PhD students are required to take five semesters of course work, including five courses in research methodology, statistics, and formal theory. For additional specialized methodological training, we generally support students' attendance at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) summer program in methodology at the University of Michigan. Beyond course work, completion of the PhD program requires passing comprehensive exams in one’s major and minor areas of expertise. When a student successfully passes these exams, completes all the requirements outlined above and presents a prospectus for the dissertation, she or he receives a master's degree. Remaining requirements for a PhD consist of researching, writing and defending the PhD dissertation.
At the MA level, students take either seven or nine seminars, depending on whether they choose the thesis or exam track. Those writing a thesis are required to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter though seven seminars, six of which must be in political science; the examination option requires nine seminars, and culminates in a comprehensive exam in the sub-field of the student’s choice.