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Foundations of Political Analysis (Graduate Certificate)

Online and On-Campus


Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus, Virginia Tech Online (Virtual)

Residential/On Campus, Online Courses for Virtual Option  

Program Overview

This certificate prepares you to conduct high-quality research with a solid understanding of contemporary political theory. This certificate responds to an existing demand by degree-seeking and non-degree students, studying on campus or online. It will recognize courses that students successfully complete as they focus on developing a foundation in political analysis in political science.


Domestic (Blacksburg Campus Only) Application Deadlines:

  • Spring: January 1
  • Summer I: May 1
  • Summer II: June 1
  • *Fall:  August 1

International (Blacksburg Campus) Application Deadlines:

  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer I: January 1
  • Summer II: February  1
  • *Fall: April 1

Domestic and International (Online/Virtual Campus Only) Application Deadlines:

  • Spring: January 1
  • Summer I: May 1
  • Summer II: June 1
  • Fall:  August 1

Andrew J. Scerri, Director of Graduate Studies
515 Major Williams Hall

Karen Nicholson, Graduate Programs Coordinator
531 Major Williams Hall

Our Students

Why choose this program?

  • The department's relatively small scale provides excellent opportunities for close student-faculty interaction in both the residential and online programs of study. 
  • Our Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center for residential students.
  • Participants in online program complete their course work over the Internet through asynchronously conducted on-line graduate courses.
  • Department faculty is drawn from outstanding universities around the United States and around the world, and the department has strong expertise in all major sub-fields of political science. 
  • As active research scholars, members of the faculty regularly review research grants for major granting bodies in the U.S. and abroad, and serve as editors or on editorial boards of major peer-reviewed journals, including Administration & Society; Capitalism, Nature, Socialism; Critical Policy Studies; Congress and the Presidency; Fast Capitalism; International Political Sociology; the minnesota review; New Political Science; Peace Studies Journal; Presidential Studies Quarterly; Rhetoric & Public Affairs; and Telos.

What You'll Study

The certificate requires successful completion of a total of twelve credit hours, of which 9 credits are required courses and 3 are elective. Students need to receive a grade of B or better in each course to receive the certificate. Students will not be allowed to retake a course for a better grade if they receive below a B. All course are for 3 credit hours. All students must complete:

* PSCI 5214 Contemporary Political Theory
* PSCI 5115 Research Methods I
* PSCI 5116 Research Methods II

In addition, students must complete at least 3 credit hours of Political Science graduate course offerings from:

  • PSCI 5344 - Political Behavior
  • PSCI 5504 - Discourse Analysis

Faculty Experts In Political Science

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