PhD in Political Science

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PhD in Political Science

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, or Ph.D. in Political Science, is a doctoral-level course. This program lasts between one and three years, although, for part-time Political Science students, it can last up to five years. A wide range of topics, including human rights, international politics, political theory, political economics, and more, are covered in the Ph.D. program in political science.

Course Name Ph.D. in Political Science 
Full Form Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science
Duration 3-5 Years
EligibilityMinimum 55% in PG
Entrance Exam Scores 
Admission ProcessMerit-Based and Application-Based
Top Entrance Exams NET, CRET, RET, PET
Careers and Scope Political Scientists, Market trend Research Analysts, Professor, Public Relations Specialists, and Survey Researchers

What is Ph.D. in Political Science?

The vast field and subfields of political science offer students the opportunity to delve deeper into myriad issues related to international politics, governance, public administration, international relations, history, and much more. In particular, the Ph.D. in Political Science program caters to the interests of those individuals who wish to venture into advanced fields such as Area Studies, Public Policy, Law, Human Rights, political psychology, violence and war studies, and even topics related to Business, Globalisation, Financial Economics, etc. It provides individuals with the necessary flexibility and background to develop and express ideas, conduct research through quantitative and qualitative method, and analyzes cross-effects among socio-economic-cultural factors. In this blog, we will share some important details pertaining to this doctorate program.  

Ph.D. Political Science Syllabus

Course-1 Research
Course-2 State and Politics
in South Asia
Course 3- Governance and Politics in India
Foundations, Approaches,
and Epistemologies of
Political Science Research
Contextualising South AsiaApproaches and Perspectives
to Indian Political System
Survey Research MethodsProtracted Disputes, Human Security and Environmental IssuesParty System in India
Statistics and Data CollectionPolitical and Economic Challenges Protection for Minorities and Deprived Groups
Research DesignForeign Policies of South
Asian Countries and Regional Cooperation Initiatives.
Structural Concerns
Course 4- Decentralization and
Development in India
Course 5- India and International
Political Economy
Decentralization and Development in
Political Economy
Decentralization and Community
Land Reforms in India
Decentralization, Governance, and the
Structure of Local Political Institutions 
International and Multilateral Economic Institutions and Developing Countries
Participation and Local DevelopmentPublic Policy Analysis

4 Parts of a Ph.D. Program (Political Science)

Credits – Dr. Emily Maiden

Degree Options in Political Science

Owing to the diverse range, subdivisions, and specializations, there are different types of degree options for a Ph.D. in Political Science [3-8 years] one can pursue. This includes the traditional PhD program which includes a comprehensive coursework curriculum, research projects, electives, practical training, fieldwork, and teaching practicum along with a host of other elements. In addition to that, one can also go for an integrated PhD, an MPhil/PhD as well as dual PhD degrees amalgamating two different disciplines such as communication and political science, international relations and journalism, diplomacy and communication, etc. All of the above courses gear up an individual for a career in research in the capacities of research assistant, teaching assistant, and researcher in academic institutions, international research organizations, political consultancies, and governments, amongst others.

Also Read: International Relations Courses

Ph.D. in Political Science: Eligibility

While the Ph.D. in Political Science program is largely subjective and the department/university may implement varied eligibility conditions, in general, to enter such Ph.D. courses, one is required to possess a high-standing MA in Political Science or master’s degree in a related discipline, for instance, MA History, etc along with prior research, paper publication, assistantships under a professor or even professional experience. Relevant teaching exposure is also encouraged. In a fair amount of universities worldwide, one can also enroll directly after completing a BA in Political Science with strong credentials.

Related Article: Political Science Syllabus

Ph.D. in Political Science: Universities

As you may already be aware, institutions in the Ivy League(USA), London School of Economics & Political Science(UK), University of Toronto(Canada), etc have cemented themselves as household names when it comes to pursuing a PhD in Political Science as well as other Political Science Courses. However, there are many emerging study-abroad destinations and options which have steadily gained rankings, have internationally recognized faculty, and offer vibrant avenues for building a strong career in political science, amongst others. Here we mention a few of them.

