Graduate Programs

The Department of Political Science at Michigan State University considers graduate training to be one of its primary objectives. We invite you to learn more about our program by viewing the information provided on this website or by contacting us directly. We think that you will find our Ph.D. program to be one of the strongest in the nation.

Meet the current PhD Students

Fields of Study

Doctoral students in the Department of Political Science focus on one of five primary areas of study and one of six secondary areas of study:

American Politics

The American Politics field is focused on the system of government, political institutions, and political behavior in the United States. Our departmental strengths in this field include minority politics, judicial politics, campaigns and elections, and state and local politics.

American Politics

Comparative Politics

The Comparative Politics field examines similarities and differences in political institutions, political behavior, and forms of government around the world. Our departmental strengths in this field include African politics, comparative political economy, authoritarian regimes, and political corruption.

International Relations

The International Relations field is focused on interaction between countries, international law and institutions, and causes and consequences of conflict. Our departmental strengths in this field include the study of conflict, civil war, and international law.

International Relations

Public Policy

The Public Policy field examines the processes of policy development and implementation, and the ways policy design can impact politics. Our departmental strengths in this field include education policy, state and local policy, and social welfare policy.

Public Policy

Political Philosophy

The Political Philosophy field explores democratic theory and political thought. Our strengths in this field include classical political philosophy and American political thought.

Political Philosophy

Research Methods

The Research Methods secondary field applies mathematical models and statistical methods to build and test theories and conduct empirical analysis. Our strengths in this field include text analysis, multilevel models, social networks, and Bayesian statistics.

Research Methods

Our PhD Program Contacts

Dr. Sarah Reckhow serves as the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Political Science. Sarah Krause is the Graduate Program Assistant for Political Science.