Fields of Concentration

The standing fields of concentration include American politics; comparative politics; international political economy; and international security and foreign policy. The candidate must satisfy two of these four standing fields by completing four courses and passing a written and oral field qualifying examination for both fields. The student may satisfy the third field by completing three courses in one of these four, or may propose another field of study to be approved by the relevant faculty and the Ph.D. program director and steering committee. For example, students can design a third field that cuts across disciplinary boundaries or focuses on specific areas of political science and international relations beyond the standing fields. The Guidelines and program director can provide illustrations of this type of third field.

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Fields of Concentration

  1. American Politics
  2. Comparative Politics
  3. International Political Economy
  4. International Security and Foreign Policy
  5. A Customized Third Field: A POIR student can choose to propose a customized third field, which is not an examined field.  These customized fields should be created to help each student deepen his/her knowledge of a particular topic that cannot be acquired through the standing fields.  Examples of customized fields are: Culture, Gender, and Global Society (CGGS); Human Rights; International Economics; Law and Public Policy; Political Communication; American Political History 

Satisfying the Language Requirement

If the primary field of concentration has the foreign language requirement, this requirement can be met by two years (four semesters) of college-level foreign language training (with minimum average grade of a B), by examination, or by establishing native-speaker status.  Course work from any accredited institutions will be considered.  Course units covered by POIR-funded fellowships, teaching assistant-ships, and research assistant-ships may be used for the language study required to develop proficiency. Language courses are not counted towards the PhD total course requirement.

  • Department of Political Science