Apr 16, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Political Science, Ph.D.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the college graduate admission requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the Ph.D. in Political Science program:

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution by the date of enrollment, at least a 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00) in the most recent 60 hours of undergraduate course work, at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average for any graduate level courses, and a combined score of 1100 on the Quantitative and Verbal portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). International students must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a score of at least 630. In addition, applicants should prepare a one-page statement of purpose and secure three letters of recommendation from professors directly familiar with the student’s work. Conditional admission may occasionally be granted despite a below-standard GRE score, grade point average, or TOEFL score. Political Science students are generally admitted only in the Fall semester. However, Spring and Summer admissions are decided on a space available basis. The deadlines for submitting applications are March 15 for the Fall semester and September 1 for the Spring semester. We encourage applicants to apply in advance of these deadlines if possible. Applications are judged on a competitive basis by the department’s Graduate Committee.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 48 semester hours of course work must be taken. All students intending to obtain a Ph.D. must take the 20 hours of core courses in their first year, or, in the case of part-time students, as soon as practically possible.


Students must select three areas of study on which to concentrate. One of the three chosen areas is designated as a student’s major area and 12 hours are required in that area (including the core class). In each of the two minor areas of study, 9 semester hours are normally required as a minimum. American politics must be one of the three areas of study.

Tool Requirement

The tool requirement exists for the purpose of assuring competence in the methods necessary for effective scholarship in the student’s chosen specialty. Each student must complete two relevant research courses (6 hours) beyond POLS 6480  and POLS 6481 . Choice of possible tool offerings should in all cases be guided by the question of appropriateness for the student’s academic interest. Among the possible course offerings that may satisfy the requirement area:

  1. Foreign language as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (in rare instances).
  2. Political methodology courses where content is more advanced than POLS 6480  and POLS 6481  as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students should take POLS 6482 - Advanced Multivariate Statistics  plus one additional course (for instance, POLS 6384 , POLS 6385 , or POLS 6386 ).
  3. Computer Applications at a more advanced level than POLS 6480  and POLS 6481  as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. Other research methods specifically relevant to the dissertation research of the student (with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies).

Other Requirements

Students must also successfully complete oral and written comprehensive exams. Upon successfully completing comprehensive exams, students are expected to be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours (a minimum of 12 dissertation hours must be completed prior to the completion of the degree). Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will participate in an oral dissertation defense. Student’s must maintain cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above.

Department of Political Science
Attn: Graduate Program Advisor
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-3011
Director: Dr. Susan Scarrow
Advisor: Claudia I. Baba

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