The Politics curriculum at The New School represents four major fields of political science in the United States: political theory, American politics, comparative politics, and global politics. Graduate students are trained in these fields, especially at the PhD level, through departmental field seminars and field examinations. Research and teaching in politics at The New School for Social Research are informed by historical, comparative, and theoretical frameworks that bring people together across these fields. Historical knowledge and understanding provide an indispensable base for judgments about contemporary issues and problems. That big political questions have important comparative referents is taken for granted. As political life entails concerns about cultural horizons and forms of inequality, students are encouraged to learn and use a wide range of theoretical approaches, including feminist thought, critical theory, and cultural studies.
Most members of the faculty and many of our students pursue projects that cross fields within political science.
The Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research takes a distinctive approach to the study of politics. We emphasize the theoretical dimension of political analysis with regard to both political explanation and normative evaluation. We focus on the historical roots of contemporary political forces and problems. Faculty members are interested in how institutions shape political life, in the intersection of political and cultural processes, and in classical and current conceptions of political economy.
The Department of Politics contributes to the scholarly community that is The New School for Social Research through joint courses, research projects, and conferences. For example, the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, founded by Professor Aristide Zolberg and now directed by Professors Miriam Ticktin and Alexandra Delano, engages in research, policy analysis, and education bearing on international migration, refugees, and the incorporation of newcomers into host societies.
Distinguished visiting scholars from other institutions join our faculty on a regular basis. Visiting professors are an important part of the department’s life; they assist the regular faculty by helping supervise dissertations and other student work. The Politics Department welcomes proposals to visit from faculty and advanced graduate students, which we review once per term (fall and spring) each academic year. All approved visitors have access to the university library and public seminars, lectures, and conferences, as well as the general IT services at the university.
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PhD candidates must earn 30 credits in addition to the 30 credits taken in the MA program, for a total of 60 credits. The 60 credits must include the MA seminar, the PhD seminar, two department field seminars, two courses in research methodology (one of which must focus on quantitative methods), and one course in dissertation research (normally independent study with a member of the Politics faculty). Students may take up to two additional courses (a maximum of six credits) in dissertation study. Transfer students may be assigned credit for all or part of their previous graduate studies up to a maximum of 30 credits.
Students must take written PhD qualifying examinations in their major field (Political Theory, American Politics, or Comparative Politics) and one other field. An oral examination, consisting of an oral defense of the student's dissertation proposal, is also required. Complete information about PhD examinations is contained in the department handbook; see the link above.
Students in the Politics MA program can apply to enter the PhD program after completing 18 credits at The New School for Social Research and should definitely apply by the time they have completed 27 credits. (By careful selection of courses, students who are completing the requirements for the MA degree in Historical Studies may also qualify for entry into doctoral study in Politics.) For more information on these procedures, consult the Politics departmental handbook, found in the sidebar.
Foreign Language Requirement
All PhD candidates must demonstrate reading knowledge in a foreign language appropriate to their dissertation topic by passing a language examination administered by the department.
Applicants for graduate school who are seeking financial aid should notify their prospective academic department early in the application process. Graduate students are automatically considered for university merit-based scholarships and fellowships as part of the admission process. Note however: For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, limited scholarship funds are usually combined with government supported grants and loans in a financial aid package, so applicants must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Graduate students are notified of their scholarship awards soon after their admission in a letter from either their academic program or Student Financial Services.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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