G-POLI-PHD - Political Science - PhD

Degree designation.

The Department of Political Science offers graduate work leading to the MA and PhD in political science.

Instruction is designed to prepare the student primarily for teaching and research. Instruction is currently offered in the following fields: political economy; behavior and identity; security, peace, and conflict; political methodology; normative political theory and political philosophy; and political institutions.

Further details on the graduate Program in Political Science, the departmental facilities, the staff, and available financial aid may be obtained from the director of graduate studies, Department of Political Science.

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Interdisciplinary Analysis + Action

Earn your phd from duke university, phd admissions.

Duke University’s PhD in Public Policy program at Sanford offers candidates the chance to explore policy questions that have critical impact on society today, both globally and domestically.

The program spans about five years, with a requirement of 48 credits. We emphasize interdisciplinary study, mentorship and personal attention. 

6-8 students matriculate each year, and work closely with a mentor. 

Photo: Ajenai Clemmons PhD'21 with Professor Deondra Rose. Ajenai's research examines policing of African American and European Muslim communities.

Covid & GRE

We will not penalize applicants whose transcripts show Pass/No Pass or other similar grading options from Spring 2020.

GRE Scores are required and cannot be waived.

Our philosophy

We are interested in the potential of our graduate students to make significant, real world policy contributions, which is often not reflected in grades. We consider whether applicants pursued a rigorous curriculum relevant to their graduate or professional school plans. Academic records are considered wholistically alongside letters of recommendation, personal accomplishments, personal statements, and test scores.

FAQs on Applying to the PhD Program

Applicants to the PhD Program in Public Policy will be applying to the Duke Graduate School using its electronic application.  Please review the  Duke Graduate School Admissions Website  for detailed instructions on all application requirements .

Students may also apply for  joint degrees .

In addition to completing the Graduate School requirements, applicants must also:

  • Designate a disciplinary concentration. After selecting “Public Policy Studies – PhD” in the “Proposed Department/Program and Highest Degree Sought,” the next section of the application is “Intended Special Field.” Choose one: economics, political science, psychology or sociology. 
  • Submit a resume (not to exceed two printed pages)
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose and Educational Objectives
  • Submit a writing sample of no more than 20 pages, demonstrating academic or professional research. Add this to “additional documents.”  

Please utilize this essay to discuss your goals in relation to Duke University. We are interested in your academic and professional experience, your intended course of study (including a disciplinary concentration and policy area focus) and your longer-term career objectives.

Yes. Please see our section on financial aid  for funding and fellowship opportunities.

Explore the  Graduate School's admission statistics for Public Policy candidates  for information on scores, career outcomes and other data.

Most applicants wait until admission decisions are made before visiting our campus.

Personal interviews are conducted in February for a select group of students as part of the admissions process.

No, you may only apply to one of the programs.

Please contact the  Public Policy PhD Program Coordinator  with any questions.

Browse the Sanford faculty directory . Contact individuals whose research aligns with your interests.

Duke's University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP) PhD is a 5-year program for intense research training, combining disciplinary specialization in economics or political science with an emphasis on understanding policy settings and the precise nature of the problem we hope to solve with policy.

UPEP applicants should apply directly to the  Duke Graduate School . More information on PhD Applications can be found on the  PhD Admissions  page. All doctoral students must enter the program in the fall semester. We welcome applicants from diverse academic, cultural, socioeconomic, and professional backgrounds. Approximately 3-5 students are projected to enter the program each fall, for a total of 20-25 students enrolled at any given time.

Admission to the UPEP program is extremely competitive, with less than 10 percent of applicants typically offered admission. Applicants should have a record of high academic achievement and the potential to become leading researchers on environmental policy issues. Although the program’s admissions committee evaluates applicants from a comprehensive standpoint, successful applicants will likely have:

  • High GPA and GRE scores.
  • Personalized letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s scholarly ability.
  • Research interests that overlap those of one or more UPEP faculty members.
  • A personal statement that explains the applicant’s interest in pursuing an Environmental Policy PhD at Duke and preferred disciplinary concentration.
  • Clearly specify the preferred concentration in the personal statement. Adequate preparation for PhD-level training in either economics or political science is an important consideration in admissions. 

No, but your chances of admission will increase if your application indicates that you have identified one or more faculty members in the Nicholas or Sanford schools whose research interests are similar to yours.  You are welcome to communicate with faculty members before you apply, but please note that they cannot tell you whether you will be admitted.  Admission decisions are made by the Duke Graduate School, as advised by the UPEP admissions committee, not by individual faculty members.

Will I be assigned an advisor if I am admitted?

Yes.  You will be assigned an advisor when you are admitted. 

Can I change my advisor?

Yes.  Contact the UPEP Director of Graduate Studies.

Can I work with only my advisor as a teaching assistant (TA), a research assistant (RA), or on my dissertation research?

No.  TA assignments are made independently of advisor assignments, although you will likely serve as a TA for your advisor at least once.  RAships depend on funding availability.  You can serve as an RA for either your advisor or another faculty member.  UPEP students form dissertation committees consistent with Duke Graduate School rules, and members of the committee other than your advisor often play a large role in supervising aspects of the research.

Special Programs

Md/phd program.

Pursue a joint degree in medicine, through Duke’ s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This program seeks to train leaders in academic medicine, who will combine clinical and research careers. Successful applicants receive funding to pay for both their medical school and PhD training. Applicants must apply to both the PhD and the MSTP program.

