May 20, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science Major, PhD

The PhD program prepares students for careers in college teaching, as well as careers in other occupations related to service in the public or private sectors.


Applicants for admission to the program should normally have completed a master’s degree in political science or a related field with a 3.5 GPA and have earned a composite score of at least 302 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Examination.


Doctoral students admitted to the program must complete a minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the bachelor‟s degree, exclusive of credit for a master‟s thesis. These hours include 24 hours of Doctoral Research and Dissertation and a minimum of 48 semester hours in other courses graded A-F. Students also must pass a written comprehensive examination in one broad field of political science (American government and politics; public administration; comparative government and politics; or international relations), must complete one cross-field concentration (in methodology, public policy, or political economy), and must pass a final oral examination on the dissertation.

Students undertaking a major field or dissertation in Comparative Politics are required to demonstrate a proficiency in a foreign language. However, this requirement may be waived by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Comparative politics faculty.

In addition to the total hours required for the degree, the following requirements must also be met.

  • At least 60 hours must be in political science courses. 
  • At least 60 hours in political science must be in courses numbered above 500. 
  • Completion of POLS 510 , POLS 511  and POLS 513 
  • Completion of at least three courses or seminars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the field in which the students take the comprehensive examination. 
  • Completion of at least three courses or seminars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the cross-field concentration. 
  • At least 6 hours must be earned in political science courses numbered above 600. 
  • A total of 24 hours must be earned by writing the dissertation.