Government, Ph.D. (Ithaca)
Field of Study
Students are expected to acquire a thorough knowledge of the discipline, including substantial theoretical, conceptual, and substantive competence in a major subject; to provide a clear demonstration of the methodological, linguistic, and other skills needed to conduct original scholarly research; and to acquire at least one semester's experience as a teaching assistant. Students who have not had equivalent course work are expected to take three of the four field seminars in the major subjects.
Numerous interdisciplinary programs are available, and include the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Peace Studies Program, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and various area programs.
Early in their first semester, doctoral students meet with the director of graduate studies and several faculty members to discuss the first year's program. At the end of the first year, students form their Special Committee, which guides and supervises subsequent academic preparation and dissertation research.
By the end of the third year of residence, or sooner if possible, students are expected to have taken the Admission to Candidacy examination. The exam is given in three parts: a written exam in the student's major and minor subjects; an extended research paper in the student's specialized field of interest; and an oral exam conducted by the Special Committee. The written exam is normally taken before the end of the second year; the oral exam, at the beginning of the third. At the oral exam, the student presents a thesis proposal outlining the hypothesis, data, methods, and resources needed to carry out the dissertation research.
Concentrations by Subject
- American politics
- comparative politics
- international relations
- political methodology (minor)
- political thought
- public policy (minor)
Application Requirements and Deadlines
Fall, Dec. 15; no spring admission
- all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
- three recommendations
- GRE general test
- writing sample
PLEASE NOTE: All materials must be uploaded to the online application system. Applications and additional materials are due on Dec. 15; this is a firm deadline and late applications will not be considered.
Applicants are required to submit GRE general test scores, three recommendations, and a writing sample. Admission is offered for the fall term only.
GOALS AND OVERVIEW The doctoral program prepares students for a successful career in political science. It provides them with 1) a broad and in-depth knowledge of the scholarship and methodologies of the discipline; 2) an ability to conduct original and publishable research in their field of study; 3) to teach effectively at the undergraduate and graduate level; and 4) to contribute productively to the life of profession. The program has two stages. The first involves the acquisition of substantive knowledge and research skills through course work and colloquia. It also provides students with teaching experience. This stage ends with satisfactory completion of examinations in the student’s major and minor fields of study. The second stage is devoted to the research and writing of a dissertation. This stage begins with the writing and oral defense of the thesis proposal and ends with formal approval of the completed dissertation. Learning assessment occurs in both stages from individual faculty, subfield and special committees, and the department as a whole. Metrics and procedures of assessment differ across the four subfields (CP, IR, PT, AP)