Ph.D. Fellowship in Media and Philanthropy

The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society and the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy provide support for a pre-doctoral fellowship in the Ph.D. program of the Sanford School of Public Policy. This position is designed to further research and inform practice on questions at the intersection of the media, philanthropy, and democracy in the U.S.

UPEP Program in Environmental Policy

Duke's University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP) PhD is a 5-year program for intense research training, combining disciplinary specialization in economics or political science with an emphasis on understanding policy settings and the precise nature of the problem we hope to solve with policy. 

Questions or Clarifications?

Anna  Gassman-Pines

Anna Gassman-Pines

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Anna Gassman-Pines is a professor of public policy and psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. She is also a Faculty Affiliate of Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. Gassman-Pines received her BA with distinction in Psychology from Yale University and PhD in Community and Developmental Psychology from New York University. Her research focuses on low-wage work, family life and the effects of welfare and employment policy on child and maternal well-being in low-income families. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, American Psychological Association, National Head Start Association, and National Institute of Mental Health, and various private foundations.

PhD Handbook

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Hear fourth-year PhD candidate Marayna Martinez talk about her experience at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

Ph.D. in Public Policy

General info.

  • Faculty working with students: 42 primary appointments, 19 secondary appointments, adjunct and visiting
  • Students: 30
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: November 30

Anna Gassman-Pines Director of Graduate Studies Attn: Ph.D. Program Sanford School of Public Policy Duke University, Box 90243 Durham, NC 27708-0243

Phone: (919) 613-9214

Email: [email protected]

Website:  https://sanford.duke.edu/academics/doctoral-program/

Program Description

The Ph.D. in Public Policy is an interdisciplinary social science degree. Graduates of the program are prepared for academic positions in public policy, public administration, policy-oriented schools, social science departments, and for professional positions in domestic and international public agencies and research organizations. The program aims to matriculate 6-8 students per year, enabling each student to receive individual faculty attention in courses and in research.

The core of the program is research mentoring with one or more faculty members, as the student becomes expert in an area of inquiry.  Initially, the student's research is closely tied to that of faculty members but, by the dissertation, the student becomes an independent scholar.  The program requires a two-course sequence in theories of public policy, and coursework in three other social science disciplines. Students designate both a disciplinary concentration such as political science, sociology, or psychology in which they take a minimum of five courses, and a policy focus, such as social policy, globalization and development, health policy, or other policy area. Students interested in environmental policy should apply directly to the University Program in Environmental Policy, but may enroll in Public Policy Ph.D. courses.

  • Public Policy Studies: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
  • Public Policy Studies: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
  • Public Policy Studies: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
  • Public Policy Studies: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms Available:  Fall

Application Deadline: November 30

Graduate School Application Requirements See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (See departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General Required (GMAT not accepted)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Joint Degree Students will also have the option to apply to the joint degree program in each of our allied disciplines: political science, psychology and sociology. There are a limited number of spots for the joint degree program. You can find more information for this program here: Joint Degree .

Statement of Purpose Guidelines We carefully review each applicant’s essay. Please utilize this essay to discuss your goals in pursuing the PhD in Public Policy at Duke University. We are interested in your academic and professional experience, your intended course of study (including a disciplinary concentration and policy area focus) and your longer-term career objectives.

Writing Sample A writing sample is not required.

Allied Disciplines Applicants to the joint Ph.D. program in Public Policy and Allied Disciplines must submit an additional essay for admission to the program. Regardless of your selection of primary department, please respond to the following prompt:

In 500 words or less, please explain your interest in the joint Ph.D. program offered between Public Policy and an Allied Discipline. Highlight how your research interests and past experiences lie at the intersection between Public Policy and the Allied Discipline and how participation in the joint program will facilitate your professional goals after receiving your degree.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance

List of Graduate School Programs and Degrees

University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP)

group of UPEP students

Identifying policy solutions to environmental challenges requires a command of social sciences, alongside topical knowledge and understanding of relevant policy processes. Duke's University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP) PhD is a 5-year program for intense research training, combining disciplinary specialization − in economics or political science − with an emphasis on understanding policy settings and the precise nature of the problem we hope to solve with policy. That requires integrating multiple perspectives to frame useful applications of disciplinary rigor.

Our students and faculty conduct world-class research, in domestic and international contexts, on a wide array of topics in environmental economics, policy, and politics. Graduate placements have included academic positions in disciplinary departments, interdisciplinary units, and professional schools and professional positions in domestic and international public agencies, environmental organizations, research institutes, and consulting firms.

The UPEP PhD program is jointly administered by the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School of Public Policy. It draws on the extensive resources of both schools, as well as numerous departments and research institutes across Duke University. UPEP students work in close proximity to PhD students in other disciplines, within each School as well as across Duke. We have close affiliations with the  Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions , the Duke University Energy Initiative , and the  Duke Global Health Institute .

UPEP builds on a long history of Duke University engagement with environmental policy issues. The predecessors of the Nicholas School—the School of Forestry, the Marine Lab, and the Department of Geology—were founded in the 1930s. The Sanford School of Public Policy traces its history to the formation of Duke’s Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs in 1971. Both schools have offered environment-focused PhD training for many years. In 2010, UPEP was created to bring together groups engaged in social science research and training for environmental policy.

Applying to UPEP

UPEP applicants should apply directly to the  Duke Graduate School . All doctoral students must enter the program in the fall.

