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Political Theory General Field

Courses used to satisfy requirements in other fields may not be used to satisfy Political Theory requirements. Completion of at least three courses and seven reading fields distributed as follows:

Requirements for the MA

1. POLS 509 Political Theory Core (5 credits, max 10 credits).
2. One additional graduate seminar from the Political Theory Course List.
3. Completion of two reading fields from the Reading Field list

Requirements for the PhD.

4. One additional course from the Political Theory Course List.
          Note: Provided the course content is different, Pol S 509 may be repeated once and may be counted toward the            total course requirement.

5. Four additional reading fields from the PT reading fields. In total three fields must be drawn from the Historical List and three from the Contemporary List.
          Note: Given the diversity of the field, the faculty recognizes that the requirement of three historical reading fields           may not be appropriate for all Ph.D. students (e.g., some of those interested in formal theory). Students wishing             to propose the substitution of other competencies for the historical reading fields may petition via their field                   supervisor for the approval of such a substitution.

Political Theory Course List

POLS 511 Seminar in Ethical and Political Theory (5 credits)
POLS 513 Issues in Feminist Theory (5 credits)
POLS 514 Selected Topics in Political Theory (5 credits)
POLS 517 Marxism and Critical Theory (5 credits)

Reading Field List

Reading fields describe the specific areas in which students choose to demonstrate competence. Declaring a reading field commits the student to be examined in that field during the field examination. Students may gain this competence by individual reading or through a combination of courses and work on reading lists in coordination with a faculty sponsor. Relevant (not required) courses are indicated for each reading subfield. (The 300-level courses covering the history of western political thought do not themselves count for graduate credit, but rather indicate the literatures we expect students to have covered.)

A. Historical Reading Fields: History of Western Political Thought

Ancient Political Thought (POLS 308)
Early Modern Political Thought (POLS 309)
Modern Political Thought (POLS 310)

B. Contemporary Reading Fields

Democratic Theory
Democratic Theory (POLS 412)
Contemporary Political Theory (POLS 413)

Economic Theories of Politics
Undergraduate Seminar in Political Economy (POLS 409)
Economic Theories of Politics (POLS 583)

Ethics and Politics
Special Topics in Political Theory (POLS 301)
The Individual and the State (POLS 311)
Advanced Special Topics in Political Theory (POLS 401)
Contemporary Political Theory (POLS 413)
Ethical Political Theory (POLS 511)
Selected Topics in Political Theory (POLS 514)

Feminist Theory
Advanced Special Topics in Political Theory (POLS 401)
Feminist Theory (POLS 513)
Special Topics in Political Theory (POLS 514)

Marxism and Critical Theory
Marxism and Critical Theory (POLS 517)

Theories of the State
The Individual and the State (POLS 311)
Theories of the State (POLS 411)
Nationalism and Political Theory (POLS 512)

Postmodern Theory
Political Theory (POLS 509)
Political Culture (POLS 576)

Comprehensive Field Exam Structure:

More information on the comprehensive exams in general.
Individualized exam
– write to the field coordinator and GPA to schedule. The exam may take place during weeks 1 through 8 of the quarter. 

Oral exams take place during weeks 9 and 10 of the quarter. Reach out to your committee to schedule the exam.