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Department of Government

Questions?

  • SPA Government
    202-885-6200
    Fax: 202-885-2967
    govt@american.edu
    Ward Circle Building, Room 230

Mailing Address
Students discuss during graduate seminar

PhD Program Experience

The Department of Government’s PhD program offers graduate students an opportunity to work closely with prominent scholars in a range of subfields. Our students specialize in either American or comparative politics; and they choose a secondary field either from within the School of Public Affairs – such as public policy or public administration – or from a department outside the school, including international relations or methodology. Regardless of the subfield, we provide our students with rigorous training, both substantively and methodologically.

In addition to their coursework, doctoral students are socialized into the discipline and profession through a variety of research workshops in the Department of Government. Our students also benefit from exposure to activities, conferences, and research opportunities offered by the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, the Women & Politics Institute, and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, all of which are directed by faculty based in the department.

By the time they complete the PhD program, our graduate students are well on their way to producing original research, and they have the skills necessary to pursue careers teaching at colleges and universities. Indeed, we encourage students throughout the course of their graduate school careers to present research papers at major academic conferences, work closely and co-author with faculty members, publish in top journals, and seek prestigious awards to fund their research. In recent years, our students have received National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and National Security Education Program fellowships, among others.