We welcome applicants from diverse academic, cultural, socioeconomic, and professional backgrounds. Approximately 3-5 students are projected to enter the program each fall, for a total of 20-25 students enrolled at any given time.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the program is extremely competitive, with less than 10 percent of applicants typically offered admission. Applicants should have a record of high academic achievement and the potential to become leading researchers on environmental policy issues. Although the program’s admissions committee evaluates applicants from a comprehensive standpoint, successful applicants will likely have:

  • High GPA scores.
  • Personalized letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s scholarly ability.
  • Research interests that overlap those of one or more UPEP faculty members.
  • Applicants should clearly specify the preferred concentration in the personal statement. Adequate preparation for PhD-level training in either economics or political science is an important consideration in admissions. 

Matching with Faculty

UPEP conducts program-level admissions review to evaluate applicants’ backgrounds and interests and find matches with potential advisors. Applicants may contact faculty members individually, but it is not necessary to secure an advising commitment in advance in order to be accepted into the program.

To identify faculty members with research interests similar to yours, consult the active UPEP advisor list in the UPEP Handbook and explore the  Nicholas School Faculty Database  and the  Sanford School Faculty Directory .

Other Areas of Study

Candidates should have a strong interest in either the economic or political aspects of environmental studies . If you are primarily interested in other areas, consider the following doctoral programs instead:

  • If you are interested primarily in natural science aspects of the environment, consider applying to the Nicholas School’s  PhD program in Environment ,  PhD program in Earth and Ocean Sciences , or  PhD program in Ecology . 
  • If you are interested in studying marine resource issues from social science perspectives other than economics or political science, consider applying to the Nicholas School’s  PhD program in Marine Science and Conservation .
  • If you are interested in an applied social science degree without a specific focus on the environment, consider applying to the Sanford School’s PhD program in Public Policy Studies .

Faculty Who Advise UPEP Students

Nicholas faculty.

  • Elizabeth Albright
  • Lori Bennear
  • Brian Murray
  • Marty Smith
  • Jeff Vincent 
  • Erika Weinthal

Sanford Faculty

  • Sarah Bermeo
  • Sara Sutherland
  • Marc Jeuland
  • Robyn Meeks
  • Subhrendu Pattanayak
  • Alexander Pfaff

PhD Students in UPEP

Current students.

Savannah Carr-Wilson

Maya Chandrasekaran

Xingchen Chen

Alex Diaz Herrera

Ryan McCord

Dylan Munson

Gabriela Nagle Alverio

Chrissie Pantoja Vallejos

Matthew Reale-Hatem

Paula Sarmiento

Zhenxuan Wang

Ben Weintraut

Updated 10/2023

UPEP fosters interaction among students, Duke faculty, faculty at neighboring universities (in particular North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and visiting researchers by co-sponsoring two seminar series that meet regularly during the academic year: 

  • Environmental Institutions Seminar Series (held at Duke). 
  • Triangle Resource and Environmental Economics Seminar Series  (held at Research Triangle Institute). 

UPEP runs its own internal biweekly seminar in which mostly students present to the other students and faculty.

Students also participate in numerous other seminars sponsored by the Nicholas School, the Sanford School, the Departments of Economics and Political Science, and other schools, departments, institutes, and centers at Duke and area universities.

Institutes & Centers

Students in the program interact with researchers at several institutes and centers at Duke, including: 

  • Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
  • Duke Global Health Institute
  • Social Science Research Institute
  • Duke Center for International Development 
  • Duke University Energy Initiative

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find our responses to the most common questions asked by prospective applicants.  

General Questions

What is the difference between UPEP and other PhD programs in the Nicholas and Sanford schools at Duke?

UPEP is intended for individuals who are interested in conducting PhD studies in environmental policy with an emphasis on economics or political science, under the supervision of Duke University faculty members who have primary appointments in the Nicholas or Sanford schools. 

Other PhD programs at Duke are probably more appropriate for you if you are interested in natural science aspects of the environment, purely disciplinary programs in economics or political science, fields of public policy other than environmental policy, or studying marine resource issues from perspectives other than economics or political science. 

If you are still not sure which program to apply to, please contact the faculty members whose research interests you and ask them which programs admit students that they can supervise.

What kinds of careers does UPEP prepare students for?

A variety of organizations hire individuals with PhDs in environmental policy, including universities, research institutes, government agencies, private-sector consulting firms, and NGOs.  

Is UPEP an interdisciplinary program?

UPEP is interdisciplinary in the sense of requiring students to learn about two important dimensions of environmental policy—economics and politics—and encouraging them to develop a basic understanding of natural science aspects of the issues that interest them.  It emphasizes, however, the development of disciplinary expertise in either economics or political science as applied to environmental policy issues.

What kind of financial aid will I receive if I am admitted?

Details will be provided in your offer letter.

Can you send me a brochure on UPEP?

All information on UPEP is web-based.  Please contact the UPEP Director of Graduate Studies Assistant (DGSA,  [email protected] ) if you are unable to find the information you are seeking on this website.

Does Duke have a Master’s program in Environmental Policy?

Duke has a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program, which is administered by the Nicholas School and includes an Environmental Economics and Policy concentration , and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, which is administered by the Sanford School.

Does Duke have a joint JD/PhD program in environmental policy?

You can earn both a JD and an Environmental Policy PhD from Duke in the following way.  Begin by applying to the three-year JD/MA program, with the MA in either Environmental Science and Policy (through the Nicholas School) or Public Policy Studies (through the Sanford School).  Please contact the Duke Law School for more information on the JD/MA program.  In the final year of the JD/MA program, apply to UPEP like any other applicant.  Depending on the courses taken during the JD/MA program, the number of additional years required to complete the UPEP PhD might be reduced from 5 years to 4 years, but probably not by more. 

