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Political Science

The study of Political Science at Howard University transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries found at most other institutions of higher learning. At Howard the study of African American and Black Diaspora politics is a treasured legacy.

The Graduate Program prepares students for careers in academia and senior level research or administrative positions in the public and private sectors. We seek to retain and expand the Political Science Department’s position as a major source of political scientists concerned with issues impinging on the lives of peoples of African descent.

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Admission Requirements

Applicants may seek admission to one of the Department’s two graduate programs: Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts. The Department’s Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid reviews applications and makes admissions decisions. When the Committee is not in session, the Department Chair and the Graduate Program Director act on its behalf.

Admissions applications must include all of the following before consideration begins:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies;
  2. Three letters of recommendation from members of the academic community who are familiar with the applicant’s record;
  3. A brief autobiographical sketch;
  4. A statement of educational and professional objectives;
  5. Other evidence – for example the Graduate Record Examination score or work experience – that may be pertinent to the applicant’s potential for the successful pursuit of a graduate degree.
Degree Requirements

New students must take FIVE core courses; one or two of them (depending on Master's or Doctoral level) will be automatically counted as part of the four required courses in your major area.

Doctor of Philosophy Students

Ph.D. students must select two majors and one minor course area. The major course areas will be the ones in which you will sit for a comprehensive exam. Students must take four courses in that field, which will include the core course for that area (as listed above). For the minor concentration area, students must take three courses in that field, but there is no comprehensive exam.

Master of Arts Students

Master's students must select one major and one minor course area. The major course area will be the one in which you will sit for a comprehensive exam. Students must take four courses in this field, which will include the core course for that area above. For the minor concentration area, students must take three courses in that field, but there is no comprehensive exam.

Required Statistics or Research Methods Courses

Master of Arts

Each Master of Arts student is required to satisfy two (2) research tool requirements by completing the following courses with the grade of B or higher:

• Research Tool #1: POLS-217 Methods of Political Science
• Research Tool #2: POLS-254 Behavioral Research Methods 
• One of these courses may be transferred from another graduate department.

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral students must satisfy three research tools with the grades of B or higher.

  • Research Tool #1: POLS-217 Methods of Political Science
  • Research Tool #2: POLS-254 Behavioral Research Methods

 

Only one (1) of the above courses may be transferred from another graduate department.

  • Research Tool #3:
    • POLS-257 Multivariate Statistics, or
    • POLS-279 Survey Research Methods, or
    • Another graduate research methods course, or
    • Proficiency in a foreign language to be used for scholarly work.

Political Theory Requirement

Each Doctor of Philosophy student must complete the course POLS-232 Nature and Uses of Political Theory with the grade of B or higher. This course may not be transferred from another graduate department.

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School 
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059

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