2010 - 2011 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Political Science, Ph.D.



Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated as they arrive.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom:  Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:


Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

Before being admitted to the Ph.D. program, students need to earn an M.A. in Political Science either at Temple or at a recognized graduate program of another institution.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Minimum scores of 550 verbal and 600 quantitative are expected.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 25 pages and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual.

Advanced Standing:

For students who enter the Ph.D. program after receiving an M.A. degree elsewhere, up to 30 semester hours (the equivalent of an M.A. degree from Temple) may be transferred, provided they are relevant to the department's required courses. To be eligible for transfer, these credits must have been obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades must be "B" or better. Students transferring into the Ph.D. program should note that it is advisable to take at least one or two courses from Temple faculty in each of our two required fields before taking the Ph.D. qualifying exams in those two fields. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 23

Required Courses:

PS 8001: Political Statistics I

PS 8002: Qualitative Research Methods

PS 8401: Introduction to Political Theory

PS 8501: Symposium in Political Science

PS 8601: Teaching Methods

Students transferring into the Ph.D. with M.A.s in Political Science or a related Social Science from other institutions who have not taken closely equivalent courses to PS 8101: Government in American Society and either PS 8201: Comparative Politics or PS 8301: International Politics are strongly advised to take these seminars before sitting for their Ph.D. qualifying exams in our two departmental fields. Students must take at least four electives in the their Ph.D. field (American Politics or International Relations). In addition, students must register for PS 9998: Pre-Dissertation Research (taken during the term in which the prospectus is developed and defended) and PS 9999: Dissertation Research (taken while students are writing their dissertations for a total of 6 s.h.).

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to demonstrate breadth of knowledge and intellectual sophistication across the major Ph.D. field. Students should also be prepared to interpret political phenomena within the context of various theories and to use empirical data to illuminate concepts. The preliminary examination should be completed no more than one semester after the student completes the coursework component of the program. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty in their field to discuss content of the exams to ensure that they have accurately identified key theories, concepts, and literature.

The Graduate Chair selects three faculty members to write the questions for the preliminary examination. The student must answer the required number of questions in order to be evaluated. The evaluators on the faculty committee look for a breadth and depth of understanding of specific research areas. Each member votes to pass or fail the student. In order to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the exam has been satisfactorily completed.

All preliminary examinations are conducted within a designated period once each semester. Students should request the application for exams from the Graduate Secretary and return it before the deadline. The student is advised as to the time limit for the exam.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. The dissertation prospectus should consist of a research design and literature review. It should be defended and accepted by the full membership of the committee within two semesters after passing the preliminary examination.


A doctoral dissertation should demonstrate that the candidate can conduct and report on scholarly research with a high level of professional competence. The dissertation should constitute a distinctive contribution to knowledge in Political Science. Normally, it should outline theoretical knowledge in some field of Political Science; propose a question or hypothesis that is linked to the theory; and provide empirical data to illuminate the theoretical issues in a convincing manner.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the chair, must be from the Political Science Department. Committee compositions must be approved by the Department's Graduate Chair. The Dissertation Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Political Science Department. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student defends the dissertation.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the Department's Graduate Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

The oral defense should demonstrate that the dissertation satisfies the standards for original research in Political Science; the ethics and standards governing Political Science research have been followed; the candidate has mastered the research and appropriate methodology; and the candidate has an understanding of the relationship of this work to the broader field in which it is lodged.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense. The Graduate Secretary arranges the time, date, and room within two working days, and forwards the appropriate forms to the student. After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form is sent to the Graduate School (501 Carnell Hall) at least 10 working days before the defense. The Department posts flyers announcing the defense, and the Graduate School announces the defense on its website.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Political Science

409 Gladfelter Hall
1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Tanya Taylor


Graduate Chair:

Michael Hagen , Ph.D.



Kevin Arceneaux, Ph.D.


About the Program

The primary mission of the Political Science Department's graduate program is to prepare students for careers in academia. The department gives equal emphasis to training students for both the research and teaching sides of such a career. Many of our graduates also successfully apply their political science training to non-academic careers. The Ph.D. program offers study in four broadly defined fields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. The Ph.D. program seeks primarily to develop the research skills and substantive knowledge necessary for successful completion of a dissertation.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Political Science

409 Gladfelter Hall
1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

In American Politics, faculty teach and conduct research on political behavior, political institutions, public policy, urban politics, and political economy. In Comparative Politics, faculty focus on the issues of democratization, the role of the state in the economy, and identity politics in European and post-communist states as well as Latin America and other developing regions. In International Relations, faculty emphasize the various theoretical approaches to the study of world politics and the testing of theories in the areas of international security, international political economy, and international organizations. In Political Theory, our strengths cluster around the research areas of late modernity; democratic and normative political theories, especially those pertaining to political questions of social and economic inequality, globalization, identity politics, and social movements; and the relationship between politics and religion. Students are encouraged to arrange their course offerings in whatever manner makes coherent intellectual sense to them and their primary advisor.

Job Placement:

Most Ph.D. students are preparing for college teaching careers. Our program has had an excellent placement record. About three-quarters of recent Ph.D.s hold tenured or tenure-track professorial positions at colleges and universities, many of which are in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware state university and college systems. Other Ph.D.s are in government or research positions.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Students wishing to take graduate courses as a non-matriculated student must get the permission of the Graduate Chair. An applicant who has taken Political Science courses as a non-matriculated student at Temple University can apply up to 9 semester hours toward the Ph.D. course requirements, as long as the courses taken satisfy the degree requirements. Students considering applying to the Ph.D. program while taking courses on a non-matriculated basis should discuss their plans with the Graduate Chair.

Financing Opportunities

The department has resources to support a number of graduate students on a competitive basis. The amount of support available varies from year to year. All departmental support requires recipients to teach or assist full-time faculty in undergraduate courses. Undergraduate teaching complements graduate study and helps graduate students integrate their studies and prepare for examinations. It is also highly desirable for Ph.D. students who plan on pursuing an academic career.

In making funding awards, the Graduate Committee places high priority on a student's academic performance or potential. The following rules and criteria guide the Committee's decisions: A student must be making normal progress toward meeting her/his degree requirements. Two incompletes disqualify a student from consideration. Advanced students should note that no student will be supported who has not successfully defended a dissertation prospectus within a year of passing the comprehensive examinations. No student will be supported for a second year without having successfully completed PS 8601: Teaching Methods. To spread support more broadly and to provide an incentive for students to move quickly through coursework and examinations and into the dissertation, the Department typically does not provide support for students who have already had four years of support as a Teaching Assistant. The Graduate Committee considers the extent to which a student's interests and skills fit departmental needs.

Highly superior students may be nominated for University Fellowships.

Updated 2.25.11