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Student Resources

All faculty, staff and students traveling on any Penn State related business (e.g. courses, research, conferences/presentations, internships, etc.) must register all foreign travel in the TSN, the University is now able to gather complete information about where our graduate students are traveling in case we need to assist them during their time abroad.

General Information:

Graduate Student Handbook
The Political Science department Graduate Handbook contains much of the important information you need.  If you have a question about the requirements of your program of study check here first.

Graduate Course Syllabi

College of Liberal Arts Graduate Information

This page provides information from the college. 

Dissertation information from the Graduate School
This website provides links to all of the information you need to complete your dissertation including questions about formatting and submitting the final versions.  Do not use the information about MA theses as our department rules for this are different.

Graduate School Calendar
This website provides links to semester deadlines, especially the deadlines for submitting dissertations to graduate in each semester.  The deadlines concerning your Master’s Essay are different from those listed here so check the department’s graduate student calendar for these.

Written Qualifying Exam Information
This page will provide the information you need to prepare for your written qualifying exams.

Doctoral Committee Policy

All doctoral committees must have a minimum total of 4 Penn State Graduate Faculty members, 2 of the 4 must represent the major field (one of which must serve as the chair), one of the 4 must represent an Outside field member, and one must serve as Outside Unit. The outside field member and outside unit member can be the same person. For students pursuing a dual-title field of study, both programs must be represented in the chair position. If you political science advisor is not affiliated with the dual program, a co-chair representing the dual-title field must be appointed. In most cases, the same faculty is a member of both major and dual-title fields, so they are serving as a sole chair. The doctoral committee paperwork should be at the time you are scheduling your oral comprehensive exam. All the paperwork should be in no later than 3 weeks prior to your oral comprehensive exam.

Request to take a course in addition to 601

SARI Information
Graduate students entering the program on or after Fall 2009 are required to complete a unit on Scholarship and Research Integrity. This page provides information about the unit as well as important links on Research Integrity. Grants and Awards available to Graduate Students: There are a number of grants and awards available to you.  The links below provide information about both internal and external grants and awards that might help improve your research.

Penn State Grants and Awards:

Department funding opportunities

Summer Program Support Application
All graduate students are guaranteed funding to attend special summer programs for at least one summer (for the study of subjects crucial to the student’s program of study, such as foreign languages or advanced statistics). The application deadline is March 1, 2018.

Summer Research Award
The department provides summer support to continuing students on a competitive basis to work with faculty collaborators on research leading to a joint or student-authored publication. The award pays summer wages; the sole duties of the students receiving the awards should be those tasks required for the research projects in question. These tasks should represent the student’s primary summer responsibilities (i.e. the student should not accept this award and also work for additional hours in another position). The application deadline is March 15, 2018.

Research Support Program (College of Liberal Arts)
College funds are specifically designated for dissertation related research, or for release time from teaching (TA) and research (RA) responsibilities; the College requires ABD status to award funds. If you are ABD and applying for research support in the department, you must fill out this application. Doing so also constitutes an application to the Research Support Program in Political Science. Deadlines are September 30 and March 17.

Research Support Program (Political Science)
This program offers awards to continuing graduate students for research-related activities that are tied to their professional development and progress toward the Ph.D. Graduate students at any level may apply for such funds although preference will be given to advanced students and dissertation-related research. Do not use this application to apply for conference travel support or support to summer programs.  Deadlines are September 30 and March 17.

Conference Travel Grant Application
The Department of Political Science awards grants throughout the year to help fund students to present research at national or international professional conferences. All currently enrolled students presenting papers or posters are eligible to apply but preference will be given to students who have completed successfully their master’s essay. The yearly conference travel plan must be turned in each academic year (July 1-June 30) that you plan to apply for funding. Funding requests are due when you submit the proposal to present work at a conference.

Any graduate student requesting to travel for University business to countries on the U.S. State Department's Warning List must submit their request to travel to the Graduate School a minimum of 60 days prior to their proposed departure date. All requests must be approved by the University in order for students to travel and the process to review these requests necessitates no less than 3 weeks.

Please review the Graduate Student Policy for Travel to Countries on the U.S. State Department's Warning List.

MANDATORY STATING JULY 1, 2016: Any graduate student or employee must register per the Travel Safety Network (travel registry) process, found at: This is for anyone traveling anywhere outside the Continental US, regardless of location.

Please be sure to consult the "Airfare Booking Options & Services" chart supplied by Penn State on their Travel website prior to booking any business flight you intend to submit for reimbursement.  It is best you access the most current version of the spreadsheet at under "Quick Links" on the right hand side of the screen "Airfare Booking Options & Services."

Useful Links for Making it Through Graduate School:

Advice on seeking a Mentor
This page provides useful advice on how to work with a graduate school mentor.

Graduate Writing Center
The Graduate writing center provides both peer-consulting and workshops on improving your writing.

Stata Help
This page provides useful links for using and interpreting results from Stata.

Teaching Assistant Resources

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