Political Science

Designed primarily to prepare students for academic careers, although some graduates do pursue careers outside academia, the Ph.D. program in Rice's Department of Political Science is highly selective, emphasizing small classes, individual attention and early opportunities for research. Focusing on the research areas in American Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations, with several concentrations available within each, graduate students will be exposed to a number of approaches to the study of political science. In addition, the department offers a variety of methodology courses, including advanced statistical techniques, formal and mathematical modeling, and computer simulation.

Because of its small size, admission is restricted to students whose interests match the expertise of the faculty. We encourage you review the faculty’s research interests to determine whether the program meets your needs. Students are required to begin in the fall semester for proper course sequencing.

For more information, please visit the Department of Political Science website and download the graduate study brochure. Download the graduate program handbook for a more detailed overview of the program requirements.

Areas of Research

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

Degrees Offered:


The department has no M.A. program, however, the Master of Arts degree is earned as a student progresses toward the Ph.D.


The Department of Political Science Contact Information

Professor Ashley Leeds, Chair
119 Herzstein Hall
Phone: 713-348-3037
Fax: 713-348-5273 
Email: leeds@rice.edu
URL: http://politicalscience.rice.edu/