Illustrative list of senior theses in political science

Keith Wilson is an IU doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Comparative Politics, International Relations and Central Eurasian Studies. He is completing his studies while serving as an active duty Air Force officer from Fort Meade, Maryland. His military service began when he was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Michigan in 2001, where he received a BA in Political Science and History, before going on to earn an MA in International Relations from Creighton University in 2009. Originally from Wyandotte, Michigan, Keith has been married over 15 years to Jennifer and has two daughters, Avery (13) and Mallory (11).

 The Political Science department offers graduate instruction in the following fields:

Samuel E. Bestvater is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science, studying Comparative Politics and Political Methodology. His research interests center around contentious politics and political participation, with a specific focus on social movements, their outcomes, and their downstream effects on political behavior. Sam has a methodological specialization in quantitative and computational research methods, with a particular interest in big data and social media applications for social science research. For the 2017-2018 academic year, he serves as co-president of the Political Science Graduate Student Association.


Swarthmore College Political Science ..

Political science applicants are accepted for the fall semester only. Financial aid is limited to PhD candidates. The deadline for aid applications is January 15. Applications for September admission without aid must be completed no later than April 1. Please note that applications, as well as credentials and supplementary materials, must be submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please do not direct applications to the Department of Political Science.


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Graduating from Swarthmore with a bachelor of arts degree with highest honours in 1963, Robert Putnam went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford – where he spent a good deal of time with David Butler and Donald Stokes, (who were writing at the time). He then went to Yale to do graduate work. There he earned a master’s in 1965 and a doctorate in 1970. He had wanted to do a comparative study covering Britain and a contrasting country. He chose Italy – partly influenced by Joe LaPalombara’s enthusiasm for the country. This work became the book, . Published in 1973 it was to establish him as a major figure in his discipline. Robert Putnam’s reputation was further strengthened by studies of political elites (1976) and summits (1984).

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Candidates who perform exceptionally well on this examination are admitted into the PhD program. These students must then complete eight additional courses or seminars (32 credits), including one more graduate core seminar, to satisfy the course requirement for the PhD (see section on PhD in Political Science.)

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This program is one of educational enrichment for those already employed in a professional career, or enrolled in a professional school for training, in a related social science field such as law, social work, public administration, and journalism. It is not intended for students planning to work for the doctorate in political science.

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Admission and Prerequisites To be considered for this program, a student must be employed in a professional career in a related social science field or be enrolled in a related social science, legal, or public affairs program. Applicants should indicate why they believe that graduate-level work in political science will augment their training or enrich their chosen careers. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.