Political science has a rich history at Tulane, which is where the American Political Science Association was founded in 1903. Today, our Ph.D. program prepares students to ask innovative questions, conduct independent research, and become effective teachers. In training students, we emphasize the importance of mastering methodology and research design and using those tools to analyze how political phenomena develop around the world. Our faculty has broad expertise – the department consists of scholars who study domestic and international politics, in relation to the United States and the countries of Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The substantive concerns that motivate the research of our faculty and students consist of the politics of inclusion and exclusion; the consequences of inequality; obstacles to sustainable development; international trade, cooperation, and conflict; the protection of human rights; and the foundations of durable authoritarianism. Those thematic research foci intersect in multiple ways and jointly contribute to informing our understanding of some of the most pressing global concerns of our times. The department is methodologically diverse and inclusive of different approaches to the study of politics.
The PhD in Political Science offers rich opportunities for collaboration with faculty from other units. They will be critical resources for the specialization of students in the graduate program.
The PhD curriculum builds on Tulane’s outstanding resources and tradition of scholarship on Latin America, embodied in the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research. The Murphy Institute's seminars with an emphasis on political economy, rights and policy will enrich our students’ experience and vice versa. Students interested in urban politics can draw on the recently established interdisciplinary PhD program in City, Culture and Community (CCC) with its focus upon “interdisciplinary research aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of urban social problems, relationships between global processes and local change, and the challenges of sustainable development” as well as its concern with urban policy and the post-Katrina recovery of New Orleans. Students interested in global community health and global environmental health may work with faculty from the Institute for Global Health. Our PhD program's examination of political institutions in the rule of law and institutional organization also offers opportunities for interaction with the Law School and the Business School.