Graduate Student Guide


The following is information on Master's and Doctoral program requirements. It is also available in pdf format.

Student Advising
Research Methods
Language Competency
Field Structures

The Master's Requirements

The Doctoral Program

Satisfactory Progress in the Program
Continuous Enrollment Status/Registration
Travel for Graduate Students
Political Science Departmental Policies Governing TA and other Departmental Funding Eligibility Renewals


STUDENT ADVISING

The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) advises students about courses, and all other graduate program requirements. All incoming students have the option to meet with the GPC for assistance in planning their schedules. In addition, graduate students are encouraged to meet with the GPC if they are having problems in the program or need information about degree requirements. The GPC reviews all POL S 600 forms, Course Substitution Request Forms, and approves On-Leave Petitions.

The Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) is primarily available for non-academic advising. The GPA is available to help students understand and adhere to the deadlines and degree requirements of the department and the Graduate School. Students should contact the GPA when they are ready to establish supervisory committees, register for independent study courses (597, 598, 600, 800), or schedule exams for advancement within the program.

RESEARCH METHODS

The achievement of a minimum level of competence in political research methods is required of all graduate students in political science. The methodology curriculum is as follows:

Methodology Requirements by Year in Program (First Year Sequence)

Autumn Quarter

Pol S 500

Political Research Design and Analysis

 

Winter Quarter

Pol S 501

Advanced Political Research Design and Analysis

Spring Quarter

Pol S 502

OR

Pol S 503

Qualitative Research Methods

OR

Advanced Quantitative Political Methodology

LANGUAGE COMPETENCY

Demonstration of competence in a foreign language is not required for either the Master of Arts or the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science. Every MA or PhD supervisory committee, however, has the authority to decide, in consultation with the student, that a specific degree of competence in one or more foreign languages is a prerequisite for that student to receive the degree in question. The student cannot take the PhD comprehensive examinations until the language requirement specified by the committee has been met. Language courses are not counted toward satisfaction of credit requirements for degree purposes.

FIELD STRUCTURES

The department's fields are configured within the following structure:

I. General Fields

•  American Politics

•  Comparative Politics

•  International Relations

•  Political Theory

II. Specialized Fields

•  Area Study

•  Minority and Race Politics

•  Political Communication

•  Political Economy

•  Political Methodology

•  Public Law

•  Public Policy Processes

III. Constructed Fields (PhD level only)

One field from a unit in the University outside the Political Science Department OR one field of study designed by the student. Note that all constructed fields, whether drawn from an existing unit outside the department or designed by students, must be approved by a designated field supervisor. The students must:

1) show that a sufficient body of literature exists on the subject matter to constitute the equivalent of a field for doctoral study;

2) outline the intellectual goals the student seeks to accomplish through the constructed field;

3) outline a sequence of coursework consistent with those goals.

Transfer Credit (to the University)

A student may be allowed to transfer the equivalent of a maximum of 6 credits of graduate level coursework taken while a registered student at another accredited graduate school. These credits may not have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. The student must submit a petition to the Dean of the Graduate School along with a written recommendation from the Graduate Program Coordinator and an official transcript indicating completion of coursework. Transfer credit should be discussed with the Graduate Program Coordinator when you enter the department. Credit received as a non-matriculated student or a post-baccalaureate student cannot be transferred to a graduate program. Transfer credit will not appear on a student’s UW transcript. http://www.grad.washington.edu/policies/masters/transfer.shtml

Course Waivers (for Department requirements)

The Department has the discretion to allow a student to apply coursework from another graduate program toward departmental degree requirements. Students should discuss this possibility with the Graduate Program Coordinator and their field supervisors when designing their program of study, presenting the supervisors with a copy of the syllabus for the course(s) in question and a copy of their transcript showing that the work was completed. If the field supervisor will approve the outside coursework, the student should fill out a Field Requirement Substitution Form for each course (available from the Graduate Program Assistant), and obtain the signature of the supervisor. The signed form will then be placed in the student’s file.

 


THE MASTER'S REQUIREMENT

The department requires the successful completion and defense of an Essay of Distinction before advancement to the doctoral program. To fulfill the MA requirements you will:

  • Complete the Master’s designated requirements in two fields.
  • Choose one of the two fields from the list of general fields.  The second field may be chosen from the general fields or from the list of specialized fields.
  • Complete two core courses. If you choose a specialized field as your second field, you are required to take a core course in a second general field.
  • Complete the three-course methodology sequence.
  • Complete the Master's Essay of Distinction, and pass an Oral Exam.
  • Your transcript cannot have more than 2 incompletes.  Any incompletes that remain cannot be in the methodology or field course requirements at the time the exam is scheduled

Master’s Essay of Distinction

 The Master’s Essay of Distinction may be a revised and expanded seminar paper or an independently developed research paper. The Master’s Essay of Distinction should be article-length (approximately 20-30 pages), professionally documented, and as close as possible to publishable standards. The intent of this requirement is to provide the committee with a basis for assessing the student’s capacity to do original and self-directed research and to write up the results of that research in a literate and informative fashion, as will be required for the dissertation.

