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Political Science Ph.D.

Political Science - Ph.D.

The Political Science doctoral program provides in-depth knowledge and advanced research skills, preparing you for leadership positions in academia, research institutions and public service. With a dedicated faculty and a supportive community of scholars, you'll have access to opportunities for cutting-edge research and professional development.

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More About This Program

Broadly but not exclusively focused on the dynamics surrounding representation, equity, conflict, rights, and conflict resolution, the graduate program at Kent State allows candidates to study important and timely questions under well-established scholars. Our focus on methodological skill, sophisticated research design, and faculty mentoring enables PhD candidates to develop their own research questions in a theoretically and empirically grounded manner. Our program enjoys an impressive completion rate, and our PhD recipients place well.

Many of our Ph.D. students receive funding to support their study. Funding is competitive and only granted to students with exemplary academic records. Support is generally continued for four years, and currently includes a nine-month stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidized health insurance plan. Funded students serve as Graduate Assistants (either assisting with research or teaching) throughout the academic year. In some cases, students may receive financial support to complete their dissertations in the fifth year.

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Ph.D. degree in Political Science prepares students for research and teaching careers in higher education and for research-based careers in fields that are focused on political, economic and social issues. The degree program is broadly focused on the dynamics surrounding representation, equity, conflict, human rights, development and conflict resolution. Students develop their own research questions in an interdisciplinary and theoretically sophisticated way. Students work with faculty mentors throughout their degree program and often develop and present their own research at regional or national conferences.

The Political Science major comprises the following concentrations, from which students select two:

  • American Politics and Policy
  • Conflict Analysis and Management
  • Transnational and Comparative Politics
Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.000 GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • GRE scores (no longer required starting with the fall 2024 admission term)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae with cover letter is required starting with the fall 2024 admission term
  • Goal statement
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 550 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
    • Minimum 77 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 Duolingo English test score

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Priority deadline: February 15
      Applications submitted by this deadline will receive the strongest consideration for admission.
Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Understand the theoretical underpinnings of political science and be able to address real world issues and problems.
  2. Attain research and methodological skills that will further their research and make them attractive to future employers.
  3. Effectively communicate research findings and implications to a range of audiences including scholars, practitioners and citizens.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
POL 70002SCOPE AND EPISTEMOLOGY 3
POL 70003QUANTITATIVE METHODS I 3
POL 70004QUANTITATIVE METHODS II 3
POL 70010QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 3
POL 71094COLLEGE TEACHING IN POLITICAL SCIENCE 1
Additional Approved Electives for Post-Baccalaureate Students0-23
Advanced Research Methods, choose from the following:3
POL 70304
ANALYTIC TECHNIQUES OF POLICY-MAKING
POL 70379
PROGRAM EVALUATION I
POL 79091
SEMINAR IN QUANTITATIVE METHODS
RMS 85518
ADVANCED QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
SBS 83011
QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
SOC 72221
ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY
Culminating Requirement
POL 81199DISSERTATION I 130
Concentrations
Choose two from the following: 221
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Baccalaureate Students90
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Master's Students67
1

Dissertation is required. Doctoral students must complete additional approved electives, including research, to reach a minimum of 30 credit hours post-master's (or equivalent advanced degree) or a minimum of 60 credit hours post-bachelor's prior to enrolling in POL 81199. Upon completion of course requirements and candidacy exams, doctoral students must register for POL 81199 for two semesters for a total of 30 credit hours, and thereafter POL 81299, until all requirements for the degree have been met.

2

Students select two concentrations. For the first concentration, students complete one Proseminar or Status of the Field course and three elective courses (12 credit hours). For the second concentration, students complete one Proseminar or Status of the Field course and two elective courses (9 credit hours).

American Politics and Policy Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
POL 70101STATUS OF THE FIELD: AMERICAN POLITICS AND POLICY 3
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:6-9
POL 70102
AMERICAN POLICY PROCESS
POL 70103
CONGRESS, THE PRESIDENCY AND THE COURTS
POL 70105
FEDERALISM AND STATE POLICYMAKING
POL 70106
URBAN POLICY AND POLITICS
POL 70108
AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR
POL 70191
SEMINAR IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND POLICY
Advisor-Approved Electives
Minimum Total Credit Hours:9-12

Conflict Analysis and Management Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
POL 70901FOUNDATIONS OF CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT 3
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:6-9
POL 70507
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION AND RECONCILIATION
POL 70902
POWER, CONFLICT AND THE POLITICS OF GENDER
POL 70903
IDENTITY DRIVEN CONFLICTS
POL 70904
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND NONVIOLENT CONFLICTS
POL 70906
POLITICAL VIOLENCE
POL 70907
TERRORISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS
POL 70991
SEMINAR IN CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT
Advisor-Approved Electives
Minimum Total Credit Hours:9-12

Transnational and Comparative Politics Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
POL 70501STATUS OF THE FIELD: TRANSNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS AND POLICY 3
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:6-9
POL 70502
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
POL 70503
FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS
POL 70510
POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT
POL 60511
INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
POL 70574
STRATEGIC PLANNING
POL 70511
INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
POL 70591
SEMINAR IN TRANSNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS AND POLICY
Advisor-Approval Electives
Minimum Total Credit Hours:9-12

Graduation Requirements

  • Passage of one field paper in the first area of concentration
  • Written and oral defense of both a dissertation prospectus and dissertation

Residency Requirement

  • Students must spend two consecutive semesters pursuing doctoral studies.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Political science teachers, postsecondary

4.9%

about as fast as the average

19,800

number of jobs

$85,760

potential earnings

Political scientists

6.1%

faster than the average

7,000

number of jobs

$125,350

potential earnings

Social science research assistants

5.8%

faster than the average

40,100

number of jobs

$49,210

potential earnings

Social and community service managers

17.0%

much faster than the average

175,500

number of jobs

$69,600

potential earnings

Social scientists and related workers, all other

0.8%

little or no change

38,800

number of jobs

$87,260

potential earnings

Legislators

6.2%

faster than the average

53,700

number of jobs

$33,200

potential earnings

Notice:

* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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