Students must choose two major subfields and one minor field for intensive study.
Major fields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Policy, Political Theory, or International Relations) Prior to their first attempt at the written preliminary examination in any subfield, all Ph.D. students must complete at least four courses/seminars in that subfield, with a grade of B or better, all in the 600 level or above and three must be at the 700 level or above.
The minor field may be another of the five subfields in the Political Science Department, a related field from an outside department or an interdisciplinary program. The courses from the minor field must follow the same structure, number, and requirements as outlined above for the major fields
The research skills and responsible scholarship requirement is fulfilled within the research coursework, such as in POLS705. Current policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.
To become a Ph.D. candidate, the student must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive oral examination. No student may attempt the comprehensive oral examination until the 2 written preliminary examinations have been passed and the requirements of the minor subfield have been completed.
After passing the comprehensive written and oral examination, the doctoral candidate must write a dissertation approved by a departmental dissertation committee and pass a final oral defense of the dissertation to qualify for the Ph.D. degree.