The graduate program operates according to the following departmental procedures.

Departmental Policymaking

The graduate faculty of the Department of Political Science, acting through its Graduate Committee, has responsibility for the determination of departmental policy pertaining to the graduate program. The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for the administration of the program. 


Graduate students initially will be advised by the Director of Graduate Studies, and then for purposes of further advisement will be assigned to a graduate faculty member who is in the field of the student's main interest. Students are expected to consult with their advisors on course choices and other matters pertaining to their progress through the program.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to six credit hours with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.



Course information may be found in the Graduate Bulletin of the College of Arts & Sciences. 


The fields of the discipline offered by the Department include American politics, comparative politics, international politics, methods, political theory, and public law. In addition, the department is particularly strong in the sub-fields of political behavior, comparative democratization, and international governance.

Completion of Degree Requirements and Residency

Information concerning application for graduation and time limitations in regard to completion of degree requirements may found in the Graduate Bulletin and on the website of the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Office. All credits for the MA degree must have been earned within seven calendar years of the date of entry into the program. All credits presented for the PhD must have been earned within ten years of the date of entry into the degree program. These requirements are College requirements. The Department strongly supports these rules. Students must be enrolled in POLS 8999 in the semester in which the thesis or dissertation is defended. Ph.D. students should be aware of the residency requirement stated in the college bulletin.


Students seeking the waiver or substitution of a departmental program or procedural requirement must submit a written petition to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will transmit the petition to the departmental graduate faculty. Students will be informed in writing of the action taken on the petition.

Out-of-State Tuition Waivers

A small number of waivers of out-of-state tuition fees are available through the College. The department recommends students for these waivers. Students wishing the department to recommend them for a waiver should complete a "waiver form" by the end of the fourth week of class prior to the semester in which the waiver is sought. See the Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies for the form. Students receiving a full assistantship automatically receive a waiver of out-of-state fees as their tuition is paid in full.

Departmental Statement on Academic Dishonesty

A departmental statement on academic dishonesty is available from the departmental secretary for the information of students.  Graduate students are responsible for understanding and abiding by the University's policy on academic dishonesty, as found in the Graduate Catalog.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Graduate students with the required GPA are eligible for membership in Nu Phi, the GSU chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honor society. They are urged to participate.

Professional Conferences

In an effort to encourage graduate students to participate in professional conferences, the Department provides small stipends for travel to conferences. The purpose of such participation is to prepare papers for submission to academic journals.  Any student accepted to the official program of a professional political science conference should inform the Assistant to the Graduate Director of the intention to travel, complete a Travel Authorization Form, and submit documentation of their paper's acceptance for conference presentation.


All graduate students should provide the Graduate Director with their current e-mail address.