Jul 25, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Political Science, PhD

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences  > Department of Political Science  > Political Science, PhD

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the college graduate admission requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the PhD in Political Science program:

  • Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution by the date of enrollment with
    • at least a 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00) in the most recent 60 hours of undergraduate course work and
    • at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for any graduate level courses.
  • International students must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
    • A satisfactory score of 550 on the TOEFL paper-based exam or 213 for the computer-based exam or
    • 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) is generally acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • Applicants should prepare a one-to two-page statement of purpose and
  • Secure three letters of recommendation from professors directly familiar with the student’s work.

Political Science students are generally admitted only in the Fall semester. However, Spring admissions are decided on a space available basis. The deadlines for submitting applications are

  • February 15 for the Fall semester and
  • October 1 for the Spring semester.

We encourage applicants to apply in advance of these deadlines if possible. Applications are judged on a competitive basis by the Department’s Graduate Committee.


Program Requirements

A minimum of 48 semester hours of course work must be taken. All students intending to obtain a PhD must take the 9 hours of core courses in their first year, or, in the case of part-time students, as soon as practically possible. No more than 9 semester hours of transferred course work may be applied to the PhD degree. Determination of course equivalency of transferred work resides with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee. Credit for post baccalaureate courses will not be given.

Core Courses (first semester)

Core Courses (second semester)


Students must select two areas of study on which to concentrate. One of the two chosen areas is designated as a student’s major area and 12 hours are required in that area. Students will take 9 hours in their minor. Students will take six hours of elective courses.

Tools Requirement

The tools requirement exists for the purpose of assuring competence in the methods necessary for effective scholarship in the student’s chosen specialty. Each student must complete two relevant research courses (6 hours) beyond PPOLS 6480  and POLS 6481  , subject to the appropriateness of the student’s academic interest. Among the possible course offerings that may satisfy the requirement area: 

  1. Foreign language as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (in rare instances).
  2. Political methodology courses where content is more advanced than POLS 6480  and POLS 6481  as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students should take POLS 6482 - Adv Multivariate Statistics  plus one additional course (for instance, POLS 6384 , POLS 6385 , or POLS 6386 ).
  3. Computer Applications at a more advanced level than POLS 6480  and POLS 6481  as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. Other research methods in allied Departments specifically relevant to the dissertation research of the student (with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies).

Other Requirements

Students must also successfully complete oral and written comprehensive exams. Upon successfully completing comprehensive exams, students are expected to be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours (a minimum of 12 dissertation hours must be completed prior to the completion of the degree). Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will participate in an oral dissertation defense. Students must maintain cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above. A Ph.D. degree program must be completed within ten years of the date of enrollment at the University of Houston, and the doctoral dissertation must be successfully defended within five years of passing comprehensive exams.

Department of Political Science
Attn: Graduate Program Advisor
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-3011
Advisor: Edward Manouelian (eemanoue@central.UH.edu)