The Department of Political Science and the Gould School of Law offer a dual degree program leading to the JD and PhD degrees. Applicants must apply to the Department of Political Science, the School of International Relations and the law school, and meet requirements for admission to all. In addition to the LSAT, students interested in this program are required to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
In the first year, students take their course work in the law school exclusively. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in the law school honors programs. The second and third years include 40 units of courses in political science and 40 units of law. Students must take two methodology courses, POSC 500 and POSC 600 , and three core courses to be selected from POSC 510, POSC 512 , POSC 520, POSC 530 and POSC 540 .
To obtain a PhD in Political Science and International Relations, students must pass the screening process. After the completion of additional course work, students must take a PhD qualifying examination in three fields. Students will be examined in two of their three fields of concentration. The third ("write-off") field will be completed by taking at least three courses and passing them with a grade of B or better. The final requirement, following successful completion of the qualifying examination, is a doctoral dissertation.