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Sample PhD Tracks

All Sanford School PhD students, regardless of disciplinary concentration or policy area focus, will generally spend their first two years of the program taking classes – a combination of public policy core courses and electives. Students usually spend their third year writing and defending their dissertation proposal, supported by a Research Seminar in Public Policy. The fourth and fifth years are typically devoted to writing and defending the dissertation. Below are illustrative graduate student career paths, to provide a better idea of what your five years at Duke will encompass.

Year

Fall

Spring

Sample Path 1: Disciplinary Concentration in Economics, Policy Focus in Health

1

  • Political Economy of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics I
  • Econometrics I
  • Ethics of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics II
  • Econometrics II
  • Health Policy Elective
  • Theories of Public Policy Qualifying Exam

2

  • Health Policy Elective
  • Economics Field Elective
  • Economics Field Elective
  • Political Science Elective
  • Health Policy Readings Course
  • Economics Field Elective
  • Sociology Elective

 

3

  • Comprehensive Exam on Economics and Health Policy
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Preliminary examination, including defense of dissertation proposal

4

Write dissertation

5

Complete and defend dissertation

 

Year

Fall

Spring

 

Sample Path 2: Disciplinary Concentration in Political Science, Policy Focus in Globalization and Development

1

  • Political Economy of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics I
  • Political Science Research Methods
  • Ethics of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics II
  • Political Science Research Methods
  • Globalization & Development Elective
  • Theories of Public Policy Qualifying Exam

 2

  • Globalization and Development Elective
  • Political Science Field Elective
  • Political Science Field Elective
  • Sociology Elective
  • Globalization & Development Readings Course
  • Political Science Field Elective
  • Open Elective

 

3

  • Comprehensive Exam on PoliSci and Development
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Preliminary examination, including defense of dissertation proposal

4

Write dissertation

5

Complete and defend dissertation

 

Year

Fall

Spring

Sample Path 3: Disciplinary Concentration in Sociology, Policy Focus in Social Policy

1

  • Political Economy of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics I
  • Sociology Research Methods
  • Sociology Theory Course
  • Ethics of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics II
  • Sociology Research Methods
  • Social Policy Elective
  • Theories of Public Policy Qualifying Exam

2

  • Social Policy Elective
  • Sociology Field Elective
  • Sociology Field Elective
  • Social Policy Readings Course
  • Sociology Field Elective
  • Political Science Elective

 

3

  • Comprehensive Exam on Sociology and Social Policy
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Research Seminar in Public Policy
  • Preliminary examination, including defense of dissertation proposal

4

Write dissertation

 5

Complete and defend dissertation

 

Year

Fall

Spring

Sample Path 4: Disciplinary Concentration in Psychology, Policy Focus in Social Policy

 1

  • Political Economy of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics I
  • Research Design
  • Social Development
  • Ethics of Public Policy
  • Microeconomics II
  • Applied Correlations Regression Analysis
  • Psychology Elective
  • Theories of Public Policy Qualifying Exam

 2

  • Sociology Elective
  • Psychology Elective
  • Social Policy Elective
  • Social Policy Elective
  • Psychology Elective
  • Political Science Elective

3

  • Comprehensive Exam on Psychology and Social Policy
  • Dissertation Proposal Workshop I
  • Dissertation Proposal Workshop II
  • Preliminary examination, including defense of dissertation proposal

4

Write dissertation

5

Complete and defend dissertation