The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Job Placement

The Department provides a number of resources to assist students in finding appropriate employment as they complete their dissertations, although we view our strongest service as the training and mentoring you receive throughout your stay in our program, where our goal is to make you as competitive as possible on the job market. Visit our rolling blog of placements, or historical placement map for information on where our students are being hired. You might also be interested in some of the research our alumni are publishing and profiles of our students currently on the job market.

Department of Government Graduate Placement Since 2004

Our PhDs have secured positions in departments across the country and the globe, from research universities to liberal arts colleges. As is typical in the academic world today, a first job is not always a permanent one, but can open the way to a productive career.

Annual results, last three years: This year (2016-17) we have thus far (through February) placed ten people in tenure track jobs, at universities such as the University of Miami, University of Tampa, and Wayne State University, as well as at smaller colleges like College of the Holy Cross and Colorado College. We have also placed people abroad, for example, at National Taiwan University. Several of these students chose from among multiple job offers, and several more are awaiting the results of on-campus interviews for tenure track positions.

Last year, the 2015-16 academic year, also showed steady success in what seemed like a tighter market, illustrating an increasingly common trend – beginning a career with a post-doc rather than a permanent job. We had students land post-docs at Harvard and Duke University. We also placed students in tenure-track positions at SUNY-Geneseo, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and Sam Houston State University. Importantly, that same year our students interviewed for tenure-track positions at CIDE, Amherst, Christopher Newport, University of Indiana, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, UNC-Charlotte, and Southern Connecticut State University.

In the 2014-15 academic year, our job candidates demonstrated that they are not limited in what they can accomplish. Students that year were offered tenure track positions at Barnard, Louisville, Singapore National University, UT-Arlington, Western Carolina University, and Colorado State University. They also interviewed for jobs at Georgetown, Louisiana State, William and Mary, London School of Economics, Georgia, Holy Cross, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Denver, Providence, Miami of Ohio, Johns Hopkins, South Florida, Houston, Illinois-Springfield, Warwick (in the UK), and more. There is a lot of competition for the top jobs, and our graduates have demonstrated that they are competitive even in this market.

Long-term results

First-time jobs: Our graduates can land high-profile tenure-track jobs directly out of graduate school. Within the last ten years we have directly placed graduates in tenure-track positions at Miami University, McGill University, the University of Washington, and the University of Missouri, for example. Other noteworthy direct tenure-track placements include research universities such as American University, the University of Tennessee, Texas Tech University, Syracuse University, Baylor University, University of Nevada, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), West Virginia University, and the University of Louisville. We have also had great success placing students in liberal arts institutions, including Bates College, Claremont McKenna College, Rhodes College, Colorado College, St. Edward’s University, and the University of Richmond.

Second jobs: Beyond our direct placements, our students routinely move on from their initial job to more prestigious placements. Within the last ten years we have had students move on to second or third jobs and tenure-track positions at institutions including Providence College, American University, Ohio State University, James Madison University, Biola University in California, Colby College, George Washington University, DePaul University, Santa Clara University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and an endowed professorship at Brooklyn College. Our graduates also have a strong and proven record of earning tenure when the time comes.

Post-docs: Post-docs are typically an important steppingstone to tenure track jobs, and we have recently begun amassing an impressive record of placements in prestigious post-doc positions. Within the last ten years we have placed students in post-docs at institutions including Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Penn, Emory, University of Toronto, College of the Holy Cross, Boston College, Rhodes College, Tulane University, and the University of Houston. Last year, one of our graduates accepted a postdoc at Australian National University’s Center for China and the World.

International positions: Internationally, our graduates work at some of the highest-ranking institutions in their respective countries. Within the last ten years we have placed students at the top research institutions in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan.

Non-academic positions: Students who pursue a non-academic career path often find many options open to them. Within the last decade we have had graduates move on to careers with the CIA, Department of Defense, and prominent private and non-profit sector groups, nationally and internationally, such as The Mellman Group, Demos, The National Democratic Institute, The German Development Institute, and Argentina’s Foundation for the Environment and Natural Resources.

Most recent year for which we have full data (2015):

Students on the market: 21

Assistant Prof, tenure track positions: 4 (University of Louisville, Colorado State University, Western Carolina University and University of Texas at Arlington)

Assistant prof, non-tenure track: 1 (Colorado State University)

Visiting Prof, one-year positions: 5 (University of California at Davis, Michigan State University, College of the Holy Cross, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Dartmouth College)

Postdocs: 11 (Harvard (2), Holy Cross (2), Stanford (2), Tulane, Penn, McGill, Missouri, National Taiwan Univ, Australian National Univ)

Non-academic (Human Rights NGO): 1

Note that the number of placements/place names does not match the number of students because some students secured both a teaching position and a postdoc, or two postdocs that could be filled in consecutive years.

Ten year record:

PhDs 2004-2014: 120. Total placement rate: 92.5%

Initial placements:

Tenure track jobs or post-docs: 61 (50.83%)

Other academic positions: 36 (30%); 14 of these (12%) subsequently moved into tenure track jobs

Non-academic, professional jobs: 14 (11.66%)


  • Department of Government

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