Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science


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Plan Description


The Department of Political Science offers a general Ph.D. degree with concentrations in American politics (including public law and public policy), comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. 

The Ph.D. program is intended to prepare its graduates for careers in academic institutions, government (at all levels), and business and industry. 

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

  1. The following department application materials must be uploaded into the online application:
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores
    2. Three letters of recommendation by recommendation providers (academic references preferred)
    3. A personal statement explaining why you want to enter the doctoral program
    4. A writing sample
  2. Applicants must submit satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores. The recommended score is a total of 160 on the verbal and 148 on the quantitative sections. We also pay attention to the analytical score. The applicant’s undergraduate record is examined in conjunction with the GRE scores. The former is weighed more heavily than the latter: an outstanding undergraduate record may well allow the admission of an applicant with GRE scores somewhat below the recommended level.
  3. Applicants must possess a B.A. or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.30, or M.A. or equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.50. Under special circumstances the department may consider applicants with lower GPAs.
  4. Applicants must have completed 12 credits of Political Science course work at the upper-division or graduate level combined. At the discretion of the department, students who lack such course work may be admitted on the condition that they remedy that deficiency.
  5. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the  Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements. 

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post - Bachelor’s American Politics Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700-level Political Science courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 60 credits beyond the B.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B-” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B-” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be assigned by the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written and oral examinations will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of the examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of American politics.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted  dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Comparative Politics Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700-level Political Science courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 60 credits beyond the B.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written and oral examinations will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of the examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of comparative politics.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - International Relations Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Methods in Political Science Courses – Credits: 6


Methods in Political Science Courses – Credits: 6

Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700-level Political Science courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 60 credits beyond the B.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written examination will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of he examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of international relations. 

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 4 Requirements: Post - Bachelor’s Political Theory Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700-level Political Science courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 60 credits beyond the B.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written examination will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of he examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of political theory. 

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 5 Requirements: Post - Master’s American Politics Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 48 credits beyond the M.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written and oral examinations will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of the examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of American politics.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, a properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 6 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Comparative Politics Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 48 credits beyond the M.A. must be completed and the department will determine the distribution of the 42 credits, based on the student’s transcripts of prior work.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Foreign language requirement: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B-” will be accepted.
  4. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be assigned by the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written examination will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of he examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of comparative politics.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 7 Requirements: Post-Master’s - International Relations Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 48 credits beyond the M.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be appointed to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. Comprehensive written examination will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of he examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of international relations.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 8 Requirements: Post - Master’s Political Theory Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. A minimum of 48 credits beyond the M.A. must be completed.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required for all course work.
  3. Research Tool: The research tool can be fulfilled with one of three options:
    1. Foreign Language: Students must demonstrate knowledge of the equivalent of two years of a single foreign language, through either an examination or 12 credits of college-level course work. Those credits would not count toward the required total. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted. The foreign language selected must be approved by the department as relevant for the student’s research.
    2. Quantitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced quantitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
    3. Qualitative Methods: With approval from the department, a student may demonstrate advanced qualitative methods necessary for his or her doctoral research.
  4. This requirement must be met prior to admission to candidacy. No grade below “B” will be accepted.
  5. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member outside the department will be selected to represent the Graduate College. Another outside member may be added at the department’s discretion.
  6. . Comprehensive written and oral examinations will be taken during or following the semester in which the student completes required course work. They will be divided into two parts, corresponding to the student’s major fields. Within those fields the content of the examinations will be determined by the student’s graduate coordinator.
  7. The student will write the dissertation of original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of political theory. 

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

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