The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science is designed to provide a rigorous, sharply focused disciplinary program with strong multidisciplinary links. The Program consists of innovative, state-of-the-science graduate education in political methodology and the fields of Democratization, Globalization and International Relations, Political and Government Institutions and Processes, and Public Management and Decision Making. Students’ research skill development and degree completion are facilitated by a rolling cohort design. In the first year of the cohort, students acquire basic research skills and tools and work on research projects. Later, they have opportunities to develop their instructional and presentation skills, to participate in summer methodology programs, and to interact with highly regarded scholars and practitioners in their fields of study.
The Program is intended to educate highly qualified students for fulfilling careers in academe, government, industry, and non-profit organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth, state, national, and other arenas. Program graduates are expected to have the resources and skills that are necessary for analytical and administrative positions and responsibilities in areas of partnership among knowledge producers, private firms, and government agencies and departments. Graduates should be equipped to instruct and to conduct productive research in the traditional fields of Political Science as well as newer, state-of-the science, trans-disciplinary fields. Graduates also should be prepared for analytical and administrative positions and responsibilities.
Students have access to the computing facilities in the School of Social Sciences and the University’s Computing Center. The School has two computing laboratories which house over 30 computers that are network linked and equipped with major social science software packages, including E-Views, R, RATS, SPSS, and STATA. A computerized geographic information system, the Lexis Nexis Database, and WestLaw are also available for student use. The University’s Computing Center provides personal computers and UNIX workstations.
Many important data and reference materials are available online from professional associations or at UTD via the Library’s and School’s memberships in the American Political Science Association, the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and other organizations. The Library has a substantial number of Political Science journals.
Students have opportunities to participate in research programs directed by members of the faculty. As appropriate, some students may become involved in methodological development activities offered by the School’s membership in the ECPR, ICPSR, and UCGIS. In addition, some students may be eligible to participate in the professional development activities provided by faculty who edit or co-edit Electoral Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Public Administration Review, and Political Research Quarterly.
To attract the best students, fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships may be available. Fellowships are offered through the Center for The Study of Texas Politics. Research assistantships are available through several of the professional journals supported by the University. Teaching assistantships are provided for working with faculty on instructional activities.
The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science Program seeks applications from individuals with a baccalaureate, Master of Arts, or Master of Science degree in Government and Politics, Political Science, Public Administration, Public Affairs or a relevant discipline. The degree must be from an accredited college or university. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.2 and a combined quantitative and verbal Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 1200 are desirable for students who expect to progress satisfactorily towards graduation. Applicants also may submit their score from the writing component of the GRE as additional evidence of their admission eligibility. In addition, an applicant should submit all transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a one-page essay describing her/his educational and professional objectives. Grade point average, GRE score, and other information pertaining to the applicants’ educational background and professional goals are among the factors that are considered in determining direct admission. Applications are reviewed by the Political Science Graduate Studies Committee in the School of Social Sciences.
Students who lack the necessary background to start the Program are advised to take courses that strengthen their preparation, but these courses do not receive credit towards the Ph.D. Program.
Undergraduate students who are interested in completing their undergraduate degrees while simultaneously taking graduate courses in the Political Science Ph.D. Program are expected to meet the School’s “fast-tracking” requirements.
Students who have previous graduate work in a discipline that is relevant to the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, such as a M.A. or M.S. in Government and Politics, Political Science, Public Administration, or Public Affairs, or a J.D., may be given transfer credit. The maximum amount of graduate program transfer credit is 45 hours of graduate coursework with no grade below B. Students who attempt to transfer other graduate courses for the core courses or other required courses in the Program may be required to demonstrate competence in these areas. Any award of transfer credit will be consistent with the University’s “Transfer of Credit” Policy.
The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.
On admission to the Ph.D. in Political Science Program, the student earns a minimum of 90 semester credit hours of coursework and dissertation credit beyond the baccalaureate degree. Core hours include four courses in Political Science Methodology and Theory, and three proseminars in the Program fields. The three fields are Democratization, Globalization, and International Relations; Political and Government Institutions and Processes; and Public Management and Decision Making. Additional coursework includes four courses in the major field, two courses in the minor field, four courses of prescribed elective credit, and three-to-six courses of freely chosen credit. Prior to admission to doctoral candidacy and further work on the dissertation or practicum, the student must pass three examinations – in the core, in the major field, and the minor field.
On examination completion, the student proceeds to present a doctoral dissertation or practicum proposal. The proposal must be approved by his/her Advisory Committee not later than two consecutive semesters after examination completion. Upon Committee approval, the student does further work on the doctoral dissertation or practicum while enrolling continuously for credit in research seminars and in dissertation or practicum research. The dissertation has multiple chapters that consist of a clear statement of the research problem, the theoretical framework and research design, the methods of analysis and findings, and an appropriately development conclusion. The practicum consists of three papers that may or may not be thematically related and are informed by the theories and methodology of the student’s major field. All three papers must be suitable for presentation at a major professional meeting and/or submission to a peer-reviewed professional journal.