 

MA Core Course and Field Requirements

(see general and specialized fields above)

Core Course Requirements

Core Courses in Two (2) General Fields

Field Requirements

Field Requirements in Two (2) General Fields

OR

Field Requirements in One (1) General Field AND One (1) Specialized Field

Credit Hour Requirement

A minimum of 46 credit hours, taken while in full graduate standing, is required for the Master’s degree. Courses taken prior to being admitted to the MA program or while in non-matriculated status cannot be counted. At least 18 of these credits must be taken at the 500 level, and at least 18 credits must be numerically graded.

Political Science 600 – Independent Study or Research

It is departmental policy that 600 courses used to satisfy MA course requirements must be pre-approved by the Field Supervisor on your committee or the faculty Field Coordinator if you have not formed a committee.

Interim Advisor/Master's Committee

The Master's Committee should be established early in your graduate career . You are required to establish your committee chair OR an Interim Advisor by the end of your 3 rd quarter (the end of your first academic year). You also are required to choose two fields of study for the M.A. requirements. You will submit the Notification of Adviser form to the GPA by the date announced at the beginning of spring quarter.

Master's Supervisory Committee. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the consent of faculty to serve as committee members, and (in consultation with them) to develop a written program of courses within each field. The Master's Committee shall consist of three members:

  • two members will represent the fields as specified above;
  • the Chair and one member must be appointed to the Graduate School’s list of approved graduate faculty;
  • one member (either the Chair or another member) may be adjunct faculty in the Department of Political Science.

Approval by the Graduate Program Coordinator is required if an adjunct member of the committee will serve as the Chair of the committee.

POLS 598 Independent Writing

Students preparing for the Master's Examination are eligible to enroll in POL S 598. This is a contract course; forms are available from the Graduate Program Assistant and must be signed by the Committee Chair. Although POLS 598 is not required, students are encouraged to use this course as a means to facilitate producing a first-rate Master's Essay of Distinction by rewriting and polishing a promising paper. Graduate students are eligible to enroll in POL S 598 for a total of 5 credits, one quarter only, and receive a decimal grade. The course can be completed only by submission of an article-length (20-30 pages) paper approved and evaluated by the faculty supervisor.

Master's Essay Evaluation and Master’s Examination

The Master's Essay of Distinction must be formally evaluated by your chair and members of your committee. When your Chair confirms that the Essay is ready to defend, the student schedules the Master's Examination with the committee. Students must then notify the GPA of the date and submit a signed Program Review Sheet to the GPA at least two weeks prior to the MA Exam. The GPA will review and check for fulfilled course requirements and confer with the Graduate Program Coordinator for final approval. After the exam a signed evaluation form will be kept in the student's file and will be available for the student to review.

Scheduling the Examination with the Graduate School and in the Department

Graduate students must apply with the Graduate School to take the Master's Examination during the quarter in which they wish to have their degree conferred. Application is via the Graduate School's web site at http://www.grad.washington.edu/mygrad The student must schedule a room for the exam, notify the GPA of the essay title, the date, time and location of the exam, and send reminders to the committee prior to the exam date .

Master's Examination/Admission to the Doctoral Program

The purpose of the Master's Examination is to aid in determining whether the student has succeeded in demonstrating to the committee that s/he is capable of conducting original research and conveying that research in a literate and informative manner. Students should display adequate substantive knowledge in their fields of coursework, and demonstrate a capacity to synthesize, interpret, and apply such knowledge to new problems. Students will defend the Master's Essay before their Master's Committee. The committee shall decide, by majority vote, whether to recommend awarding the Master's degree, and whether to recommend (a) admission to the doctoral program, or (b) termination of the student's continuation in the department. In the former case, the committee may attach specific requirements or conditions to the student's continuance, or it may simply encourage the student to go on, and discuss the next stage in the student's academic career. In the latter case, the student shall not be permitted to register for courses in the department any future quarter. At the close of the exam, the committee shall notify the student of the result. As soon as practical, the committee shall file with the Graduate Program Office an evaluation of the student's examination, and if applicable, reasons why continuation in the program was not recommended. This form will be kept in the student's file in the Graduate Program Office.


SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE

Complete Core courses in two (2) general fields.

Complete coursework requirements in two (2) fields (see Summary of Field Requirements )

Complete Methods Requirement (500,501 and either 502 or 503).

Complete 46 credits (18 must be completed at the 500-level and above, and 18 must be numerically graded at the 400 or 500-levels) and three quarters of full time residency (10 credits per quarter/ 400 or above).

Cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or better

No more than 2 incompletes on your transcript; no incompletes may remain in the methodology or field course requirements at the time the exam is scheduled.

CHECKLIST FOR MA DEGREE AND SCHEDULING MA EXAMINATION

______ Establish three-member Master's supervisory committee.

_______Complete and submit to the Graduate Program Assistant Notification of Master's Supervisory Committee Appointments form at least two weeks prior to scheduled exam.

