Ph.D. Requirements

To earn the Ph.D. in Political Science each student must:

  1. Accumulate 15 course units in credits.  This will normally entail:
    1. 8 regular courses during a student's first year
    2. 5 regular courses during the student's second year, in addition to his or her TA responsibilities
    3. Two remaining courses in the third year, generally in the fall, with an eye toward writing a rough draft of the dissertation prospectus, which is to be delivered to the members of the student's prospective dissertation committee by the end of the fall semester
    4. Dissertation research credits as needed
  2. Achieve at least a B+ grade point average
  3. Satisfy the research skills requirements
  4. Write a research paper in the primary field. The paper will reflect a significant, original research project. 
  5. Pass the preliminary examinations in two of the four general fields and display competence in a third field (either general, thematic, or specialized)
  6. Satisfy the teaching requirements
  7. Prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus
  8. Write and successfully defend a dissertation

Please also see the Graduate Program Brochure for more detailed information on the Ph.D. requirements, including a list of frequently offered graduate courses.

For additional information, please contact:

Alex Weisiger
Graduate Chair


Mailing Address: The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, 133 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215

Phone: (215) 746-2318

University of Pennsylvania
The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Nicholas Sambanis Chair
Alex Weisiger Graduate Chair
Daniel Hopkins Undergraduate Chair