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Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science Heading link

The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science emphasizes the study of political action and behavior, culture, and institutional structures and settings. Our faculty members are committed to a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, and students can choose among three primary subfield specialties: Urban politics, American politics, and Comparative politics. Students interested in Political Theory and International Relations can pursue these subfield areas with approval.

Program Deadlines & General Information Heading link

Students who enter the program with a Baccalaureate Degree are required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 96 semester hours of graduate course work and dissertation hours to earn the Ph.D. degree.

Students who enter the program with a Masters Degree approved by the department are required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate course work and dissertation hours to earn the Ph.D. degree. Credit hours used to obtain an M.A. degree cannot be reapplied to meet credit hour requirements for a Ph.D.

First-year Ph.D. students must take required core courses.  In years two through five, students design a course of study in consultation with an advisory committee selected by the student.  After completing coursework and fulfilling the department’s Research Requirement, students take preliminary examinations in their chosen subfields.  Within three months of passing preliminary examinations, students must successfully defend a Dissertation Proposal before a dissertation committee selected by the student. Under the guidance and supervision of the committee, students then begin work on the dissertation.

The Graduate College requires that Preliminary Examinations must be completed within five years of program entry and that the Ph.D. degree must be awarded within seven years from entry with a Masters degree or within nine years from entry with a Bachelors degree.

Ph.D. Core Curriculum Heading link

Fall Semester Spring Semester
POLS 401 Data Analysis I POLS 501 Data Analysis II
POLS 500 Introduction to Policy & Governance POLS 505 Research Methods & Design
POLS 506 Profession of Political Science Highly Recommended Gateway courses: POLS 504, 551, 560, 570, 571

Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program Heading link

The Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program (CMEP) allows graduate students in a doctoral program, or in a participating training program that is jointly supported by the Exchange Scholar’s home and host institutions, to enroll at one of the three participating institutions to take advantage of academic courses at any of the other participating institutions that are not available at their home institution. The three institutions in the program are the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.  UIC students are permitted to take a total of three-quarters of classes through the CMEP program at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. For more information, visit the CMEP website.