Post-M.A. Ph.D. Student Requirements

Post-M.A. Ph.D. Students Must Meet These Requirements

  • Research Methods Sequence: POLS 8800, POLS 8805, POLS 8810, and either POLS 8830 or POLS 8840
  • A minimum of 24 hours of substantive coursework beyond the required methods sequence
    • Students must take at least three courses in each of their comprehensive exam fields
    • Breadth requirement: Students must take at least one course in two fields for which they are not taking comprehensive exams. For the purposes of this requirement, the fields are American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory and Public Law.
  • Comprehensive Exams. A comprehensive examination is required in two of the following fields: American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, Methods, Political theory, and Public Law.
    • To take these exams, a student must have a 3.4 grade point average in graduate Political Science courses taken at Georgia State University.
  • Major Area Paper. Following successful passage of their written comprehensive exams, students must write a major area paper related to their proposed dissertation topic. Major area papers must be read and approved no later than 90 days after the successful completion of comprehensive exams.
  • Satisfaction of the foreign languages and research skill requirement.
  • Professionalization/Research Paper Presentation. All doctoral students must present a major research paper by the completion of 36 hours at the annual GSA Graduate Student Conference. Doctoral students also are expected to attend departmental colloquia, workshops and other events on a regular basis as a part of their ongoing professionalization activities.
  • First and Second Year Reviews. All doctoral students will be evaluated by the Department’s graduate faculty as to their performance in the program at the end of their first and second years in the program.
  • Twenty hours of POLS 8999: Thesis Research.
  • A successfully defended dissertation proposal and final dissertation.

The Ph.D. degree can be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis. The department strongly encourages students to pursue the degree full-time if possible. Students considering part-time study should discuss their plans with the Director of Graduate Studies.