Department of Political Science

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1 Department of Political Science Ph.D. in Security Studies The Ph.D. in Security Studies offers a unique doctoral program in the state of Florida. The program offers training of the highest quality for students interested in national security, international affairs, world politics, and transnational problems. The program emphasizes considerable flexibility in terms of the theoretical diversity and intellectual breadth that characterizes security studies. Students will be confronted with traditional theoretical approaches to international security such as realism and traditional topics such as the causes of war, terrorism, and political violence, but they will also be trained in the use of more recent theories such as social constructivism, feminism, and critical theory, and in new security issues such as environmental issues, genocide, poverty and inequality, economic security, and the global spread of epidemics such as AIDS. International security scholars today offer a broad range of theoretical approaches to a variety of traditional and non-traditional issues, and the program is designed to reflect this diversity in its course offerings. Thus, graduates from the Ph.D. program will be prepared to enter careers in government, non-profit, and academic settings, areas that have a growing demand for expertise in security studies. Why a Ph.D. in Security Studies? National security is one of the primary concerns of U.S. policy and has been particularly prominent since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, The attacks made it more obvious than ever that national security is intrinsically linked to international factors. Since then, national security has permeated all facets of political life as well as citizens daily life, from airplane travel and civil liberties to the deployment of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite the urgency of the issue, only a few programs with this focus exist nationally. No institution of higher education, public or private, in the state of Florida offers specialized advanced graduate education in this field. The Ph.D. in Security Studies aims to fill the need for such a program to prepare graduates for careers in government, non-profit, and academic settings. Faculty research interests in security studies include the following areas: psychology of international security, the war on drugs in Latin America, human and environmental security specific to food, marine systems and global sustainability, national security space policy, strategy selection, war termination, security issues in the Caucasus states, and the psychological correlates of foreign policy behavior.

2 Career Opportunities Employment opportunities for those with expertise in security studies are expected to grow faster than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for political science research is growing because of increasing interest in politics, foreign affairs, Political scientists will use their knowledge of political institutions to further the interests of nonprofit, political lobbying, and social and civic organizations. Agencies such as the CIA list multiple employment opportunities that require the qualifications Ph.D. graduates from the proposed program would possess, as do several government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Focusing on Florida, the state s need for persons with advanced security studies training is tied to its political, economic, geographic, and military characteristics. Within Florida, organizations from CENTCOM and SOUTHCOM to Kennedy Space Center (and the associated aerospace industries) and Florida-based non-governmental organizations have strong demands for specialists in human security issues, as well as within the constituencies they serve. The military services and the civilian agencies have turned to the university system in the United States for expertise related to the numerous topics central to security studies. PhD at a Glance Degree awarded: Ph.D. Estimated completion time: 3 years (includes summer semester and assumes full-time status) beyond a Master s degree Faculty working in Ph.D. program: 14 Number students to be admitted in 2013: 5 Academic demand for a Ph.D. degree in fields related to security studies is similarly strong. Given that there are currently only three other Ph.D. programs in the country that specialize in security studies graduates with a Ph.D. in Security Studies would be uniquely qualified for academic careers in the field of security studies. Percentage of graduate students receiving financial aid: 100% Degree requirements: 62 credit hours beyond a Master s degree; 2 years of a foreign language; successful completion of core and elective courses and public oral defense of the dissertation.

3 About UCF and Orlando Orlando is the third largest metropolitan area in the state of Florida. Centrally located, Orlando is only four hours away from Miami, the state s largest city, and Tallahassee, the state s capital. With beautiful weather year round, Orlando is home to a diverse population of over 2 million residents. Orlando International Airport serves as the city s gateway to the world, with direct flights to Europe and Latin America and connecting flights to the rest of the world. The University of Central Florida is a public, metropolitan research university, dedicated to serving its community with their diverse and expanding populations, technological corridors, and international partners. UCF is located on a 1,415-acre campus with world-class facilities, most of which have wireless abilities, only 13 miles east of downtown Orlando. UCF provides advanced education that matches institutional strengths with evolving regional, state, national, and international needs. It supports these advanced programs by recruiting excellent students, faculty, and staff and by supplying the infrastructure that enables these programs to achieve national prominence. UCF provides academic diversity by bringing to its campus national and international leaders who expose students and the community to a wide range of views and issues. UCF achieves cultural diversity by serving a diverse population of traditional and nontraditional students from various races, cultures, and nationalities. The College of Graduate Studies at UCF is home to 8,500 certificated, masters, and PhD students. To support graduate students in their academic endeavors, UCF has awarded 2.8 million dollars in fellowships, 1,500 assistantships, and travel awards to present their research at professional conferences. Orlando offers all the educational and cultural advantages of a large city while UCF provides an ideal educational environment for graduate students.

