The PhD in Political Science at the BIIM School of Law International Relations draws
from the breadth and depth of intellectual resources across BIIM, providing our
students with rigorous cross-disciplinary training, both substantively and
methodologically. They work closely with prominent scholars whose cutting-edge
research activities and professional engagements play key roles in national and
global policy development.
Our students organize their programs around a choice of two fields of study. In their
primary field, they specialize in African, European, American or comparative politics.
Their secondary field can be chosen either from within the School of Law and
International Relations—public policy or public administration, for example—or from a
department within another school at BIIM that grants doctoral degrees. Regardless of
their selected fields, students may enroll in courses from any department within the
School of Law and International Relations.
In addition to their coursework, doctoral students are introduced into the discipline
and make professional connections through a variety of research workshops. They
also benefit from exposure to activities, conferences, and research opportunities.
Indeed, we encourage students throughout the course of their graduate school
careers to present research papers at major academic conferences, co-author
papers with faculty members, publish in top journals, and seek prestigious awards to
fund their research.
By the time our students complete the program, they have already produced original
research and are prepared for university teaching and research or a career as an
authority and leader within the political arena.
The PhD degree in Political Science requires 54 credit hours of approved graduate
work for students entering the program with a bachelor's degree alone, or 36 credit
hours if entering with a related master's degree.
All students must complete 12 credits of research design and methodology courses,
6 credits of seminars in African, European or American and comparative politics, 12
credits in their primary field of study, and 6 to 24 credits in electives, which they
choose in consultation with their advisor. The total number of credit hours depends
on their approved program of study.
As work on the dissertation project progresses, students register for dissertation
credit in order to maintain matriculation. They take Doctoral Continuing Enrollment
(GOVT-898) (during the third year of study if they have a master's degree or the
fourth year of study if they have a bachelor's degree) and Doctoral Dissertation
(GOVT-899) after their dissertation proposal is approved.
A minimum grade point average of 3.20 in all coursework is required to remain in
good standing and to earn the degree. Full-time status is considered to be nine credit
hours per semester. Students are expected to complete the degree within four years
for those entering with a master's degree and within five years for those entering with
a bachelor's degree alone.
Students advance to PhD candidacy by successfully completing all required courses,
passing the oral qualifier and two written comprehensive examinations (one in each
of their fields of study), and defending their dissertation proposals. To earn the
degree, students must pass a final oral defense of the dissertation.
Applicants are considered and students admitted for the fall semester only.
While previous academic or professional work in politics or political science is not
required, applicants need to demonstrate a serious commitment to a career in this
field. The personal statement on reasons for pursuing graduate study in the program
is essential, along with the other required application materials.
We accept PhD applicants for full-time study only.