______You must be registered the quarter you plan to take the exam. The contract course Pol S 598, Independent Writing (1-5 credits, graded), is an option during your exam quarter. Forms are available from the Graduate Program Assistant.

______Submit the signed form, Program Requirements Worksheet for Master's Degree to the Graduate office at least two weeks before MA exam.

______Apply (on-line) to the Graduate School for the exam warrant. Deadlines and information and application are found at this website: http://www.grad.washington.edu/mygrad/student.htm

_____ Submit your completed essay to your chair and request to schedule your final examination. Distribute the final draft to all members of your committee. Schedule the exam with all committee members and reserve a room at the front office in Gowen 101.

______Email the Graduate Program Assistant the following information: the title of your paper, the date, time and location of your exam (at least two weeks in advance of your exam).


Overlap between MA committees and PhD committees

MA Committee members do not necessarily or automatically continue as members of the student's doctoral Supervisory Committee. Within two (2) quarters of successfully completing the Master's Examination, students shall constitute the doctoral Supervisory Committee.

THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM

The doctoral program requires that a student gain competence and complete the coursework in three fields before sitting for the comprehensive examination . The comprehensive exam involves taking a written exam in each of the three fields presented for the degree (with the exception of the Political Methodology field) followed by an oral examination by the Supervisory Committee. Within two quarters of successfully completing the comprehensive exam, the student shall write and orally defend the dissertation prospectus before the full doctoral Supervisory Committee (including the GSR); this constitutes the General Examination that determines advancement to candidacy. Following the General Examination, the PH.C. student focuses on researching and writing the dissertation. Once the student's committee has read and accepted a full draft of the dissertation, a request for final examination is submitted to the Graduate School and a final exam is scheduled for the defense of the dissertation.

Readmission

A student who received an MA from this department at some point in the past but did not proceed on to the PhD program must re-apply to the department as well as to the Graduate School for admission to the doctoral program. (This applies only to students who received a recommendation of continued study toward the PhD at the Master's Examination.) The student's application must be accompanied by a written recommendation from a member of the department's faculty who agrees to serve as the Chair of the student's doctoral Supervisory Committee. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the prospective Chair. The Admissions Committee, in consultation with the prospective Chair, will act upon the application.  Reinstatement policies of the Graduate school can be found here: http://www.grad.washington.edu/policies/general/reinstatement.shtml

PhD Residency Requirement

The Graduate School requires a doctoral student to complete a minimum of three academic years of graduate resident study, two of which must be at the UW. Courses must include dissertation credit (27 credits of POL S 800). At least one quarter of dissertation credit must be taken after advancement to candidacy. Graduate School policies can be found here: http://www.grad.washington.edu/policies/doctoral/requirements.shtml

Field Requirements

Students must complete the requirements of three fields including minimum of one general field. The two additional fields may be chosen from among the remaining general fields, the list of specialized fields, or a field constructed by the student. Students may have a maximum of one constructed field and must take a minimum of two general field core courses (See “Field Structures” section). A written exam is given for each of the three fields presented (except Political Methodology). An oral examination follows completion of the written exams.

Political Science 600 – Independent Study or Research

It is Departmental policy that 600 courses used to satisfy field course requirments must be pre-approved by the Field Supervisor on your committee or the faculty Fiels Coordinator if you have not formed a committee.

Course Requirements

Students normally take at least 20 credits of coursework in Political Science or related departments to satisfy requirements for each of the three fields. The exact requirements  are set by the faculty members of each field. Normally, fields may not require more than 20 credit hours of coursework, (exceptions are allowed for necessary language or methodological coursework).

Research/Methodology Requirements for the PhD

All PhD students are required to have completed the full methodology sequence or its equivalent. Refer to the “Research Methods” section of this document on page 1.


Doctoral Supervisory Committee and the Comprehensive Written Examination

Establishing the Supervisory Committee

Within two quarters of passing the MA exam, the student should establish his/her doctoral Supervisory Committee. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the consent of the faculty to serve as committee members and (in consultation with them) to develop a written program of courses representing each field. The committee shall consist of three members and fulfill these requirements:

  • Each member will represent a field as specified above;
  • the Chair and one member must be appointed to the Graduate School’s list of approved graduate faculty;
  • one member (either the Chair or another member) can be adjunct faculty in the Department of Political Science.

Approval by the Graduate Program Coordinator is required if an adjunct faculty member is to be Chair of the committee.
See the Graduate Program Assistant for forms related to establishing the doctoral Supervisory Committee and Exam Reading Fields.

