Political Science Doctoral Programs with Employment Options

The terminal degree in the field of political science is the Ph.D. Find out more about prerequisites, program requirements, specialization options, and opportunities after graduation.

Essential Information

Ph.D. programs in political science integrate ideas from philosophy, sociology, psychology and economics. Programs emphasize advanced research methodology, statistical analyses and theoretical concepts in the field. Often, students have the opportunity to specialize in a field such as American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, or public policy. At the end of the program, students must present and orally defend a research dissertation.

In order to gain admission to a Ph.D. program in political science, students must demonstrate an understanding of political theory, usually by obtaining a bachelor's degree in government, economics, sociology or philosophy. Applicants must also submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a relevant writing sample.

Ph.D. in Political Science

Coursework in political science doctoral programs emphasizes theories of governance, political power, global political systems, international relations and the sociology of politics. Common classes include:

  • Statistical analysis of political science
  • Political science research methodology
  • Comparative politics
  • Public policy theory
  • Political economics

Popular Career Options

After earning a Ph.D. in political science, most graduates pursue academic careers in universities or colleges, but some choose to work for the government or an independent organization. Some career options include.

  • University professor
  • Public policy researcher
  • Political science theorist

In summary, a Ph.D. in political science is the highest degree in the field and prepares students for high-level positions through intensive interdisciplinary coursework and independent research.

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