Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4-5 years
Credit Hours:

72 (with bachelor's) or 60 (with master's)
Advance your research and provide insights that shape policy and improve the way the world functions.
UNT's Political Science Ph.D. provides you the opportunity to specialize in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Methodology and Political Theory. The department also has strengths in areas that bridge traditional subfield boundaries, such as Peace and Conflict, Political Institutions, and Race and Ethnic Politics. The department is home to some of the top scholars in the world in their respective fields.

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Why Earn a Political Science Ph.D.?

The doctoral degree in Political Science prepares you for academic careers in research and teaching, as well as professional careers in public service and the private sector. The program introduces you to the substantive, theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of politics, and trains you to perform original research on political behavior.

Ph.D. students have the opportunity to plan their program in conjunction with their advisory committee. You may focus your studies within three fields, one of which may be in an external field such as sociology or history. These fields include political theory, American government and public law, comparative government and politics and international relations.

Marketable Skills
  • Advanced public communication
  • Advanced analytical thinking
  • Advanced data collection and analysis
  • Theory building
  • Topical expertise

Political Science Ph.D. Highlights

Our faculty have participated in high-profile research regarding school choice, political campaigns and elections, American public law, democratization in the Third World and international peace.
Our graduate students have published a number of articles and book chapters, whether sole-authored, co-authored with graduate students, or with faculty.
We encourage you to attend and present research papers at national and regional political science conferences. Funding is available to attend conferences.
UNT belongs to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which is the world's repository of social science research data, and the European Consortium for Political Research. Our library system also has a large collection of U.S. government, United Nations and related international agency documents.
Our department awards several teaching fellowships and assistantships to help you pay for your graduate education. Research assistantships are available for students to work with faculty members holding research grants.
Because of our close student-faculty research collaboration, you get involved in research early in your graduate education. You may participate in grant-funded research as a paid assistant or aid faculty members on publications.

What Can You Do With a Political Science Ph.D.?

Our Ph.D. program has a track record of producing successful scholars. Our alumni have secured positions in universities and colleges across the country and around the globe. Recent tenure-track placements (since 2010) include: California State University-Long Beach, CIDE (Mexico), Florida Atlantic University, Northern Kentucky University, Prairie View A&M University, Trinity University, University of Mary Washington, University of South Carolina, Utah State University and West Texas A&M University.

Political Science Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Political Science Teaching and Research (3 hrs)

Classroom methods for political science instruction, as well as basic research and job-hunting skills.

The American Presidency (3 hrs)
Analysis of the theories and scholarly findings of the American presidency.
Interest Group Politics (3 hrs)

Analysis of the roles played by interest groups in the American political system from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Mass Political Behavior (3 hrs)

Survey of the four primary areas of mass political behavior: political psychology, public opinion, voting behavior, and political participation.

Foreign Policy Analysis (3 hrs)

Introduction to foreign policy analysis as a field of study, with an emphasis on foreign policy decision making and psychological approaches to the study of foreign policy.

Human Rights (3 hrs)
Study of and original research in the area of human rights. Includes canonical and recent influential works, focuses on explaining and preventing/limiting repression and on post-crisis peacebuilding and justice.

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