Statement of Exam Responsibilities

The student must meet with his/her faculty field examiners to discuss the content of the written exams for the comprehensive examination . These meetings will include a) discussion of general expectations for exam preparation and performance, and b) provision of Field Reading Lists . At the conclusion of these meetings, the student and faculty examiners will sign a statement, the Written Exam Reading Lists Agreement , indicating their shared understanding regarding the reading lists. This agreement will be given to the Graduate Program Assistant to be placed in the student's academic file. Subsequent alterations or additions to the reading lists by faculty are allowed, but they should be limited in number and specified well in advance ( no later than one quarter prior to the written exam ).

Scheduling the Comprehensive Examination

The department expects graduate students to sit for their comprehensive exams by the end of the tenth (10th) quarter in residence (beginning of the 4th year). Delaying the comprehensive examination beyond that time may be construed as lack of satisfactory progress by the department for financial aid and other purposes. Prior to scheduling the comprehensive examination , all graduate students must request a review of their record to ensure that all department and Graduate School requirements have been fulfilled. The review request is made through the Graduate Program Assistant , no less than four (4) weeks prior to the first written exam. If appropriate the GPA will request that the Graduate Program Coordinator review a student’s record and exam plans so the four weeks lead time is crucial to maintaining the proposed exam schedule.

A student can have no more than three incompletes on his or her transcript at the time of exams. No incompletes are allowed for the courses necessary to fulfill requirements. The student is responsible for coordinating the dates and times of the written exams and oral examination with his/her doctoral Supervisory Committee and submitting the dates and times in writing to the Graduate Program Assistant. The exam schedule and the individual Written Exam Format Agreement forms are due to the Program Assistant at least two weeks prior to the first exam.

Written Exam Format

It is the student's responsibility to schedule meetings with each of his/her field examiners to discuss the written exam format. At this time, the student and field examiners will be asked to sign the Written Exam Format Agreement which specifies the following format variables: location of exam, permitted reference material, exam medium, minimum/maximum page length, number of exam questions and other issues relevant to the exam. Written exams shall last no longer than nine (9) hours over a one day period (approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 9:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ) There shall be no extra time allowed for “cleaning up” exams. An oral examination covering the written exams, as well as any other topics relevant to the examination fields shall be scheduled no later than eight (8) weeks from the date of the first written exam and normally within the same academic quarter. The student is responsible for scheduling the oral exam with his/her field examiners at the time the written exams are scheduled.


CHECK LIST FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS- WRITTEN EXAMS

      Review the information on Department Comprehensive Exams in the Graduate Student Guide. http://www.polisci.washington.edu/Graduate/Graduate_Guide/studentguide.html#cwe

        Establish your Doctoral Committee/faculty field examiners and complete the Program Worksheet for the PhD Requirements form. Submit to the Graduate Program Assistant at least four weeks prior to your first exam.

      Ask your committee members/field examiners to review and sign the Exam Reading Lists Agreement form, and then discuss and finalize the Reading Lists for your exams with each examiner. Please remember that if you take the “collective” IR and/or CP exams, you must select a committee member or members who will sign-off on your IR and/or CP course requirements and represent you at your Oral Exam.

        Establish the date and time (8:30 or 9:00am) for any non-collective exam and with the examiner complete the Ph.C. Written Exam Format Agreement form.

       Establish the date and time of your Oral Exam with your Chair and with other Doctoral Committee members. Reserve a room for the exam at the front office in Gowen 101.

       Submit any Exam Format Agreement forms, and the date and time of your Oral Exam to the Graduate Program Assistant at least two weeks before the first exam.

      You may register for 1-10 credits of POL S 597, Directed Readings the quarter you sit for your exams.
      The morning of each exam the GPA will email you the questions. You will have nine hours to complete the exam and return it to both the GPA and your field examiner.

     You do not need to prepare any forms or materials for your Oral Exam unless instructed to do so by your chair.

Grading the Comprehensive Examination

The decision to pass or fail a student depends upon his/her performance in both the written and oral examinations. Each of the three fields will be graded (distinction, pass or fail) by the field supervisor, and the exam (including the oral component) will be assigned an overall grade (distinction, pass, fail) by the entire committee; an overall grade of distinction will require the unanimous approval of the committee. At the close of the exam, the committee shall notify the student of the result. In the event that the student fails in one or more of the three field exams, the committee shall decide whether or not the student will be allowed to take the examination(s) again, and when they will be given. As soon as practical, the committee shall file with the Graduate Program Office an evaluation of the student's written and oral performance for the comprehensive examination . This form will be kept in the student's file in the Graduate Program Office.

Written Exams in International Relations

Written or Field exams in International Relations are given in a different format (check with your field supervisor to learn if they participate).

A student's IR field supervisor organizes the exam (if two or more students with different faculty examiners are scheduled to take the exam, the IR field supervisors will coordinate the organization of the exam). IR faculty submit draft questions and cooperatively write the exams.

The IR exam contains three sections: World Politics/International Organization, International Security, and International Political Economy. There is a choice within each subsection (minimum of two questions). The exam is open book and open notes. To see past exams:  https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/mercer/19465/

Participating IR faculty will read and discuss each exam. The student's IR supervisor determines whether the student has passed the exam.

