American Politics

Our courses engage the major areas of study in the field.  We boast specific strengths in political behavior, public opinion and political communication, race, ethnicity, and politics, political parties, and American political development.  We also cover, however, national institutions, urban politics, interest groups, and representation.

Training in American Politics

American Politics Faculty offer a range of courses at the graduate level. Students pursuing American Politics as a first or second field must take the following three courses in partial preparation for the comprehensive exam: 

  • American Political Institutions and Behavior (PS 410)
  • Theories of American Political Institutions (PS 411)
  • Theories of Political Behavior (PS 413)

Students pursuing American Politics as their primary field should take a broad range of courses offered by American Politics faculty, in addition to the three required for the exam. They also must complete the methods sequence: Introduction to Probability and Statistics (PS 403) and Linear Models (PS 405).  

Students should seek advice from the Field Chair and/or their advisor on additional substantive and methods training that might be helpful for their doctoral studies. Students pursuing American Politics as a primary field often supplement their training with courses offered in following departments and programs:  Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, and SESP.

Students pursuing American Politics as their second field should take two additional courses from American Politics faculty, earning a B+ or higher in each course. 

Comprehensive Exam in American Politics

Students should notify and consult with the Field Chair as early as possible in their preparations to take the exam.  Questions on the exam are solicited from American Politics faculty and typically will be based on courses offered in American Politics over the past two years.

American Politics faculty and students are active in a number of programs and workshops

Faculty and Graduate Students