Political Science, PhD

Graduate Studies in Political Science
617.373.4404
gradpolisci@northeastern.edu

CSSH Graduate Programs General Regulations

The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science is grounded in the core fields of the discipline—American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and public policy. Students identify a primary and secondary field as areas of emphasis. The curriculum introduces students to the core fields and also seeks to develop their research skills through a series of methods courses. Students may develop a traditional, academic focus in one of the fields, or they may combine it with public policy to highlight a policy orientation. The program focuses on preparing students to be academic scholars and teachers as well as practitioners in research and public service. The PhD degree includes completion of required courses, passing a written and oral comprehensive examination, and the successful defense of the dissertation before a faculty committee.

Credit Requirements and Advanced Standing

Students entering with a bachelor’s degree must complete 56 semester hours. Students currently in the MA or MPA program and accepted into the PhD program before completing the MA or MPA must complete 56 semester hours as well as all curriculum requirements of the PhD program.

Students entering with a master’s degree may receive advanced standing for relevant prior coursework but must complete a minimum of 40 semester hours. Master's-level course work that results in advanced standing is evaluated by the graduate program director to determine its applicability to the PhD curriculum.

Doctoral Degree Candidacy

Doctoral degree candidacy is attained after successfully completing all course work, the written and oral comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation proposal defense.

Academic Standing/Progress

All doctoral students must maintain an overall cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.500 while making progress toward the degree requirements. Students who fall below any applicable standard for two consecutive semesters are subject to dismissal from the graduate program. Additionally, receipt of financial support administered by the department, college, or university is contingent on satisfactory academic progress toward the degree and specific guidelines as published in the terms of award. Students who have ungraded courses or courses graded as incomplete risk no longer being eligible for financial aid awards.

Language Proficiency

Students who conduct research in a language other than English must demonstrate proficiency as necessary for completion of the dissertation. Language courses do not count as electives.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Milestones

Annual review
Comprehensive examination
Dissertation committee
Dissertation proposal
Dissertation proposal oral defense
Language (as determined by committee)
PhD candidacy
Dissertation defense

Core Requirements

Seminars
Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Seminar in Public Policy
Seminar in American Government and Politics
Seminar in Comparative Politics
Seminar in International Relations
Inquiry and Design
INSH 6300Research Methods in the Social Sciences4
Quantitative Techniques
INSH 6500Statistical Analysis4
INSH 7400Quantitative Analysis4
Advanced methods courses from other disciplines may be chosen in consultation with your faculty adviser.

Electives

Courses from other disciplines may be chosen in consultation with your faculty adviser.

Complete 32 semester hours in the following:32
POLS 7200 to POLS 7978

Dissertation

Exam Preparation
Exam Preparation—Doctoral (Only required for PhD students who have completed coursework but have yet to complete the comprehensive exam. Required for students who must maintain full-time status while completing thesis or comprehensive exam.)
Dissertation
Dissertation Term 1
Dissertation Term 2
Dissertation Continuation
Following completion of two semesters of POLS 9990, registration in the following class is required in each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is completed:
Dissertation Continuation

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

56 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.500 GPA required

Complete all courses and requirements listed below.

Milestones

Annual review
Comprehensive examination
Dissertation committee
Dissertation proposal
Dissertation proposal oral defense
Language (as determined by committee)
PhD candidacy
Dissertation defense

Core Requirements

Consult the graduate program director regarding which major-required courses apply to your individual plan of study.

Seminar
Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Seminar in Public Policy
Seminar in American Government and Politics
Seminar in Comparative Politics
Seminar in International Relations
Inquiry and Design
INSH 6300Research Methods in the Social Sciences4
Quantitative Techniques
INSH 6500Statistical Analysis4
or INSH 7400 Quantitative Analysis
INSH 7500Advanced Quantitative Analysis4
Advanced methods courses from other disciplines may be chosen in consultation with your faculty adviser.

Electives

Complete 16 semester hours in the following. Courses from other disciplines may be chosen in consultation with your faculty adviser.16
POLS 7200 to POLS 7978

Dissertation

Exam Preparation
POLS 8960Exam Preparation—Doctoral (Only required for PhD students who have completed coursework but have yet to complete the comprehensive exam.)0
Dissertation
Dissertation Term 1
Dissertation Term 2
Dissertation Continuation
Following completion of two semesters of dissertation, registration in the following class is required in each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is completed:
Dissertation Continuation

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

40 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.500 GPA required