College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Department of Politics and International Affairs

Political Science, Doctor of Philosophy

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science degree provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and participate in the political systems of the United States and the world.  This degree provides a broad perspective on experiences, international and domestic, from both theory and practice.
This degree builds a strong foundation in the expert knowledge of the political world.  The emphasis area of American Politics and Public Administration analyzes political science through the American context.  It focuses upon institutional characteristics, behavioral aspects, bureaucracy and management.  The emphasis area of Comparative Politics and International Relations compares countries and regions and examines the international system and its processes.  The emphasis area of Public Policy focuses upon policies created and implemented in political systems and uses analytical method to evaluate current public policies, political actors’ behavior, political events, and institutional arrangements within a diverse world.
Building upon this fundamental knowledge, our curriculum ensures that students will define, design, and carry out original scholarly research projects in political science.  In addition, they will be able to make clear and effective oral and written demonstrations of their work in public presentations, including scholarly presentations to academics at professional political science conferences.  Students will also leave this program ready to teach at a university level and to engage in professional research.
Our goal is to train students to be active, engaged, and informed participants in the global system who can not only understand the world around them but also shape and influence it.  

Student Learning Outcomes
Core Outcomes 

1.  Conceptual and Analytical:  Students should have an expert knowledge of the political world, including contemporary political thought, and public policies, and be able to use key concepts and analytical approaches from political science.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of a variety of significant analytical approaches used in political science.
  • Analyze, synthesize and evaluate the interconnectedness and interdependence of the human experience on a global scale.
  • Develop a disciplinary emphasis as well as a foci in environment, development or diversity politics to an expert level of knowledge.
2.  Inquiry and Research:  Students will engage in original research and write a scholarly dissertation.
  • Devise an expert research design.
  • Gather original data.
  • Analyze the data and explain the research findings.
  • Write the findings in a scholarly publishable-quality original dissertation that evaluates the effectiveness of the project and the implications of the findings and contributes to the field.
3.  Communication:  Students should be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work in writing and in public presentations.
  • Students will demonstrate expert writing skills and be able to summarize and explain scholarly political science articles.
  • Analyze and critique the material read /discussed.
  • Suggest and discuss alternative possibilities and outcomes.
  • Students will defend their dissertation at an oral defense that presents the project, summarizes the findings, and analyzes the implications as well as effectiveness of the project.
  • Students will be able to communicate at an expert level with other academics in the field of political science, including presenting their own research work at academic conferences.
4.  Professional and Citizenship:  Students should know, understand, and be able to meet the expectations of professionalism and citizenship.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior in terms of demeanor, personal presentation, ethics, and civic participation in experiential learning, classrooms settings and at professional conferences.
  • Acquire the skills and knowledge base to understand the importance of and options for environmental sustainability and its tenuous relationship to economic development in local and global terms.
  • Critically reflect upon the nature and consequences of diversity (e.g. race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, culture, nation), and develop an understanding of how this diversity both alters and is altered in a world characterized by increasing global interaction.

Go to mobile site