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Frequently Asked Questions


  • General Program Questions

  • Do you admit students seeking only the Master's (M.A.) degree?

    No. Students in our program may elect to receive a Master's degree once they complete coursework and comprehensive exams and successfully defend a dissertation proposal, but we only admit students who intend to complete the Ph.D. degree.

  • Do you offer a degree in public policy or public administration?

    No. We offer only degrees in political science. The emphasis in our program is on training students to do research and teach in the political science field. We do offer a subfield in Public Policy Processes for students whose major field is American Government and Politics.

  • Do you offer a degree in international affairs?

    No. We offer only degrees in political science and our program focuses on training students to do research and teach in the political science field. We do offer International Relations as a major field of study, with subfields in International Political Economy and International Security and Conflict.

  • Do you offer night courses? Is it possible to pursue the Ph.D. through part time study?

    No. Our program is structured for full time study only.

  • Do you offer regular graduate courses in the summer?

    No. However, many students receive financial support from the department to participate in summer programs involving training in foreign languages and research methods.

  • Specific Program Questions

  • I would like to specialize in political theory. Would Emory be a good place for me to study?

    No. Political theory is only offered as a minor field in our program.

  • I really do not enjoy math or statistics. May I substitute other courses for the required courses in research methods?

    No. While our graduate students employ a wide variety of both quantitative and qualitative approaches in their research, all are expected to become familiar with basic quantitative research techniques.

  • How many years does the average student take to complete the Ph.D.?

    In most cases, it will take a minimum of five years to complete the PhD.

  • Do I have to take a foreign language?

    There are no specific foreign language requirements for the graduate program. However, students whose doctoral research requires knowledge of a foreign language must acquire and demonstrate the necessary proficiency.

  • Are the faculty at Emory accessible to students?

    We currently have about 40 students in the graduate program, and 27 full-time faculty, so the faculty-student ratio is excellent. In addition, there is a strong commitment at Emory to close interaction with graduate students.

  • Do faculty ever include students in their research? Do they ever coauthor papers or publications with students?

    Students frequently become involved in faculty research. It is quite common for students to co-author papers with faculty for presentation at professional conferences, or to be co-authors on articles submitted for publication.

  • How many first year students come back the second year?

    In recent years, over 90 percent of first-year students have come back to continue the program in the second year.