Career Opportunities

  • Law
  • Business
  • Education
  • Government
  • Non-profit Leadership
  • International Relations


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Program Overview

The PhD in Political Science emphasizes theoretical, analytic, and substantive approaches to public policy analysis and administration. Students are provided an opportunity to link core skills in policy analysis and political science with substantive emphasis in specific policy areas. The program is designed to prepare pre-career and mid-career students for advanced positions in policy research and administration, as well as for academic research and teaching.

Students master the skills to frame researchable questions that make original contributions to empirical and theoretical knowledge about problems in politics. Students learn to rigorously specify cause-effect relationships, and to master techniques for marshalling evidence using quantitative and qualitative methods to test competing hypotheses about problems in politics.

The PhD in Political Science requires 60 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. To ensure sufficient background for doctoral-level policy courses, students must demonstrate appropriate competence in computing and data analysis during their course of study. Program requirements include 18 credit hours of core courses, 24 credit hours in a substantive policy area as well as an internship and successful defense of the PhD dissertation.

Learn more about the program curriculum.


What UMSL Arts & Sciences has to offer

The College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL creates the next poets, conservation biologists, symphony soloists, psychological scientists, historians, criminologists, chemists, sculptors, painters, communicators, space explorers and speakers of French, German, Japanese and Spanish. With nearly 4,000 undergraduate students, 800 graduate students and 450 faculty, it’s the largest college and academic backbone of the university.

Supporting the university’s mission, the college provides a diverse student body access to an affordable, quality education with expert faculty. A strong focus on research and scholarship has students exploring the latest thought and theory, while giving them access to ground-breaking studies through undergraduate and graduate research opportunities. Emphasis on the arts and sciences working in communion leads to graduates with a holistic understanding of their fields, creating the best scholars for academia and professionals for the world.

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of some 275 full-time faculty members in 18 departments and is home to the School of Fine and Performing Arts. The college offers a wide range of degree programs in areas such as Anthropology, Art and Design, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication and Media, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Languages and Cultural Studies, History, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, Sociology, and Theatre and Cinema Arts.

For more on the College Arts & Sciences, visit