Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science

Program Handbook:
Not available
Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students receiving assistantships:
Priority deadline:

  • Fall January 10


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

  • 575 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 90 TOEFLI Minimum score
  • GRE

Degree Description:

Fifteen faculty members teach and conduct research in the major subfields of the discipline: American, comparative, international relations, public policy and administration, political theory, and political methodology, with sub-specializations in public law, political communication, political psychology, French and European politics, American foreign policy, gender and politics, environmental policy, and qualitative methodology.

Admission Requirements:

writing sample

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:


  1. To prepare students to achieve their professional goals and prepare them to pursue professional careers.
    • Students demonstrate professional skills such as creating high quality curriculum vitae, learning about theories of teaching, ethics associated with human subjects  research and how to get published in disciplinary based journals.
    • Students present original research in peer-reviewed journals or in conference papers given at regional and national professional association meetings.
    • Students secure academic or professional employment commensurate with their education and career goals.
  2. To prepare students to be effective researchers.
    • Students read and synthesize the literature in a variety of subfields in Political Science.
    • Students identify sound research questions and generate hypotheses that are appropriate to an original research problem.
    • Students gather, organize, analyze, and report data on an original research topic.
    • Students communicate research effectively in both written and oral forms.
  3. To prepare students to be effective teachers.
    • Students become independent teachers with the ability to utilize appropriate teaching techniques and technologies in order to develop effective and engaging  lecture material, class activities, and assignments.
    • Students communicate information clearly and effectively in oral and written form and create a positive learning environment that encourages student  understanding.
    • Students develop quizzes, examinations and assignments that successfully evaluate student learning.
  4. To provide students with foundational knowledge in the discipline of political science.
    • Students demonstrate expertise in appropriate concepts, theories and emerging methodologies in political science.

Student Opportunities:

Our Ph.D. is designed to give students substantive flexibility in mapping out their program of study.  Students choose from one major foundational training area within which they will focus for their preliminary exams:

  • Institutions and Processes
  • Behavior and Psychology
  • Theory and Philosophy

Students also choose a specialization field:

  • American Politics
  • Global Politics
  • Public Policy/Public Administration

The foundational training area allows students flexibility in structuring their course loads  to take advantage of the areas of particular strength within our department, such as political psychology, global justice and security studies, philosophy, and gender, while building critical skills in research and methodology.

Career Opportunities:

Academic career at research university or teaching college, research thinktanks, non-profit organizations, corporations, and governmental careers.

Career Placements:

Academic jobs at various Research I universities, as well as ones at smaller liberal arts colleges.
Government analytic and policy making jobs (defense and intelligence community).
Work for profit and non-profit organizations.

Contact Information:

Diane Scott
PO Box 644880
Johnson Tower 801
Pullman, WA


Michael Salamone
Johnson Tower 812
Pullman, WA