Doctorate in Political Science (PhD)

Our doctoral plan is designed to provide you with:

  • Preparation for a career in higher education
  • Tools for effective research
  • Knowledge and skills to work effectively in private and public service
  • Flexibility to tailor your degree to your interests
  • Ability to exit the program with publications published or under review

Requirements 

For this plan, you must complete the 63 units:

  • 12 units of core classes
  • 15 units toward a political science specialization in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations or Public Administration
  • 9-12 units of Foci Classes (Environment, Development, or Diversity)
  • 2 qualifying papers (each comprising 6 units)
  • Language OR research requirements
  • A minimum of 15 units of dissertation credit (POS 799)

To accommodate individual plans of study, you may be required to:

  • Take additional units to meet language or research requirements
  • Take the profession development seminar
  • Additional readings or dissertation research as specified by your advisor

You must choose between three political science emphases:

  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Public Administration

You must choose between three foci:

  • Environment/Sustainability Politics
  • Diversity Politics
  • Political Development

In addition to the requirements for your particular emphasis and foci, you must:

  • Perform satisfactory on qualifying papers and an oral defense of the qualifying papers
  • Satisfy a “research tool” requirement in one of two ways
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to two years of university course work
  • Obtain a grade of “B” or better in POS 601 and complete 6 additional units of research methods
  • Fulfill Northern Arizona University’s residency requirements
  • Pass the oral exam on your dissertation defense 

Emphasis in American Politics and Public Administration

To complete this emphasis, you must take:

  • 18 units in political science core courses
  • 12 units of additional coursework in American politics and public administration
  • 18-21 units of coursework in one of our other emphases
  • 12-15 units of coursework in a cognate supporting American politics and public administration that is approved by your plan adviser or selected from one of the emphases that you haven’t already used
  • Further course work beyond the 63 units required for your plan of study, needed to:
  • Complete your language and/or research requirements
  • Prepare for comprehensive exams
  • Ensure adequate preparation for your dissertation research
  • If applicable, complete the professional development course
  • 15-18 units for your dissertation for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation

You may count only 15-18 units of dissertation credit toward your degree. However, you may end up taking more units, since you must enroll for POS 799 each term you work on your dissertation.

Emphasis in Comparative Politics and International Relations

To complete this emphasis, you must take:

  • 21 units in politics and international relations core courses
  • 9 units of additional coursework in comparative politics and international relations
  • 18-21 units of coursework in one of our other emphases
  • 12-15 units of coursework in a cognate supporting comparative politics and international relations that is approved by your plan adviser or selected from one of the other emphases that you haven’t already used
  • Further coursework beyond the 63 units required for your plan of study, needed to:
  • Complete your language and/or research requirements
  • Prepare for comprehensive exams
  • Ensure adequate preparation for your dissertation research
  • If applicable, complete the professional development course
  • 15-18 units in your dissertation for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation

You may count only 15-18 units of dissertation credit toward your degree. However, you may end up taking more units, since you must enroll for POS 799 each term during which you work on your dissertation.

Emphasis in Public Policy

To complete this emphasis, you must take:

  • 15 units of core courses in politics and international affairs
  • 6 units of other courses that apply economic reasoning to public policy
  • 9 additional units in public policy
  • 18-21 units of coursework in one of our other emphases
  • 12-15 units of policy concentration approved by your plan adviser, including at least 6 additional units of POS courses
  • Further coursework, beyond the 63 units required for your plan of study, needed to:
  • Complete your language and/or research requirements
  • Prepare for comprehensive exams
  • Ensure adequate preparation for your dissertation research
  • If applicable, complete the professional-development course
  • 15-18 units in your dissertation for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation

You may count only 15-18 units of dissertation credit toward your degree. However, you may end up taking more units, since you must enroll for POS 799 each term during which you work on your dissertation.