Jun 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 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.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Three recommendation forms must be submitted, at least two of which must be completed by instructors at the institution most recently attended. In addition, scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination must be submitted.
  • Applicants for admission to the program should normally have completed a master’s degree in political science or a related field with a 3.50 GPA and have earned a composite score of at least 302 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Examination.

Credit Hours Required

  • A minimum of 72 graduate hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, exclusive of the 6 credit hours for a master’s thesis.

Required Courses

  • POLS 600 , 24 credit hours
  • A minimum of 48 of the 72 credit hours in courses must be graded A-F.
  • At least 60 of the 72 credit hours must be in political science (POLS) courses.
    • At least 60 credit hours in political science (POLS) must be in courses at the 500- and 600-levels
    • At least 6 credit hours must be earned in political science courses numbered above 600.
  • Completion of POLS 510 , POLS 511  and POLS 513 .
  • Completion of at least three courses or seminars (9 credit hours) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the field (see list below) in which the students take the comprehensive examination.
    • Consult with the major professor and/or guidance committee to determine the field (see list below) for the comprehensive examination.
  • Completion of at least two courses or seminars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in advanced methodology.
    • Chosen in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee.
  • A student may opt to take a minor in Methodology, which entails completing three courses or seminars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in advanced methodology, and passing an exam. Students that undertake a minor in Methodology are not required to take a comprehensive exam in a second substantive field, unless they choose to do so.
  • A student for whom a language other than English is necessary for their dissertation research may, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, substitute demonstrated proficiency in that language for one of the advanced methods courses.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Pass a written comprehensive examination in two broad fields of political science (American government and politics; public administration; comparative government and politics; or international relations)
  • Pass a final oral examination on the dissertation.

Concurrent Master’s Degree

A student may opt to receive a Concurrent Master’s Degree once they have completed 30 hours of graduate coursework towards the PhD and passed their two written comprehensive examinations. The form “Request for Concurrent Master’s Degree” must be completed and approved to earn the concurrent master’s degree.