Program Requirements

How long does the program take to complete?

Typically 5 years.  You can see illustrative timelines for the environmental economics and environmental politics concentrations in the UPEP Student Handbook .

Are economics and political science the only concentrations under UPEP?

Currently, yes.  

Do I need to decide on my concentration (economics or concentration) when I apply?

Yes.  You should state your intended concentration in your application.  Applicants who are unsure about their concentration will not be admitted.

What are the requirements of each concentration?

Please see the UPEP Student Handbook for program and curriculum details.

Do I need to identify a prospective advisor before I apply?

No, but your chances of admission will increase if your application indicates that you have identified one or more faculty members in the Nicholas or Sanford schools whose research interests are similar to yours.  You are welcome to communicate with faculty members before you apply, but please note that they cannot tell you whether you will be admitted.  Admission decisions are made by the Duke Graduate School, as advised by the UPEP admissions committee, not by individual faculty members.

How do I identify faculty members who might be interested in advising me if I am admitted?

Please see the “UPEP Faculty” listed above.

Will I be assigned an advisor if I am admitted?

Yes.  You will be assigned an advisor when you are admitted.  Your advisor will likely be a faculty member that you have mentioned in your application.  Another faculty member will be assigned, however, if none of the faculty members that you mention is available or if another faculty member is deemed to be a more suitable advisor for you.  Assigning an advisor at this early point in the program ensures that you will have a faculty member who will take responsibility for advising you on course selection, discussing your research interests, assisting you in obtaining grants and fellowships, and in other ways helping you complete the program successfully.

Can I change my advisor?

Yes.  Students interested in changing advisors should contact the UPEP Director of Graduate Studies.

Can I work with only my advisor as a teaching assistant (TA), a research assistant (RA), or on my dissertation research?

No.  TA assignments are made independently of advisor assignments, although you will likely serve as a TA for your advisor at least once.  RAships depend on funding availability.  You can serve as an RA for either your advisor or another faculty member.  UPEP students form dissertation committees consistent with Duke Graduate School rules, and members of the committee other than your advisor often play a large role in supervising aspects of the research.

Admissions Process

How do I apply to UPEP?

You apply through the Duke Graduate School. 

When is my application due?

The application deadline is posted on the Duke Graduate School website .  Late applications are generally not considered.

Can I enter the program during the spring semester instead of the fall semester?

No.  All students must enter during the fall semester.

Do I need to visit Duke before I apply?

No.  If you are interested in visiting, please contact the faculty members whose research most interests you and arrange a time to visit when they are available.  You will be responsible for making and paying for your own travel arrangements.  If you are admitted to UPEP, then you and other admitted students will be invited to visit Duke in mid-March, with the costs of that visit being covered by Duke up to a budgeted amount.

How are admission decisions made?

UPEP has an admissions committee, which meets in early January to review all of the complete applications submitted to Duke Graduate School.  Incomplete applications are not reviewed.  Based on the admission committee’s findings, the UPEP Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) provides recommendations to the Duke Graduate School as to which students should be admitted.  The Graduate School makes the official admission decisions.

When will I find out if I have been admitted?

Typically by the middle of February.

When must I decide whether to accept Duke’s offer of admission?

This information will be in your offer letter.  The date is typically in mid-April.

If I am admitted to the program, can I defer admission?

Ordinarily no, but deferrals may sometimes be granted for medical reasons.

Will I automatically be considered for other PhD programs at Duke or for a Master’s program if I am not admitted to UPEP?

No. Your application to UPEP is only for UPEP.

If I am not admitted to UPEP, should I enter another program and then apply for a transfer to UPEP?

You are welcome to do this, but there is no guarantee that it will increase your chances of admission.  You will be required to reapply through the normal process, and your application will be reviewed with along with those from first-time applicants.

I applied to the program last year but was not admitted. I would like to reapply. Can Duke transfer my scores, transcripts, and other materials to this year’s application?

No. You must submit a new application.

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Studying the role of desalination in water scarcity and management, new project aims to combat toxic power dynamics and enhance equity in phd education.

​​​ ​ Rachel   Myrick​

Department of political science |  duke university.

20200916_myrick_rachel011_edited.jpg

Website:  www.rachelmyrick.com

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @rmmyrick91

I am the Douglas and Ellen Lowey Assistant Professor of  Political Science at Duke University.  My research explores how partisan polarization affects foreign policymaking in democratic states, with an emphasis on U.S. national security policy. More generally, I am interested in the interplay between domestic and international politics in matters of security and conflict.  

My research is published or forthcoming at academic journals like  International Organization,   International Studies Quarterly , Journal of Conflict Resolution , and Journal of Politics,  among others. I am a faculty affiliate of the Program in American Grand Strategy at Duke , the  Carnegie International Policy Scholar Consortium and Network (IPSCON), the America in the World Consortium (AWC), and the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS). I am also a member of the  Aspen Strategy Group's Rising Leaders Program for young professionals in national security and foreign policy. 

I completed my PhD in 2021 at the  Department of Political Science at Stanford University . At Stanford, I was a Ric Weiland Graduate Fellow in the Humanities & Sciences  and a Graduate Fellow at the Stanford Center for International Conflict & Negotiation (SCICN). My doctoral dissertation won the Merze Tate Award (formerly Helen Dwight Reid Award) from the American Political Science Association and the John McCain Dissertation Award from the Munich Security Conference. 

Prior to attending Stanford, I received an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar . 