Name of UniversityLocationQS Rankings 2023Courses
Duke UniversityUSA#50Ph.D. in Politics, Public Life & Governance
University of EdinburghUK#15Ph.D. Politics & International Relations
King’s College LondonUK#37MPhil/Ph.D. in International Politics Economy
MPhil/Ph.D. Politics Research
MPhil/PhD Political Economy Research
Ph.D. in Russian & Eurasian Studies
University of Texas-AustinUSA#72Ph.D. in American Politics
Georgia Institute of TechnologyUSA#88Ph.D. in History & Sociology of Technology & Science-US Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
Australian National UniversityAustralia#30PhD in Diplomacy
Ph.D. in International Politics & Strategic Studies
Ph.D. in Political Science & International Relations
University of
UK#28PhD Politics
The University of QueenslandAustralia#50Ph.D. Government
Ph.D. Government/History

Read more about pursuing doctorate programs at different destinations: Ph.D. in Europe, Ph.D. in France, Ph.D. in Canada 

Top Universities in India

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi
  • University of Hyderabad [UOH], Hyderabad
  • Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), New Delhi
  • IIT, Gandhinagar
  • Banasthali Vidyapith University, Jaipur
  • University of Delhi
  • Amity University

Application & Admission

As for application procedure, universities offering a PhD in Political Science conduct admissions through two routes namely, the general online application as well as through approaching professors directly. To gain admission through the latter route, your research interests must align with that of your potential professor. Application materials may also include GRE and IELTS/TOEFL scores, Research Proposals, statements of Purpose (SOP), Letters of Recommendation (LOR), official transcripts, and CVs, amongst others.

Careers and Jobs After Ph.D. in Political Science

Here is a list of popular careers in political science:

  1. Advocate/Organizer
  2. Budget Examiner or Analyst
  3. Banking Analyst or Executive
  4. Career Counselor
  5. Congressional Officer/Committee Staffer
  6. Civil Services (Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services)
  7. Journalism
  8. Political Scientist
  9. NGO
  10. Legislative Assistant
  11. Secretary to government departments 
  12. Human Rights Activists
  13. Legal Adviser to Political Parties
  14. Election and Campaign Manager
  15. Teacher/ Professor 
  16. Politician 
  17. Policy Analyst
  18. Public Relations Specialist
  19. Public Affairs Research Analyst
  20. Mediator
  21. Foreign Service Officer
  22. Corporate Manager
  23. Immigration Officer
Job ProfileJob Description
Policy AnalystA policy analyst thrives to achieve in-depth knowledge about a subject and is responsible for evaluating the merits of a policy and how it will impact the masses. This career in Political Science is a popular choice and involves extensive research and analytics.
Legislative AssistantLegislative Assistant’s responsibilities include providing written and verbal assistance to coordinate with ongoing political activities like policy issues, legislation, brief scripts for campaigns, etc.
Public Relation SpecialistA Public Relation Specialist is expected to prepare persuasive stories to influence the opinions of the public using media. They simply draft attractive lines keeping in mind the current affairs. When the time arrives, they often organize press conferences and other events to compel the media towards their ideas.
Political ConsultantA political consultant advises political parties on how can they gain more attention, support, and votes from the citizens. They suggest ways to brand and fix up the damaged image of the party.
AttorneyMany lawyers work for lobbying firms, political figures, and interest groups to conduct research based on policy and legislative matters. They shape up and express ideas on behalf of their client to get an agreement on a particular stance from the major decision-makers.
Intelligence AnalystIntelligence analyst works for latent agencies of the government. The most famed agencies include the National Security Agency and the CIA. As an intelligence analyst, you will write reports based on your findings and present them in front of your agency.
University Professor/ Teacher Political graduates who have an inclination towards reaching politics or political science as a subject or any of its branches such as international law, world politics, or public administration often choose this field. One can be a professor of Political Science at a University or College. For that, you should have a degree in B.Ed/M. Ed in order to teach in any University/College/School

Must Read Political Science Books!


Q.1. What does Ph.D. in Political Science stand for?

Ans: Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, or Ph.D. Political Science, is a degree that falls within the umbrella of the arts.

Q.2. What are some of the common entrance exams for Ph.D. Political Science admission?

Ans: CRET, RET, and PET are some of the common entrance exams for Ph.D. Political Science admission.

Q.3. What are the career options after Ph.D. in Political science?

Ans: Students can get placements globally and also appear for Indian Civil Services, Market Trend Analyst, or Professor in educational institutions.

A Ph.D. in Political Science, being a heavily research-inclined program requires consistent efforts toward one’s R&D goals and interests. If you wish to pursue it or any other Ph.D. programs, consult the experts and mentors at Leverage Edu who will in order to fulfill your study abroad dream  

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  1. Sir i am studying in ma english so i am in interest in phd in political science i am eligible or not eligible please commend

  1. Sir i am studying in ma english so i am in interest in phd in political science i am eligible or not eligible please commend