Political Methodology

This field focuses on scholarship directed at providing appropriate methodologies for investigating theoretically motivated political questions. Departmental activities in methods are organized around deductive/analytical, empirical/inductive, and computational approaches to modeling political phenomena.

Students pursuing this field will demonstrate competency in:

  • mathematics and statistics
  • research design
  • formal modeling
  • hypothesis testing

Graduate training is designed so that students pursuing Political Methodology as a first field, by the completion of their Ph.D. programs, will have also earned the Program for Advanced Research in the Social Sciences (PARISS) Certificate. See the PARISS certificate website. Students do not need to apply to the certificate program; however, you are encouraged to submit a proposal to the PARISS faculty early on in order to get feedback on their proposed plan of study.

First Field

Coursework
  • POLSCI 630 Probability and Linear Models
  • POLSCI 631 Introduction to Deductive & Analytical Approaches to Political Phenomena
  • 4 courses selected from the Program for Advanced Research in the Social Sciences (PARISS) Certificate. See PARISS website

The PARISS courses need to be selected and approved in conjunction with your advisor and documented in a written plan to be evaluated by the Political Methodology faculty. This will be coordinated by the Political Methodology Field Chair.

Qualifying Procedure

Certification by the field chair that you have successfully completed all required coursework.

Preliminary Examination

Each student who completes the qualifying procedure in Political Methodology is required to submit and present for defense before a committee of faculty in that field a plausibly publishable research paper employing analytical and/or empirical methods and/or computational methods. This must be submitted no later than the end of the first semester of the third year. The committee administering the preliminary examination may pass a student with distinction on the basis of both your performance in the qualifying procedure and in your paper presentation and defense.

Second Field

Coursework
  • POLSCI 630 Probability and Basic Regression
  • POLSCI 631 Introduction to Deductive & Analytical Approaches to Political Phenomena
  • 4 courses relating to political methods beyond the basic competency courses. These four courses must be approved by the student's advisor in conjunction with the field leader in Political Methods. The four courses must be presented in a plan that will be evaluated by the methods faculty. This will be coordinated by the Political Methodology field leader.
  • MATH 230 Probability (or equivalent)
  • MATH 431 Advanced Calculus I (or equivalent)

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