Old Globe

Rebecca Dudley

Assistant professor.

Political Science

Brigham Young University  

PhD, Duke University (2023)

Security, Peace & Conflict

Pre-Doctoral Fellow (2021-2023)

America in the W orld Consortium at Duke University

Graduate Fellow (2022-2023)

Triangle Institute for Security Studies

Hans J. Morgenthau Fe llow (2021-2022)

Notre Dame International Security Center

Graduate Fellow (2019-2022)

Duke Program in American Grand Strategy

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University, teaching courses in American Foreign Policy and Civil Wars. I received my PhD in Political Science at Duke University, with specializations in Security, Peace & Conflict and Political Methodology (applied statistics). I was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the America in the World Consortium at Duke University and a Graduate Fellow with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies. I was previously the Graduate Fellow for the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy (2019-2022), and a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at the Notre Dame International Security Center (2021-2022). My research focuses on conflict resolution and foreign policy, emphasizing the role of third parties in the dynamics of conflict and conflict resolution. My dissertation examined the decision of third-party states to become diplomatically involved in a resolution process, with an emphasis on U.S. diplomatic foreign policy.

Kerry L. Haynie

Kerry L. Haynie

Kerry L. Haynie is Professor and Chair of Political Science, Professor of African and African American Studies, and a former Chair of Duke’s Academic Council (Faculty Senate), 2019-21. He earned B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Before coming to Duke in 2003, Haynie was a member of the faculty at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the University of Pennsylvania.    

Haynie’s research examines how the underlying theory, structures, and practices of American political institutions affect African Americans’ and women’s efforts to organize and exert influence on the political system. In 2012, he and his co-author Beth Reingold were the co-winners of the American Political Science Association’s Women and Politics Research Section’s Best Paper Award. In addition to articles in various academic journals, his publications include,  Race, Gender, and Legislative Representation: Toward a More Intersectional Approach  (with Beth Reingold and Kirsten Widner, Oxford University Press) winner of the 2021 Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize from the American Political Science Association for the best book in legislative studies.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Education, training & certifications.

Bio & CV

duke university political science phd

I am a Professor in the departments of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University and presently an Associate Editor at the American Journal of Political Science . I study the theoretical determinants of collective action  in contexts as diverse as political violence and terrorism, elections, and opinion and identity formation. My research has been published in journals such as the  American Political Science Review ,  American Journal of Political Science , and  Journal of Politics , as well as in a pair of books from  Princeton University Press . Prior to coming to Duke, I was on faculty at  Florida State University . Before that I got my Ph.D. from  Stanford University ‘s  Graduate School of Business , and before that I studied  physics .

My CV is here . Click on Research, above, for links to all my academic publications. You can also check me out on Google Scholar or on Scholars@Duke . I can sometimes be found on Bluesky at @daveasiegel.bsky.social . If you’re interested in my blog posts or media appearances, you can find links here . If you are in the media and interested in talking about any of the topics I research, please contact me via e-mail.

I typically teach classes on terrorism, game theory, network analysis, and research methods of various sorts. I also actively advise students. You can find details of each by Clicking on Teaching or Advising, respectively. I’ve co-written a book on mathematics for social scientists and produced a full set of (free) video lectures, problem sessions, and problem sets to go along with the book. You can find links to the book and all video course material off the Teaching link. Also off that link are links to an online version of the Intro to Empirical Methods course I’ve taught for the past few years as part of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute .

I co-organize a yearly Behavioral Models of Politics Conference with Jon Woon at Pitt that is intended to encourage communication among those exploring models of politics that bring in insights from the vast literature on individual behavior. You can check out some past programs at their websites here ,  here , and here .

Recent Scholarship & Milestones

February 16, 2024.

  • Pablo Beramendi and Scott de Marchi have been selected to the editorial team of the American Political Science Review  
  • Pablo Beramendi and Jan Vogler (Ph.D. '19) and George Vanberg. et. al. (edited by Jeffery A. Jenkins and Jared Rubin).  The Oxford Handbook of Historical Political Economy .  Oxford University Press. 
  • Pawel Charasz (Ph.D. '22) has been awarded the  Quality of Government Best Paper Award 2023 for the paper, “Burghers into Peasants: Political Economy of City Status in Congress Poland," from the QoG institute at the University of Gothenburg
  • Craig M. Rawlings, Edgar V. Cook, Kiersten Hasenour, E.K. Maloney, and Lynn Smith-Lovin. " Are Victims Virtuous or Vilified? The Stories We Tell Ourselves (and Each Other) ."  Annual Review of Sociology .
  • Suhyen Bae (Ph.D. '26) has been awarded a  2023 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the American Political Science Association
  • Amy H. Liu and Edmund J. Malesky. 2024. " Cultural Constraints and Policy Implementation: Effects of the Beijing License Plate Lottery on the Environment ."  Quarterly Journal of Political Science .
  • Paula McClain has been selected as a Margaret Olivia Sage Scholar by the Trustees of the  Russell Sage Foundation . 
  • Marco Morucci (Ph.D. '21) has just accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Michigan State University
  • Our 89 Year History
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  • Why Major in Political Science?
  • Major Requirements
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MAPE in brown box

The Master of Arts in Analytical Political Economy (MAPE) degree is a joint master’s program of the Departments of Economics and Political Science, necessitated by a growing interest in political economy among young economists and in economics by young political scientists. These fields are converging, and economic policy making in fields such as immigration, environmental regulation, digital rights, and international trade increasingly includes a strong political component.