Written Exams in Comparative Politics

Exams will be administered on dates chosen by the Comparative Field Coordinator (CPC) in consultation with members of the field.

Exams will consist of a series of questions that have been submitted to the CPC by members of the Comparative Politics field.

The exam will be read by a committee of three individuals, one of which is the student's Comparative Politics Supervisor. The faculty supervisor will be the representative during the oral exam. Participating CP faculty will read and discuss each exam. The student's chosen supervisor determines whether the student has passed the exam.


General Examination (Dissertation Prospectus Defense)

General Examination/Advancement to Candidacy (Ph.C.)

Successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and defense of the dissertation prospectus constitute advancement to candidacy (Ph.C.) for the doctoral student.

Establishing the Doctoral Supervisory Committee and Graduate Student Representative Prior to the General Examination
The Graduate Program Assistant will input the names of the doctoral Supervisory Committee members into the Graduate School mygrad program. The department recommends that the doctoral Supervisory Committee be established within two (2) quarters of completing requirements for the MA. The Graduate School certifies that the faculty named to the student’s supervisory committee are Graduate Faculty. Students are officially admitted to the doctoral program by the Graduate School only after they have officially established their doctoral Supervisory Committee.

Graduate School Representative (GSR)
GSRs are selected by the student in consultation with the committee chair and/or the Graduate Program Coordinator.  All endorsed Graduate Faculty, with the exception of affiliates, are eligible to serve as GSRs.  GSR assignments are unlimited with the exception that faculty are limited to no more than four concurrent appointments within a specific department.

The GSR is a voting member on a doctoral committee whose responsibilities are to:

  • hold an Endorsement to Chair a doctoral supervisory committee;
  • represent the broad concerns of the University with respect to high standards of scholarly performance;
  • provide for The Graduate School, a non-specialist’s view of the quality of the student’s work, ensuring that the student’s mastery of the subject matter is broad and comprehensive;
  • assure that all procedures are carried out fairly and according to the guidelines of The Graduate School;
  • present no conflict of interest with the departments of either the student or the supervisory committee chair (dissertation advisor).  Such conflicts could include budgetary relationships, primary or joint appointments in common with primary or adjunct appointments.  Shared adjunct appointments are permissible;
  • participate in conducting both the General and Final examinations;
  • provide a report to the Graduate School immediately following the examinations (this form is sent to the GSR one week prior to the examination along with an explanation of examination responsibilities).

To insure that your chosen GSR is a member of the Graduate Faculty and does not hold an appointment that would be considered a conflict of interest with your chair, check the faculty name in the Graduate School faculty locator at this address: http://www.grad.washington.edu/gradfac/

 

Dissertation Prospectus Writing (POLS 800)

Following the comprehensive examination, students are allowed up to two quarters to write their dissertation prospectus (summer quarter excluded.) During this time students may register for (up to 10 credits per quarter) POL S 800 . In reviewing the student's dissertation prospectus , the doctoral Supervisory Committee assesses the feasibility of the proposed research, its theoretical and methodological soundness, and attempts to anticipate problems the student may encounter in completing the research. Students may need to prepare several drafts of their prospectus before their faculty supervisor approves it.

Scheduling the General Examination

Once the supervising faculty has approved the prospectus, it must be defended before the full doctoral Supervisory Committee, including the Graduate School Representative (GSR ) (within two academic quarters of the comprehensive examination ). At this time the student must apply on-line for the Warrant for the General Examination from the Graduate School 's web site. Students are responsible for scheduling the defense with their committee members. The student can not apply on-line until all committee members agree to the date, time, and place of the exam. It is recommended that students seek the agreement of the GSR after discussing an exam date with the student's committee Chair . Students are expected to provide a copy of their prospectus to all members of their committee prior to the defense. The GSR should receive an examination format description and any general materials, i.e., an outline of the research presentation. At the conclusion of a successful defense, the full committee will indicate acceptance of the prospectus and recommendation for advancement to candidacy. In cases where the prospectus is not accepted and advancement is not recommended, students will be informed of the reasons and if appropriate given provisions for re-writing the prospectus and re-scheduling the defense.

CHECK LIST FOR THE GENERAL EXAM – PROSPECTUS DEFENSE

      Review the information on the General Examination in the Graduate Student Guide. http://www.polisci.washington.edu/Graduate/Graduate_Guide/studentguide.html#ge

         Forward the names of your Supervisory Committee to the Graduate Program Assistant.

        Establish your Graduate Student Representative (see Graduate Student Guide) for your committee.  If you do not know if your preferred representative is a member of the Graduate Faculty as required by the Graduate School, you can check this on this Graduate School site. Just enter the name. http://www.grad.washington.edu/gradfac/  It is recommended that you seek a GSR after you have discussed an exam date with your Chair. If you have questions talk to the GPA.

       Forward the name of the GSR to the GPA who will establish your full committee in the Graduate School mygrad system.

      You must be registered for at least two credits when you take the General exam. You should register for POL S 800 credits.

