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PhD in Political Science

Deadline for Fall 2019 Application:

January 4th, 2019


Please note that your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee after the January 4th deadline. When your application is moved into Committee Review you will receive another email alerting you that the committee is reviewing your application.


Program Overview

The Doctor pf Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science program serves students interested in academic positions as well as research and policy careers. The department and its faculty are committed to providing doctoral students with an excellent educational experience through coursework, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation. 

The curriculum introduces students to all four fields and also develops their research skills through a series of methodology courses. Students may develop a traditional, academic focus in one of the fields, or they may combine it with public policy to highlight a policy orientation.

The PhD in Political Science covers four major fields in the discipline:



All PhD students are fully funded via a Tuition Assistantship which includes stipend, full tuition, and student health insurance.

Program Requirements

For more information on requirements for the PhD program see the Course Catalog.

Learning Outcomes
  • Critique, compare and contrast, in the context of relevant literature, key theories involving the political processes, institutions, actors, and ideas in the core scholarly areas of Political Science
  • Investigate and analyze contemporary political issues in the context of underlying theories in political science
  • Apply and evaluate research methods and statistical research skills related to the study of political science
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral formats relevant to the field of political science
  • Design, create, and defend an original significant contribution to knowledge in the field of political science through the use of original and secondary sources of evidence
  • Develop and practice professional behavior in research and/or teaching
The Experiential PhD

The Experiential PhD gives PhD students in College of Social Sciences and Humanities opportunities to collaborate with, and work in, arts and education organizations, local and state agencies, non-profits and businesses in the Boston area and beyond. For more information visit the CSSH Website.

Above: Prof. Sullivan and PhD student Zeynep Balcioglu, a Turkish native, organized a workshop in Istanbul, March 2016, to develop policy recommendations on the Syrian Refugee crisis and the impact on Turkey. Sullivan is Founding Director of BCARS, the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

PhD student, Gordon Parris, poses in front of the Boston skyline.

I found I have a fervent desire to figure out how things work. Northeastern and Political Science offer a range of ways to think about political problems in a real world context that goes well beyond theory.  – Gordon Parris, PhD ’19