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Political Science

The department of Political Science offers a 5-th year Masters (A.M.), a Master of Arts (A.M.) Degree* and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree.

Completion Requirements

5-th year Masters (A.M.):

The 5th-Year Master’s Degree option allows Brown undergraduates to continue at the University for a master's degree after completing their bachelor's degree.

  • Eight 2000 level Political Sciences courses are required
  • Students can take up to two graduate level courses during their undergraduate studies
  • POLS courses must be completed with a grade of B or better
  • A minimum of six semester courses must be taken during 5th year
  • Courses taken as an undergrad cannot count for both concentration and the masters program

Students must apply for this program before they complete their undergraduate studies. They do so through the Graduate School's online application system.  Admission must be approved by the Political Science department and by the Graduate School.

Master of Arts (A.M.) Degree:

 *The Political Science department does not have a separate master's program; graduate students can earn the A.M. on the way to the Ph.D.  This  A.M. requires passing eight 2000-level Political Science courses with a grade of B or better. 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree:

  • Pass thirteen graduate level (2000-level) courses with a grade of B or better, though A grades are expected
    • Eleven courses must be within the Political Science department
    • For those in the American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations Subfields:
      • Research Methods POLS2000 or POLS2400
      • Quantitative Research Methods I POLS2580
      • Two field proseminars (choose two of four - POLS2100 American, POLS2110 Comparative, POLS2120 Theory or POLS2130 IR)
      • One theory course
    • For those in the Political Theory Subfield:
      • Research Methods POLS2000 or POLS2400 or POLS2580
      • Both political theory field proseminars (POLS2120 and POLS2360)
      • One other field proseminar (POLS2100 American, POLS2110 Comparative, or POLS2130 IR)
  • The Prospectus Writing POLS2050 and POLS2051 sequence
  • Pass written and oral preliminary examinations in two subfields
  • Written and oral presentation of a dissertation proposal
  • Written and oral presentation of a dissertation
  • A minimum of two semesters as a teaching assistant

For more information on admission and program requirements, please visit the following website