Program Requirements

Goals of the Program

The doctoral program is designed to produce graduates who become scholars and teachers at leading research institutions and liberal arts colleges. To reach this goal you must reach specific objectives during your course of study. You must:

  • Develop expertise in the subject matter of one of the subfields covered by the School
  • Develop expertise in a minor field of study. You may select a minor from among those offered in the School or from any appropriate Ph.D. minor offered at the University of Arizona. You should work closely with your advisor to select an appropriate minor.
  • Develop expertise in the research enterprise through a sequence of four methods courses, as well as additional research skills pursuant to the particular dissertation project
  • Develop expertise in written and oral communication achieved by writing papers for courses, conferences and papers, and by participating in seminars
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress

Degree Requirements

The program of study typically requires a minimum of 63 units:

  • a minimum of 6 semesters full-time graduate study
  • approximately 18-24 units (+ comps) in a single major concentration within SGPP
  • 12 units (+ comps) in a minor concentration within or outside of SGPP (see UA Ph.D. minors)
  • a minimum of 12 units in political methodology
  • a minimum of 18 units in dissertation credits (POL920)
  • 3units of professionalization workshops (POL697A-C)
  • a maximum of 6 units of independent study

For full details about the Ph.D. requirements, download the PhD Student Handbook.

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The program offers expert faculty supervision and specialized coursework in five concentrations. You can explore our faculty within each research concentration. Many faculty have areas of expertise that combine or overlap multiple concentrations – we encourage you to explore these intersections between subfields when selecting courses and research agendas.

This concentration is home to expertise in political psychology, political participation, public opinion and voting behavior, public law and judicial process, Congress and legislative process, political decision-making, political parties, state politics, and gender and politics.

This concentration is home to expertise in political economy and development, political institutions and elites, democratic theory, public opinion and voting behavior, communist and post-communist systems, Western Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and East and South East Asia.

This concentration is home to expertise in international conflict and conflict management, civil conflict and terrorism, international structures and integration, international theory, international political economy, and comparative foreign policy.

This concentration is home to expertise in the public policy process, network theory and science, organizational theory, environment and sustainability, collaborative governance, crime and public policy, and public and non-profit management.

This concentration is home to expertise in econometric methods, measurement, survey methodology, and other formal, quantitative, and qualitative techniques, including experimental methods, network science, geographic information systems, fieldwork, and agent-based modeling.