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    University of California Merced
   
 
  Oct 20, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Catalog

Political Science, Ph.D.


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Ph.D. Program Description


polisci.ucmerced.edu
Contact: Political Science Graduate Group Chair, poligrad@ucmerced.edu

The Political Science program offers quantitatively focused training in two broad areas: Political Cognition & Behavior (CAB) and Political Institutions & Political Economy (PIPE). The program is research intensive, innovative, and tailored to students’ individual interest within the field of Political Science. Students are admitted to the Political Science Program to work toward a Ph.D. degree.

The program offers a unique graduate experience. First, graduate training is grounded on a student’s access to and engagement with faculty. The small size of the program guarantees that seminar classes will be small and students will have unparalleled one-on-one faculty mentoring with respect to research, training and professional development. Second, early graduate education will not be limited to the traditional classroom setting. After the first year, students begin to apply and sharpen research skills by directly working with faculty in a required research practicum. Third, by eliminating traditional subfield boundaries, the program allows students to ask and answer cutting-edge questions that would be stifled by traditional subfield divisions. The lack of subfield barriers also encourages interdisciplinary research and allows students to interact with a mix of cognitive scientists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, and sociologists during their training. Our program is a particularly good fit for students with research interests that span traditional disciplinary boundaries, such as political psychology or political economy.

The deadline for applications is January 15th. Normally applications are accepted for Fall semester only. Applicants are encouraged to contact political science faculty before applying as fit with existing research programs is integral for admission. Applicants must provide evidence of an undergraduate grade point average no lower than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose will be evaluated by the admissions committee as determinants of an applicant’s potential for success in graduate education. Foreign students from non-English speaking counties must also take the TOEFL and TSE exams.

Ph.D. Program Learning Outcomes


Upon graduating, we expect students to have:

  1. A comprehensive graduate-level understanding of processes, theories, and empirical regularities in the student’s major area of emphasis (Political Cognition & Behavior or Political Institutions & Political Economy).
  2. A graduate-level understanding of processes, theories, and empirical regularities in the student’s minor area of emphasis (Political Cognition & Behavior or Political Institutions & Political Economy).
  3. Competency with contemporary social science methods used to conduct rigorous research on political phenomena.
  4. Effective scientific communication skills, especially the ability to convey complex concepts and information in a clear and concise manner.
  5. The ability to initiate and conduct independent research that makes an original contribution to Political Science knowledge of a quality that can be published in a peer reviewed outlet.
  6. Proficiency in the skills needed to participate in the intellectual and organizational aspects of the profession of Political Science.

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