The Department of Government
The Department of Government

PhD Requirements

Basic Requirements

A doctoral degree candidate must fulfill the following general requirements:

1. Complete a total of 14 organized courses before advancing to candidacy

2. Pass written preliminary examination in the major field
3. Prepare and orally defend a dissertation proposal
4. Write an original dissertation and successfully defend it in oral examination

Program of Work

The Department offers specialized instruction in seven fields:

  1. American Political Institutions and Processes
  2. Comparative Politics
  3. International Relations
  4. Methodology and Formal Theory
  5. Political Theory
  6. Public Law
  7. Public Policy

Students are required to designate one of these fields as the major field/ preliminary examination field, and take and pass four courses in this major field. The students are also required to complete three foundational courses, three courses in their minor field, four additional courses for their concentration, and take and pass a dissertation writing course.



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  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704
    512-471-5121