      Schedule the examination with all committee members and reserve a room at the front office in Gowen 101. You are responsible for assuring committee agreement on the date, time, and place of the exam.

      After you have the exam information, apply for the Warrant for the General Exam on-line in the Graduate School on-line mygrad program.

     The GPA will download the form and send it to your exam. After the exam the signed warrant is returned to the GPA.

The Doctoral Dissertation/Final Examination

Course Credit (POLS 800)

The doctoral Supervisory Committee Chair normally takes responsibility for the reasonable progress of the dissertation, although other members of the Committee can, at any time, participate in its preparation. Candidates will register for POL S 800 until s/he successfully defends the dissertation. A candidate must have a minimum of 27 credits of 800-dissertation writing prior to scheduling the Final Examination .

Dissertation Content/Format

The dissertation should demonstrate original research and reflect mastery of research techniques as well as selection of an important problem/topic for investigation.

Reading Committee

Prior to scheduling a Final Examination, you must designate a reading committee consisting of at least three voting members of a supervisory committee.  It is the responsibility of a reading committee to (a) ensure that the dissertation is a significant contribution to knowledge and is an acceptable piece of scholarly writing; (b) determine the appropriateness of a candidate's dissertation as a basis for issuing a warrant for a Final Examination; (c) approve a candidate's dissertation and; (d) sign the Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Approval Form which is downloaded from the Graduate School site. The GPA must submit the names of your Reading Committee to the Graduate School prior to your application for the exam warrant.


The Final Examination (Dissertation Defense)

When the doctoral Supervisory Committee agrees that the student should schedule the final examination, the student must coordinate the date, time and place with all committee members. Then the student applies for the Warrant for the Final Exam on-line at the Graduate School 's web site. If the candidate has met all other requirements, the Graduate School issues a warrant authorizing the Final Examination. Following a successful defense of the dissertation, the Supervisory Committee signs the Final Examination warrant. The signed warrant must be submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant and conveyed to the Graduate School by the end of the quarter in which the Final Examination took place. . The signed Reading Committee Approval form must be submitted to the Graduate school by the candidate before s/he submits the dissertation.

If the Final Examination is unsatisfactory, the Committee may recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School permit a second examination after a period of additional preparation. Students must be registered the quarter they take their Final Examination .

Submitting the Dissertation

The doctoral candidate must electronically submit the dissertation before the Graduate School deadline on the last day of the quarter. A candidate has up to sixty (60) days after the Final Examination or the last day of the quarter (whichever comes first) to submit on-line. The Reading Approval form must be submitted to the Graduate School before s/he can electronically submit the dissertation. Carefully review all Graduate School requirements for submission and graduation well before your defense date.

If the end of quarter deadline is missed a student must register as a graduate student or pay the Graduate School Registration Waiver Fee the quarter the dissertation is submitted and the degree conferred. If a student elects to pay the fee they have two weeks to submit the completed dissertation. See http://www.grad.washington.edu/area/regwaiver.html for information about the Graduate School policy.


CHECKLIST FOR FULFILLING REQUIREMENTS AND SCHEDULING EXAMS FOR THE DOCTORAL DEGREE

Prior to Final Examination/PhD:

Review the information on the Final Examination and the submission of the dissertation on these Graduate School sites: http://www.grad.washington.edu/students/etd/index.shtml and http://www.grad.washington.edu/students/etd/info.shtml

         Forward the names of your Reading Committee and any committee changes to the Graduate Program Assistant.
 
         If your Graduate Student Representative has changed please forward the name of the new GSR.  If you do not know if your preferred representative is a member of the Graduate Faculty as required by the Graduate School, you can check this on this Graduate School site. Just enter the name. http://www.grad.washington.edu/gradfac/  If you are appointing a new GSR it is recommended that you seek a GSR after you have discussed an exam date with your Chair. If you have questions talk to the GPA.

      You must be registered for at least two credits when you take the Final Exam. You should register for POL S 800 credits.

      Schedule the examination with all committee members and reserve a room at the front office in Gowen 101. You are responsible for assuring committee agreement on the date, time, and place of the exam

      After you have all the exam information, apply for the Warrant for the Final Exam on-line in the Graduate School mygrad program. http://www.grad.washington.edu/mygrad/student.htm
 
     The GPA will download the form and send it to your exam. After the exam the signed warrant is returned to the GPA who will input the results before the quarter ends.
 
__ Bring your Reading Committee Approval Form to your defense if you have not collected committee signatures before the defense date. If someone is on a conference call or Skype, you will need the committee member’s original signature before you submit your dissertation to the Graduate School and by the GS’s deadline. You must submit the form before the last day of school and before you submit the dissertation.  Go to Final Submission of your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) on this graduate school page; there is a link to the Reading Committee Approval Form: http://www.grad.washington.edu/students/etd/info.shtml


SATISFACTORY PROGRESS IN THE PROGRAM

Duration of graduate programs

The University requires all work for the PhD to be completed within ten years . Most students complete the MA in two years and the PhD within five to seven years from the date of entrance. The department expects every student to make “satisfactory progress” toward a degree; if in the judgment of the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Chair of the student's committee, the student is not making adequate progress, disciplinary action may be recommended. Every student should have a clear understanding with his/her committee chair regarding the dates s/he intends to complete the various degree requirements.

