Department of Political Science


Main Departmental Office
Wooten Hall, 125
P.O. Box 305340
Denton, TX 76203-5340
(940) 565-2276
Web site: www.psci.unt.edu

James Meernik, Chair

Graduate Faculty: Battista, Books, Booth, Brandt, Cox, Ditslear, Enterline, Forde, Greig, Kang, King, Mason, Meernik, Oldmixon, Paolino, Poe, Reban, Ruderman, Sahliyeh, Smith, Tan, Tate, Todd, VonDoepp.

Research

The Department of Political Science has a number of research focuses, including the following: American political parties and behavior (including public opinion, mass political behavior, legislative politics, judicial politics and American political economy); comparative politics (including conflict and political violence, democratization, political institutions, parties and party systems, political behavior, political economy, Latin American politics, Asian politics, African politics and European politics); international relations (including conflict studies, foreign policy, international political economy, peace studies and human rights); political theory; and research methodology.

The department's research has been supported recently by a variety of external sources, including the Fulbright fellowship program, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Canadian Embassy to the United States, the International Human Rights Law Group, the Olin Foundation and numerous cities, counties and related local government and nonprofit agencies.

Of special importance to graduate education in political science is the university's membership in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world's most important repository of social science research data, and the department's membership in the European Consortium for Political Research. The Willis Library has an excellent collection of legal materials, serves as an official repository for U.S. government documents and has a collection of United Nations and related international agency documents.

Graduate students in political science have access to state-of-the-art micro- and mainframe computer resources and have full, free access to the extensive data resources of the ICPSR for use in their areas of research interest. The development of all graduate students is encouraged through regular student and faculty colloquia.

Admission Requirements

All general admission requirements to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies, as outlined in the Admission section of this catalog, must be fulfilled.

Applicants for graduate programs must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination general test. Applicants for the Master of Arts, Master of Science or PhD programs who have not completed the GRE requirement will not be admitted to graduate courses in political science.

Degree Programs

The Department of Political Science offers programs leading to the following degrees:

Master of Arts and Master of Science

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts or Master of Science programs, a student must have:

1. a bachelor's degree awarded by an accredited college or university;

2. a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate or graduate work in political science;

3. a minimum grade point average of 3.2 on the last 60 hours and acceptable GRE scores; for standardized admission test requirements, contact the department or the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies;

4. three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors; and

5. a 500-word statement of purpose.

Degree Requirements

The master's degree in political science requires a minimum of 30 semester hours, at least 24 of which must be taken in the Department of Political Science, including PSCI 5340, Seminar in Political Science Scope and Methods, and PSCI 6320, Quantitative Political Research Methods. A minor of 6 hours outside the department is optional. If an outside minor is chosen, the master's degree will include two fields in political science and the outside minor. If an outside minor is not chosen, the program must include two fields in political science.

The fields of political science available for inclusion are American government and politics, public administration, comparative politics, international relations, public law, and political theory and methodology.

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must present evidence that they have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. Candidates for the Master of Science degree must present evidence that they have achieved competence in a non-language research tool. Students may satisfy this requirement by showing evidence of having completed courses at the graduate level for one of the non-language research tools listed in "Courses that Will Satisfy Non-Language Research Tools in Political Science." This document is available from the graduate adviser of the Department of Political Science.

Graduate credit course requirements are identical for the two degrees.

Successful completion of a thesis and satisfactory performance on an oral comprehensive examination complete the requirements for the master's degree.

Additional program information is contained in the document "Information for Master's Students." The student is responsible for obtaining a copy of the document from the department and for knowing its contents.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission

To be admitted to the PhD program, the following are required:

1. fulfillment of the entrance requirements listed in the "Doctoral Degree Program Guide";

2. a bachelor's degree awarded by an accredited college or university;

3. a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate or graduate credit in political science. With the advance approval of the admissions subcommittee of the department's graduate studies committee, one of the following may be substituted for the 24 hours in political science:

a. a minimum of 30 hours of credit in political science or other disciplines relevant to the proposed course of graduate study; or

b. a combination of credit in disciplines relevant to the proposed course of graduate study and substantial work experience in a position or occupation relevant to the proposed course of graduate study;

4. a minimum grade point average of 3.2 on the last 60 hours and acceptable GRE scores; for standardized admission test requirements, contact the department or the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies;

5. three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors; and

6. a 500-word statement of purpose.

Degree Requirements

The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree if the student does not choose to earn a master's degree.

If the student already holds a master's degree in political science, a minimum of 60 hours beyond the master's degree is required, including:

1. PSCI 5340, Seminar in Political Science Scope and Methods (3 hours) and PSCI 6320, Quantitative Political Research Methods (3 hours); and

2. completion of a dissertation with a maximum credit of 12 hours.

A student must elect four areas of study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The student must pass qualifying examinations in three political science areas. The four areas must include a major area and three supporting areas, at least two of which must be in political science.

The student plans a program with an advisory committee that consists of a major professor, one professor from each of the student's other areas in political science, one professor from the minor field offered for examination and one departmental representative. The departmental representative is appointed by the political science graduate adviser. This committee advises the student on the program, arranges for all departmental examinations, approves the dissertation topic and judges the completed dissertation as a work of original research and writing justifying the awarding of the degree.

If a student elects a minor outside political science, it must be supportive of the study within the discipline. The outside minor will automatically be an untested minor. It will not be included in the three areas of qualifying exams that PhD students are required to take. The outside minor cannot replace any of the political science areas for the qualifying exams. The areas available within political science follow:

Additional program information is contained in the document "Doctoral Degree Program Guide." The student is responsible for obtaining a copy of the document from the department and for knowing its contents.

Foreign Language Requirement

Reading knowledge of one modern foreign language is the general requirement. The substitution of demonstrated competency in mathematics, statistics, computer programming or some other useful tool for the required language is permissible with the consent of the advisory committee, so long as the substitution is one previously approved for the department by the graduate council.

Admission to Candidacy

The qualifying examinations will be taken when all course work and language or research tool requirements have been satisfied. These examinations consist of both oral and written examinations covering both the major and minor areas in the student's degree plan. Successful completion of these examinations is a prerequisite to admission to candidacy for the degree.

Admission to candidacy is granted by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the advisory committee and the department chair; admission is based upon the academic record of the student, approval of a dissertation topic and completion of language or research tool requirements and qualifying examinations.

Research and Dissertation

The doctoral candidate must submit a dissertation demonstrating original and meaningful research that is a significant contribution to the major field. The major professor and other members of the advisory committee must approve the dissertation prior to the final examination, which will be primarily a defense of the dissertation.

In the event that all requirements for the degree are not completed within eight years after admission to the program, the advisory committee may require the student to take additional course work. The student also must observe the 10-year time limit for completion of all work toward the doctorate, set forth in the Doctoral Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Courses of Instruction

All Courses of Instruction are located in one section at the back of this catalog.

Course and Subject Guide

The "Course and Subject Guide," found in the Courses of Instruction section of this book, serves as a table of contents and provides quick access to subject areas and prefixes.

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