursework in two major fields and 9 hours of coursework in one minor field. Students should consult the Fields page for more information on the research fields in political science.

All first-year students must enroll in the standardized-first year curriculum. This curriculum consists of: POLS 5380 “Data Management,” POLS 5381 “Research Design,” POLS 5382 “Data Analysis,” POLS 5383 “Advanced Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science,” POLS 5322 “Pro-Seminar in American Politics,” POLS 5360 “Pro-Seminar in International Relations,” POLS 5370 “Pro-Seminar in Comparative Politics,” and three sections of POLS 5100. Students must obtain at least a B in POLS 5380, 5381, 5382, and 5383 or retake the classes.

Doctoral students should maintain a grade point average significantly above 3.0. A grade point average falling below 3.0, the receipt of two or more grades below B(including B-), or any single grade below a C (including C-) may be grounds for termination.