Satisfactory Progress Deadlines

The following deadlines should be met as evidence of satisfactory progress in the program.

1. By the end of your 3 rd quarter (end of your first academic year):

Establish your Chair or Interim Advisor and choose two fields of study for the M.A. Submit the Notification of Advisor Appointment form to the GPA by the date announced in the beginning of spring quarter. You are strongly encouraged but not required to establish your Master's Supervisory Committee.

2. By the end of your 6 th quarter (excluding summer): Complete the Masters requirements and defend your MA Essay of Distinction.

3. By the end of two quarters following completion of the M.A.: Establish your three fields of study and the three-member supervisory committee who will serve as your examiners in these fields.

4. By the end of nine quarters in residence, or third year: Complete the course requirements for three fields and establish the reading lists for three fields. Submit the “The Written Exam Reading Lists Agreement” and “The Program Worksheet for PhD Requirements” to the Graduate Program Assistant.

5. By the end of your tenth quarter or beginning of your fourth year:

Complete your Comprehensive (written) exams in three fields and your Oral exam.

6. By the end of two quarters following the Comprehensive Exams: Complete and defend the dissertation prospectus. This is the General Examination that determines advancement to candidacy.

7. It is generally expected that the dissertation will be completed and successfully defended within two years of advancing to candidacy (Ph.C.) .

Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA to remain in graduate standing. When a student's graduate GPA falls below this minimum, the Graduate School will send the department a “low scholarship” notice. It is then up to the Graduate Program Coordinator to decide whether the department will recommend disciplinary action. It is departmental policy that students must receive at least a 2.7 in all courses satisfying the requirements of their degree program.

Incompletes

Two incompletes shall be permitted at the time of the MA examination and three incompletes at the time of the PhD examination. However, the MA and Ph.C. examinations cannot be scheduled until all I and X grades in the courses necessary to fulfill degree requirements are changed to permanent grades.

Disciplinary Action - Reference Graduate School Memorandum #16.

Disciplinary action may include any or all of the following: departmental warning, Graduate School warning, probation, final probation, dismissal. The Graduate Program Coordinator in consultation with the Chair of the student's supervisory committee issues warnings and probationary actions. Final probation and dismissal are recommended by the student's committee and implemented by the Department's Graduate Program Coordinator.

Students will be warned if

1. their cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.0 and/or

2. they are not making satisfactory progress in fulfilling the departmental degree program requirements as outlined in this guide.

If the deficiencies which caused the warning are not corrected during the quarter following the warning, then probation may be recommended. Probationary status length is usually no more than two academic quarters. Final probation is recommended if the deficiencies are not corrected during the probation period. Final probation status length is one academic quarter. If the student fails to correct the deficiencies, then a drop recommendation is made. Students on probation or final probation status must concentrate on their own studies and are ineligible for any departmental financial aid.

Students may appeal the decisions of their supervisory committee, or the Graduate Program Coordinator. If the student remains dissatisfied, s/he may appeal the change of status decision directly to the Chair of the Political Science Department. Appeals beyond this point must follow the process laid out in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedures.

Plagiarism

The department takes the issue of plagiarism very seriously. Suspected cases of plagiarism should be reported to the Graduate Program Coordinator and a student's committee chair.

Students in the graduate program are expected to adhere to the university's guidelines for student conduct, including its policies on plagiarism. These can be found on the university's webpage at: http://www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html . The procedures for handling cases of plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are contained in the University Handbook, Volume 4, Part 9, Chapter 1 and in WAC Chapter 478-120.

Plagiarism is an important educational issue and eliminating it is critical to the integrity of graduate education.

CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT STATUS/REGISTRATION

Registration

Graduate courses are numbered 500 through 800. Approved 400-level courses are accepted as part of graduate coursework in major as well as supporting fields. Graduate students must be registered full-time (10) credits each quarter (except summer) if they have a Graduate Student Appointment (GSA) as a TA, RA or Student Adviser. Students are encouraged to meet with the Graduate Coordinator or their supervisory committee chair prior to each academic year to determine a course of study for that year, and to monitor progress in the program.

On-Leave Status

Students not in residence (not registered for one or more quarters, excluding summer) must apply for on-leave status from the University or they will be processed by the Registration Office as having resigned from the university. The Graduate Program Coordinator shall approve the student's request for on-leave status. Approval of on-leave status will not normally be given to students who are beyond the time limit set for completion of the MA or PhD, are not making satisfactory progress, or are not in good standing in the program . Students with on-leave status who wish to re-enroll must e-mail the Graduate Program Assistant, and register before the deadline specified for the particular quarter for which the student seeks to register. The on-leave petition is available electronically on the Graduate School web site. The quarter deadlines are found in the academic calendar available from the Registrar's web site.

