Feb 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Politics and International Affairs, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies 


Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below. Students apply for admission directly into the Ph.D. Those who are interested in first earning a Master’s in Political Science need to apply to that major separately.

  • GRE Required
  • 3 letters of recommendation (from academic sources or from those able to judge the applicant’s academic abilities)
  • a 500 word personal statement expressing reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. in Government at the University of South Florida, and
  • a writing sample

A Master’s degree in Political Science, International Affairs, or a related field will count favorably towards admission, but is not a requirement for admission.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours - 72 credit hours post-bachelor’s

  • Core - 6 Credit Hours
  • Disciplinary Requirements – 9 Credit Hours
  • Methods – 9 Credit Hours
  • Primary Specialization – 6 Credit Hours
  • Secondary Specialization - 3 Credit Hours
  • Electives – 6 Credit Hours
  • Teacher Training – 3 Credit Hours
  • Dissertation Proposal/Capstone – 3 Credit Hours
  • Dissertation – 27 Credit Hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Disciplinary Requirements (9 Credit Hours)

Select three of the following:

Methods Requirements (9 Credit Hours)

Select one of the following:

Primary Specialization (6 Credit Hours)

Students complete six (6) credit hours in their primary specialization, in addition to the disciplinary seminar.  The options for primary specialization are International Relations, Comparative Politics, and American Government.  

Secondary Specialization (3 Credit Hours)

Students complete three (3) graduate credit hours in their secondary specialization, in addition to the disciplinary seminar. The options for secondary specialization are International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and American Government. 

Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Students will enhance their areas of specialization with elective courses.
With graduate committee approval, students will be encouraged to take courses in other disciplines.

Students Teacher Training Requirement (3 Credit Hours)

Foreign Language

Students whose dissertation research will involve fieldwork or archival research in a non-English speaking country must be proficient in language(s) native to that region. For these students, competency in at least one foreign language must be demonstrated by passing the competency exam administrated by the Department of World Languages.

Comprehensive Qualifying Exam

Ph.D. students will be required to take in-class examinations in their primary and secondary fields of specialization. 

Dissertation Proposal – Capstone (3 Credit Hours)

  • Credit Hours: 3

    During the Seminar, students develop their dissertation proposals. Students must present their dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee and obtain consent from all committee members before proceeding to the dissertation work.

Dissertation (27 Credit Hours)

Students must present their dissertation at an oral defense, and their committees will determine whether the student passed. Students must submit written copies of their dissertation with signatures of their committee members. All dissertations must conform to University of South Florida format rules.