Political economy examines the reciprocal relationships between politics and markets, both within and among countries, using a variety of analytical tools, including those of economics. Its concerns include interactions among economic and political development; cooperation and conflict among nations, groups, and individuals; the distribution of material resources and political power; the effects of political actors and institutions on economic outcomes; the causes and consequences of technological and structural change, growth, and globalization; and local, national and international regulation.

The MAPE program offers a quantitatively rigorous curriculum rooted in economic and political theory, application, and analysis. It gives students experience with economic modeling, along with a deep understanding of how and why policies are developed and implemented.

MAPE students are eligible for research assistantships through either department. The RA positions are administered by the department of the respective faculty supervisor. Interested students must find a professor willing to include them in an ongoing research project. Although not every aspiring student achieves a match, many MAPE students have held a research assistantship under this program.

Students pursuing an MA in Political Economy can participate in research involving applied development and program evaluation in conjunction with the Duke Center for International Development . DCID provides an applied learning environment that focuses on connecting international development scholars with practitioners to carry out development projects. It brings together faculty and graduate students from several Duke units. They work in a broad range of areas, including education, health, governance, environment, labor, trade, finance, and growth.

What Makes Our Program Different?

MAPE students learn about interactions between economics and politics with the flexibility to develop quantitative skills, emphasize one discipline or another, and take courses in a wide range of Duke schools and departments. They have access to subsidized research assistantships as well as opportunities to enroll in PhD-level courses!

The MAPE differences:

  • Courses everywhere:  Our students develop their economics knowledge through rigorous graduate courses offered by the Economics and Political Science departments, but they do not stop there. They may enroll in advanced mathematics, statistics, and computer science courses that count toward MAPE requirements. Subject to advisor approval, practically all students branch farther out to take graduate classes in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Fuqua School of Business, and the Law School, among others.    
  • Research opportunities:  MAPE is designed to enhance research competence. Students take courses that require challenging research papers. In addition, Duke faculty regularly hire MAPE students to work as research assistants, enabling them to strengthen their applied skills and tools. The rigor of the MAPE curriculum is recognized not only by MAPE’s parent departments, Economics and Political Science, but also by other Duke units. Several of our recent students have held research positions in Duke’s public policy and business schools. Research assistantships are paid positions. They help students defray the costs of pursuing a MAPE degree.  
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) opportunities:  Very few master’s programs give their students opportunities to work as a teaching assistant. We are different. Many of our master’s courses select their TAs from second-year cohorts of our master’s programs. Working as a TA enables students to deepen their learning of materials. It provides opportunities to develop leadership skills. Finally, it allows students who wish to enter a PhD program to signal their ability to communicate ideas clearly and compellingly. The last opportunity is especially valuable to international students. Like a research assistantship, a teaching assistantship is a paid position.  
  • Diversity of student interests:  MAPE students share a passion for understanding the interactions between economics and political science. But their interests are quite varied. Some pursue research-intensive experiences; others explore internships. Some deepen their exposure to advanced economics; others broaden their knowledge of political science. Some choose courses that build theoretical capabilities; others are drawn to policy-oriented courses. MAPE supports all such paths. Subject to program requirements, students can develop their own interests. Because of this feature, the program is ideal for students who have not yet settled on a career path.  
  • Career vs. further education:  To date, roughly 40% of MAPE students have gone on to a doctoral program, usually directly after graduation. The majority have been in, or ultimately selected, the “career path” to a job in consulting, a think tank, government, even business. We value this diversity of goals. We believe in letting you discover the path that suits you best through the rich experiences provided by our program, including interactions with other students. Whatever goals you select, MAPE advisors and faculty will assist you in reaching them.   

Degree Requirements Summary

30 credits in graduate economics and political science, or related areas, are required. They must include:

ECONOMICS:  At least 12 credits in economics graduate courses selected from the subfields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, with no more than 6 credits in any one of the three sub-fields. The courses listed below are highly recommended, but others can be substituted with the approval of the program co-directors.

POLITICAL SCIENCE:  At least 12 credits in core political science graduate courses, normally including POLSCI 745. The following courses are highly recommended, but others can be substituted with the approval of the program co-directors.

  • ECON 605 Advanced Microeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 601 Microeconomics 
  • ECON 701 Microeconomic Analysis I
  • ECON 705 Microeconomic Analysis II 
  • ECON 602 Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 606 Advanced Macroeconomics I
  • ECON 652 Economic Growth
  • ECON 656S International Monetary Economics
  • ECON 702 Macroeconomic Analysis I
  • ECON 706 Macroeconomic Analysis II
  •   ECON 608 Introduction to Econometrics
  •   ECON 612 Time Series Econometrics
  •   ECON 613 Applied Econometrics in Microeconomics
  •   ECON 703 Econometrics I 
  •   ECON 707 Econometrics II
  • POLSCI 522S Comparative Party Politics
  • POLSCI 632 Computational Political Economy
  • POLSCI 644S The Political Economy of Inequality
  • POLSCI 645S Political Economy of Growth, Stabilization, and Distribution
  • POLSCI 646S The Politics of European Integration
  • POLSCI 705S Political Economy of Macroeconomics
  • POLSCI 715 Core in Political Institutions
  • POLSCI 730 Formal Modeling in Political Science
  • POLSCI 745 Core in Political Economy
  • POLSCI 762 The Political Economy of Institutions
  • Every student must pass a qualifying exam in political economy. This exam tests for competence in core themes of the program, including microeconomic and macroeconomic policy. The exam is administered by the Department of Political Science at the end of the final semester of enrollment in the program.
  • Every student must pass a final portfolio review conducted by the student’s committee. The portfolio provides a record of the student’s learning and research in the program. It must include the following items: final versions of all papers; slides from oral or written presentations; updated resume or CV that meets professional standards; transcript; account of career goals; and a self-evaluation of program performance. The portfolio review is administered by the Department of Economics.
  • Every student must participate in a the 4-hour  Responsible Conduct of Research  (RCR) training during orientation week and must take 1 RCR forum, which is a 2-hour course (either GS 711 or GS712).
  • Every international student must meet the  English Language Proficiency  requirement.
  • Independent Study

Students may take up to 6 credits in independent study or research, with faculty members from the Department of Political Science and/or the Department of Economics. 

