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

Requirements

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For this plan, you must complete the following 78-81 units:

  • 63 units of course work approved by your plan adviser
  • at least 15-18 units of dissertation credits

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

  • take an additional 18-39 units to meet language or research requirements
  • take the profession development seminar
  • allow for reading of comprehensive exams and dissertation research as specified by your adviser

You must choose between three emphases:

  • comparative politics and international relations
  • public policy
  • American politics and public administration

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

  • perform satisfactorily on comprehensive written and oral exams
  • 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

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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

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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

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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.