Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Political Methodology (Minor)

Political Methodology (Minor)

Qualifying Exam

The minor field political methodology exam consists of a four hour written exam, which tests the student on the foundational materials covered in the political science methods sequence (PLSC 501, 502, 503 and 504). The exam covers the foundational material presented in PLSC 501-502-­503-504 (formerly 597C).

The written exam consists of three sections. The first two of these consists of short answer/essay questions. The third section requires students to conduct data analysis in the lab in the context of a substantive application. All sections will be open book and open note and the student will have access to statistical programs.

Students skipping 501 or 502 because they completed an equivalent course elsewhere should consult with subfield examiners and course syllabi to confirm the emphasis in content for their particular exam session. The readings listed in the syllabi will be assumed to provide the topic basis for the exam. Students may draw on alternative presentations of the same material in studying for the exam. More important is that the students have a conceptual and technical mastery of the material and be able to demonstrate proficiency in implementing the methods. The examination committee recognizes that the content and emphasis of these courses varies from year to year. Therefore, the student can expect to be examined on topics that correspond to the emphasis and scope of the versions of 501-502-503-504 that he or she experienced.

Responsibility for evaluating the qualifying examination shall rest entirely with the desig­nated subfield examiners. However, the highly specialized nature of some research techniques may make it desirable for the examiners to seek the advice and input of faculty who have used techniques relevant to or taught courses related to the students method of specialization. Therefore, additional faculty from Politi­cal Science or other departments may be invited to read and evaluate the written examination and participate in the oral portion of the examination.