Program Length and Residency

Requirements of the program may be completed in either 3 or 4 semesters.

  • Students planning to apply for doctoral studies are strongly advised to use all 4 semesters and plan their studies accordingly in consultation with the MAPE co-directors.
  • Students planning to complete the program in 3 semesters must plan their studies accordingly in consultation with the MAPE co-directors. They must also ask the program co-directors for permission to take the fall semester’s qualifying exam no later than October 1. Approval is contingent upon anticipated fulfillment of all other program requirements at the end of the fall semester.

A student taking the political economy qualifying exam in the spring of year 2 must be enrolled in at least one course and remain in residence during that semester. Any travel potentially in conflict with this requirement must be cleared in advance with a program co-director.  

It is the policy of The Graduate School that undergraduate courses (499 or lower) do not count towards the M.A. degree or a student's GPA. Courses that are cross-listed as both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses count towards the M.A. degree and a student's GPA only if they have a separate, more rigorous syllabus for graduate students. It is the student's responsibility to verify that this is the case before enrolling in any cross-listed courses.

Mentoring relationships with faculty are an important element of the graduate education experience.  Mentoring is most important for students conducting research or other independent work. The Political Science and Economics Departments both have mentoring statements that are somewhat applicable, but these are largely aimed at PhD students. Nonetheless, you should review these statements (Pol Sci doesn’t have one yet, coming soon!), below for Economics (open "Faculty Advisor & M.A. Student Relationship" tab, as much of the commentary is highly appropriate, and will not be repeated here.

Given the limited time (3-4 semesters) of the MAPE program, the deep mentoring relationships that are formed during doctoral study are modified at the master’s level. However, an outstanding feature of the MAPE program relative to most if not all peer programs is that a substantial amount of mentoring exists, as do structures for it.

A mentor works with you to form goals that are right for you and to plan how to achieve them.  A mentor also evaluates your work and gives constructive feedback to help you focus your work and be more effective. Your primary mentors are, in approximate order of importance:

  • The MAPE Directors of Graduate Study (DGS) in Economics (currently, Timur Kuran) and Political Science (currently, Bahar Leventoglu), who serve as your academic advisors;
  • Any faculty in Political Science and Economics for whom you are a research assistant
  • The MAPE Alumni Mentoring Team, which consists of 8-10 recent alumni both in industry and academe, and who meet periodically to discuss their career trajectories or to be available to offer career advice
  • The Economics Master’s Alumni Advisory (MAAB) Board , which plays a similar role, but consists of more senior alumni and is available to all Economics master’s program students.

This document sets out some rules, responsibilities, and expectations for mentoring in the MAPE program. Its purpose is to guide students and faculty toward effective mentoring relationships that are mutually beneficial and free of conflicts.   Many mentoring interactions occur in the context of your research efforts, which are formalized in a research milestone assessment for the graduate program, and which involves independent work under the guidance and supervision of the faculty.

Completing the Graduate Program

You may view your graduate program as a sequence of steps or milestones in addition to coursework. In a research milestone you conduct some independent academic work in collaboration with a faculty research advisor and possibly others. You write a paper or organize a research-oriented website. An academic committee of faculty members evaluates the work and certifies successful completion. Your advisor guides you in the work, certifies when it is complete.

The MAPE program has two milestones.

  • You are expected to submit a comprehensive portfolio that includes major papers and reports of internships that you completed during your period of study. The portfolio is reviewed by the directors of the MAPE program who evaluate the work and certify successful completion.
  • You are expected to take a qualifying examination that tests your knowledge in what you have learnt in the MAPE program - microeconomics, macroeconomics, and general breadth of knowledge in political economy. The exam is reviewed by the directors of the MAPE program as well as a third reader from the Political Science department

Graduate Program Offices

The graduate program office (DGS office in Political Science; EcoTeach in Economics) is here to assist you as you progress through your program.  We handle various administrative details for you to manage your funding, receive credit for your work, and complete your degree. The office also manages an administrative process when you enter the program and when you apply to graduate, and also plays a role in courses, exams, internships, fellowships, and other matters.   A designated faculty member from each department serves as Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and works with a staff assistant (DGSA) and Graduate Program Coordinators.

We ask you to help us help you. In particular, we expect you to know your degree requirements, plan ahead, follow our administrative instructions carefully, meet all relevant deadlines, and be responsive to our communications with you on your department email address.  In particular, students who get into trouble with meeting a degree requirement often say that they were unaware of what was expected of them, or that their advisor failed to push them to complete it.   It is your responsibility to know the requirements for your graduate program and to work with your advisor to meet them.

You should ask the DGS/EcoTeach office for help when you need it.  We can answer your questions and address situations that might arise.  If you feel that something is not going well or that you are blocked from your goals, then you should talk to us.  We will help make a plan to address the issue and connect you with other resources in the University as needed.