4 Ph.D. Program Timeframe The Ph.D. consists of 62 credit hours beyond the Master s degree, and demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language (the equivalence of 2 years in the same language). Full-time students can complete the degree in three years. All admissions are made in the Fall semester. Year 1 Fall Semester POS Advanced Quantitative Methods of Political Research INR Theoretical Approaches to Security Studies INR 7139 Issues in Domestic Security Spring Semester POS 7707 Advanced Qualitative Methods INR 7337 Issues in International Security Restricted Elective Professional Development in Security Studies I Students complete oral qualifying exam at end of spring semester Year 2 Summer Semester Unrestricted elective Fall Semester Unrestricted elective Spring Semester Unrestricted elective Professional Development in Security Studies II Written Candidacy Exams taken at the end of Spring semester. Foreign language requirement must be met prior to enrollment in dissertation hours. Year 3 Summer Semester Dissertation hours Dissertation proposal hearing must take place in first semester a student is enrolled in dissertation hours. Fall Semester Dissertation hours Spring Semester Dissertation hours Dissertation completion and defense *Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of restricted and unrestricted electives

5 Teaching & Professional Development Graduate students in the Ph.D. program will generally serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) for at least two semesters. Most students are given the opportunity to teach their own courses after the first year. In addition, students will be required to complete two 1-credit hour professional development courses that will prepare them for a career in academic and non-academic environments, including questions of research ethics in the field, grant proposal preparation, and teaching preparedness. Financial Assistance Students accepted into the Ph.D. program will receive financial support through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). The GTA award will consist of a tuition waiver and stipend covering fall, spring and summer semesters. GTAs will work 20 hours per week. In the first year they will be available to assist instructors. In their second and third years Ph.D. students will be able to teach their own courses as instructors of record. The availability of further research assistantships depends on the receipt of faculty grants. In addition, graduate students are encouraged to apply for UCF fellowships.

6 Admission Requirements The Ph.D. program will be highly selective, with approximately 5 students admitted each year. Admissions will be made in the Fall semester only. Students applying for admission to the graduate program are asked to submit the following: An earned master s degree or its equivalent in Political Science, International Politics or International Relations, or related discipline. The Graduate Program Director will evaluate the suitability and applicability of MA degrees in other disciplines for admission purposes. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 for all master s level work completed. A competitive score on each of the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examination taken within three years prior to admission to the program. A PPI score (Personal Potential Index from the Educational Testing Service). Three letters of reference that evaluate the applicant s academic performance and their suitability and potential for undertaking doctoral study, at least one of which must be written by a faculty member at the institution where the master s degree was earned, preferably the thesis advisor for those applicants who wrote a master s thesis. A personal statement of words describing the applicant s academic and professional experience and goals. A writing sample of the applicant s work that is at least 2500 words long and demonstrates ability to complete graduate-level research. Students who are short-listed for admission will be invited for an interview with the department s Doctoral Program Committee, either in-person on campus or by phone or Skype. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other equivalent test approved by the Graduate College, unless they hold a degree from a U.S. accredited institution. The TOEFL is strongly preferred. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 90 on the Internet-based test (IBT), 232 on the computer-based test, or 575 on the paper-based test. The minimum IELTS

7 How to Apply Use the graduate online application system found under the Graduate Studies website. Further information may be obtained by contacting: Graduate Program Director Department of Political Science University of Central Florida Orlando, FL Phone: Fax: Web site: politicalscience.cos.ucf.edu Join us on Facebook at For More Information UCF homepage: UCF College of Graduate Studies homepage: Graduate Student Association homepage: City of Orlando homepage: Department of Political Science Ph.D. in Security Studies

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