Programs by Campus


Political Science

College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: iupolsci [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Arts, Master of Arts for Teachers, and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal and quantitative sections); satisfactory previous academic record; three letters of recommendation; writing sample. Inter­national students must complete the TOFEL with a satisfactory score. Applicants holding no academic degree higher than the bachelor’s degree may be admitted as Ph.D. students.

Master of Arts Degree

(The department is not currently accepting students in this program. Students enrolled in our Ph.D. program may, if they choose, apply for an M.A. degree before they complete the Ph.D. This M.A. may serve either as a terminal degree or as a stepping stone towards later completion of a Ph.D. Courses taken to satisfy requirements for the M.A. could also count towards completion of requirements for the Ph.D. program, provided that program is completed under existing time limits and the student meets the following requirements.)

M.A. Advisory Committee

Students must form a committee of three or more faculty members who will be responsible for approving a master’s paper.  One of these faculty members must be designated as the M.A. advisor.

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, including Y570. At least 15 of the 30 credit hours must be graduate courses (500 level or higher). In order to qualify for the M.A. degree, each graduate student must complete five graduate seminars in political science, averaging at least a grade of B (3.0) in all seminars. For students entering with previous graduate work, the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the student’s M.A. advisory committee, may allow transfer up to 8 hours graduate credit from other institutions.

Master’s Paper

This written requirement can be based on a research paper prepared in a departmental seminar.  If a new paper is written to satisfy this requirement, it may receive no more than 4 hours of credit.  The master’s paper must be approved by all members of the M.A. Advisory Committee.

Foreign Language/Research-Skill Requirement

The student must demonstrate reading proficiency in one language or proficiency in an approved research skill.  Students specializing in American politics or public policy (if admitted before fall 2016) must use an approved research skill, not a foreign language, to meet this requirement.

Master of Arts for Teachers Degree

Information regarding this degree program may be obtained from the School of Education.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours, including dissertation. Y570 Intro­duction to the Study of Politics is to be taken in the first year of residence. Students who select a field with an approaches-and-issues seminar should take the seminar during the first two years of residence. Each graduate student must complete 10 graduate seminars numbered 500 and above in political science (excluding directed reading and directed research courses), averaging at least a B (3.0) in all seminars, prior to nomination to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. (For students entering with previous graduate work, the director of graduate studies, with the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee, can reduce the number of required seminars based on the prior graduate training.) A substantial research paper is required at the end of a student’s second year. This paper should represent original research performed by the student. The advisory com­mittee will evaluate whether the student’s paper is adequate for purposes of this requirement.

Fields of Study

The student will select two fields in political science from the following: American politics; international relations; compara­tive politics; public policy; political philosophy; theory and methodology.

In exceptional cases, with the written approval of the director of graduate studies, the student may offer as one of the fields a course of study that cuts across two of the established fields.


The outside minor requirement is typically satisfied by completing four courses in one or more related departments or in an interdepartmental program, embracing either substantive material or methodology. Some departments or other programs have specific requirements for a Ph.D. minor; students should check with the relevant unit for details. Students selecting an “eclectic” minor must have the proposed set of courses approved by the advisory committee, the director of graduate studies, and the graduate school.

Advisory Committee

Each student will be assigned an advisory committee, which will include two faculty members from each of the student’s two fields in political science and a representative of the out­side minor. (Students choosing an eclectic minor need not have a representative of that minor.) The chairperson of the commit­tee serves as the student’s principal advisor. The committee will supervise the student’s course of study. Early in the student’s residence, but in no case later than the third semester of study, the advisory committee will provide the student with a formal review of progress toward the degree.

Foreign Language/Research-Skill Requirement

The student must demonstrate proficiency in any two of the following: a foreign language, mathematics, logic, statistics, or computer science. With the approval of the advisory commit­tee, the student may qualify in a single language or research skill at an advanced level, rather than in two. To qualify in a language at the advanced level, the student must satisfy the in-depth proficiency requirement. For rules regarding qualification in a research skill at the advanced level, consult the director of graduate studies. The student is expected to make satisfactory progress in meeting the requirements for the degree; in par­ticular, the student must satisfy the first language or research-skill requirement during the first year of study and the second requirement no later than the second year.

Qualifying Examination

Students must take qualifying examinations in each of their two fields of study in political science. The qualifying field examina­tion is intended to evaluate the student’s substantive knowl­edge and analytical ability in both of the student’s fields of study. The written qualifying examination is administered two times a year: in the fall and spring.

Research Committee

Upon completion of the qualifying examination and presenta­tion of a satisfactory dissertation proposal, the student will be nominated to candidacy for the Ph.D. The University Graduate School, on the recommendation of the department, will ap­point a research committee to supervise the dissertation.

Final Examination

Covers the field of study related to the dissertation and defense of the dissertation.

Ph.D. Minor in Political Science

Students from other departments or schools who wish to minor in Political Science should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies, who will ordin arily serve as the minor advisor. Students will be required to complete 12 credit hours of course work; these courses must be completed with a grade point average of at least 3.3 (B+). All courses must be approved for graduate credit and no more than one course should be taken below the 500 level. These requirements may be modified in particu lar cases by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Academic Bulletins

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