Continuous Enrollment Status

In order to be eligible to register, a student must maintain continuous graduate student enrollment status; this is accomplished by being enrolled for regular academic quarters or officially on-leave for any regular academic quarter. All graduate students are automatically placed on-leave in the summer if they were registered spring quarter. Failure to register or go on-leave officially the following quarter will constitute evidence that you have resigned from the Graduate School . If you do not maintain continuous enrollment status, you will have to re-apply to the Graduate School and pay application fees and in some cases late-registration fees.


TRAVEL FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

See the Travel section in Office Policies and Procedures.


POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENTAL POLICIES GOVERNING TA AND OTHER DEPARTMENTAL FUNDING ELIGIBILITY RENEWAL

Recommendations for continued funding are made by the Graduate Financial Aid Committee to the Department Chair. Applications are called for and consistent with the ASE agreement, final award notices are normally provided by 1 June. Eligibility for continued funding is determined by the number of years that one has been in the program. Students who are offered funding upon admissions are funded for up to five years from the quarter that they first enroll in the program.

The committee considers the following criteria when evaluating applications:

1) Academic performance, as indicated by satisfactory progress toward the degree (see the Graduate Handbook for guidelines) and satisfactory academic performance in the Department (for which key concerns are incompletes and GPA);

2) For students who have had TA appointments, evaluations of performance, with an emphasis on recent appointments. Evaluations are based on the Student Evaluation of Instruction summaries provided by the Office of Educational Assessment and written instructor evaluations.
Several principles, established by the University in Executive Order 28 and departmental policies, govern the Financial Aid Committee's recommendations. In short, these provide a presumption of continued funding as long as there are sufficient funds, the student is eligible for an award, and the academic and TA performance are satisfactory.

The relevant principles are:

1) Appointments and re-appointments are primarily based upon academic and TA-related performance in the graduate program at the University of Washington.

2) If a student has sufficient remaining quarters “guaranteed”, re-appointment as a TA for the same number of quarters as awarded in previous years can be expected if a student demonstrates satisfactory progress toward the degree, maintains good academic standing, and performs satisfactorily as a TA.

3) Students who have held departmental fellowships or research assistantships but no teaching assistantships are considered for appointment to teaching assistantships under the re-appointment policy.

4) According to departmental policy, all doctoral students must have at least one quarter of teaching experience, or its equivalent, before the dissertation defense and degree completion.

5) In keeping with university policy, all TA awards are subject to the availability of sufficient resources.

TA Awards and Alternates

There are two types of awards:

1) An offer of placement as a TA or other instructional support role for one to three quarters (known as guaranteed quarters), or

2) Placement on an alternate list for one to three quarters of TA eligibility. As resources become available, the department offers TA employment to students on this list. Financial support for students on the alternate list is therefore determined by the number of TA positions that are available, the fit of teaching positions with teaching profiles of students, and by a student's performance in previous assignment.

In addition to appointment as a TA, acceptance of guaranteed or alternate quarters constitutes a willingness to serve in other instructional support roles. Declination of an instructional support role constitutes declination of a TA position for the quarter(s) in question. These alternatives include, but are not limited to:

1) Serving as the Lead-TA, subject to eligibility for full funding.

2) Serving as an instructor for a writing-link course;

3) Serving as the service learning TA;

4) Offering an independent course (for advanced students only);

Residency

The department must request resident and non-resident tuition waivers for all students receiving departmental funding. Because the WA State Legislature restricts the number of non-resident tuition waivers available to the university, students who are eligible for Washington residence but do not apply for resident status in a timely manner are jeopardizing their chances of receiving future non-resident tuition waivers. It is therefore especially important that you obtain state resident status if you are eligible [For more information visit the WA state residency website: http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/residency.html . For residence reclassification forms contact the Residence Classification Office, 209 Schmitz Hall, 543-4188].

Policies Regarding Extensions of Eligibility for Aid and “Double Dipping”

The Financial Aid Committee will normally grant an extension of eligibility if breaks in TA service during the time of eligibility are directly related to the completion of one's graduate program. Student-initiated and externally-funded research is typically viewed as a favorable basis for extending eligibility, especially if the leave is for dissertation research involving field work prior to the end of the 5-year eligibility period. Research assistantships, FLAS, NSF, or other training grants are not normally a basis for extending eligibility, as they are aimed at basic skill acquisition and carry the added incentive of freeing up time from teaching duties. Extensions are for a maximum of one academic year and may be granted for a partial academic year. The committee considers eligibility extensions on a case-by-case basis during what would normally be a student's last year of eligibility.

If you plan to seek an extension of eligibility, attach a letter to your TA application explaining the nature of your leave of absence and grounds for extension.

The department strongly discourages student acceptance of teaching assistantships while also accepting external research or training grants.