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Graduate Student Guide: 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 Economy
  • Political Methodology
  • Public Law

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.

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 programs 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, and to receive final approval, email the field supervisor (or Field Coordinator if you do not have a committee) and copy the Graduate Program Assistant. The GPA will note the results of the request in your file.