Your communications with the DGS/EcoTeach office are confidential, except that we are mandated to request help from a University office for certain equity issues and risks, such as situations involving harassment or a risk of violence.

In particular, you should contact the DGS/EcoTeach office to help you if you feel that you are treated unfairly or unprofessionally, that others are not meeting their responsibilities to you, that expectations set for you are unclear or unreasonable, or that you are encountering a hostile work environment or other unhealthy or unsafe conditions.  If you prefer, you may instead contact other offices or resources at Duke for help. For example, you may connect at any time certain Duke University resources for wellness or counseling, or the Office of Institutional Equity, or the Graduate School (TGS) or the Chairs of the Political Science and Economics departments. These offices and others publish web pages and other outreach to help you find them and understand what services and confidentiality they provide.

The Faculty

The Graduate School (TGS) outlines responsibilities of faculty members and students in mentoring roles and in all of their various roles and interactions.  That document also summarizes responsibilities of the graduate program and TGS, and a process for appeal of grievances to the Chair and Dean if the DGS is unable to resolve the situation. 

To summarize using language from that document, faculty are expected to: respect your interests/goals; assist you in pursuing/achieving them; provide clear expectations on your responsibilities as a student and expectations for the work you undertake with them; evaluate your progress and performance in a timely, regular, and constructive fashion; avoid assigning any duty or activity that is outside your interest or responsibility;  be fair, impartial, and professional in all dealings with you; avoid conflicts of interest; and ensure a collegial learning environment of mutual respect and collaboration.

Naturally, you share the faculty's responsibility by taking the lead for your own success, communicating your needs clearly, being appropriately professional, honorable, and respectful in your dealings with others,  and doing your part to promote a collegial and respectful learning environment for everyone.

In an academic environment, students and faculty are free to choose how to meet their goals and responsibilities to one another.  When you interact with faculty in any of their roles, you must be mindful that they balance their time spent with you against their other responsibilities, goals, and interests.  They choose how much of their time to allocate for you.  Their choices are based in part on the significance of their responsibilities to you in a specific role.  For example, your advisor for a research project may delegate some of their mentoring responsibility to guide your work and monitor your progress to other members of the research group.   Committee members may take a more or less active role depending on the nature of the project and milestone.

You in turn are responsible to make efficient use of the faculty time that you request, and to talk to the DGS office (in Political Science) or EcoTeach office (in Economics) if you feel that you are not getting sufficient attention.

Faculty advisors assigned to MA students are responsible for assisting them in discovering and participating in appropriate channels of scholarly, professional, and disciplinary exchange; and for helping students develop the professional research, teaching, and networking skills that are required for a variety of career options, both within and outside academia. By doing this, advisors play a crucial role in the development and success of our graduate students, engaging with the next generation of researchers and scholars.

The advisor-advisee relationship is a cooperative partnership that should be based on mutual respect and acceptance of responsibilities. In this document, we describe the main responsibilities of advisors and students, as well as the channels available to resolve problems that can appear in this relationship.

Responsibilities for MA Advisors

An effective academic advisor has the following responsibilities:

  • Have basic knowledge of MA program requirements and the Graduate School policies regarding academic milestones.
  • Listen to and support an advisee’s scholarly and professional goals.
  • Help the advisee develop a timeline for completing academic requirements and meeting professional goals. Take reasonable measures to ensure that this timeline is met.
  • Communicate clearly and frequently with an advisee about expectations and responsibilities.
  • Meet with an advisee to review progress, challenges, and goals.  Advisors should meet with their students at least once a semester, prior to registration. They should have at least one additional meeting with incoming students at the start of their first semester.
  • Encourage openness about any challenges or difficulties that impact the graduate student experience and work with the advisee to resolve any challenges.
  • Act as a liaison between the student and the Director of Graduate Studies and the department.
  • Be aware of institutional resources that can provide support to advisees in times of academic, professional, and personal challenges and whom you, as an advisor, may consult for further guidance.
  • Notify the Director of Graduate Studies if you know or suspect that your advisee is facing significant academic or personal challenges.

Responsibilities for Students

To be an effective advisee, students have the following responsibilities:

  • Become familiar with the graduate program requirements and the Graduate School policies regarding academic milestones.
  • Work with your advisor to develop a timeline for completing academic requirements and meeting professional goals.
  • Devote an appropriate amount of time and energy toward achieving academic excellence and earning the advanced degree in a timely fashion.
  • Take the initiative. Be proactive in finding answers to questions and in planning your future steps.
  • Meet with their advisors once a semester, before registration. First-year students should also meet with their advisors at the start of their first semester.
  • Be honest with your advisors. Alert them about any difficulties you may have about program requirements, normal progress, and performance expectations.
  • Be willing to be mentored and open to feedback. Listen and respond appropriately to recommendations from advisors.
  • Be mindful of time constraints and other demands imposed on faculty members and program staff.

Problem resolution

As with any other relationship, the advisor-advisee partnership may fail to function as expected. There may be multiple reasons for this. For example, the advisor or the advisee may repeatedly fail to satisfy the responsibilities described earlier; or the advisor and advisee may have a personal conflict that cannot be easily resolved.

These situations should be discussed first with the Director of Graduate Studies, and subsequently, and only if necessary, the Chair of the department. These department representatives will assist in mediating existing problems.

If the departmental efforts to resolve these problems are unsuccessful, students and faculty can refer to the Associate Dean or the Dean of the Graduate School for a formal resolution.

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