POLS 590

Political Science Research



Spring 2006†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Professor Paul Culhane (Section 1)

Section 1, Fridays 9:00-11:40, DuSable 464†††††††††††††††† IASBO 204, 753-0311, pculhane@niu.edu

Section 2, Fridays 12:00-2:40, DuSable 464 ††††††††††††††† Professor Daniel Kempton (Section 2)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Zulauf Hall 415, 753-7040



This course involves supervised research training in political science.The research activities may involve the planning, design, data-gathering, and/or analysis phases of political science research.Registration in the course is limitedto students admitted to either the MA or Ph.D. degree programs in Political Science.


Students may enroll in POLS 590 for several purposes:


(1)†† After achieving candidacy, a doctoral candidate must register for 3 hours of 590 every semester until their dissertation director and committee have approved his/her dissertation proposal.


(2)†† To satisfy the Catalog-specified requirements, an M.A. student must register for at least 3 hours and a Ph.D. student must register for at least 6 hours of POLS 590.M.A. students may count no more than 3 hours of POLS 590 toward the M.A. minimum 30 hours. M.A. students would logically register for POLS 590 in the semester they are working on one or more starred papers, or an M.A. thesis.While an M.A. student may use POLS 590 for a part of a thesis project, he or she must register for at least 1 hour of POLS 599, Thesis (cf. Graduate Catalog 2005, pg. 227)

(3)†† In addition to the term in which a doctoral candidate is working on his/her dissertation proposal, a doctoral student may use POLS 590 registrations for his/her dissertation research process.Doctoral students may repeat POLS 590 to a maximum of 24 credit hours.The students should consult with his/her dissertation director about the advisability of POLS 590 registration because one may enroll in POLS 590 for as few as 1 hour per semester and POLS 590 does not trigger a requirement for continuous registration through Ph.D. degree completion.


(4)†† Students who wish to conduct a research-based independent study may register for

POLS 590, i.e., as an alternative to POLS 596.


(5)†† Particularly doctoral students in their second or third year should work with their advisors to prepare conference papers, book reviews, sponsored research reports, journal publication, or related research products as part of their preparation for professional research careers.If a student has not attended a professional disciplinary or field conference, it is beneficial to attend such a conference as preparation for presenting a paper at a subsequent conference.Similarly, preparation of a research-based lecture for job interviews is analogous to preparation of a conference paper, and attendance at a graduate colloquium lecture series (e.g., the CSEAS Brown Bag Lecture series) is analogous to attending an extramural conference.


(6)††† Students regularly conduct research for a supervising faculty member or principal investigator, either as a graduate assistant to political science faculty or as a research assistant at units such as the Regional Development Institute or the American Farmland Trust.


Students awarded a full political science departmental assistantship are normally required to enroll for 12 credits during the fall or spring semesters.Such students may enroll in POLS 590 as a fourth course.However, a student teaching an independent section of an undergraduate course or serving as a discussion section T.A. in POLS 100 should normally register for POLS 591.


Students begin the course by completing the POLS 590 Agreement Form.The Department reserves the right to cancel the registration of any student whose Agreement form has not been approved by the POLS 590 Instructor, the supervising faculty member, and the DOGS or Chair by the Monday of the second week of the term.The POLS 590 instructor will then coordinate the research plan with the student and the faculty member supervising the starred paper, thesis, dissertation, independent study, conference paper, or other research project.


Students should be familiar with the university's and Department's policies regarding withdrawal from courses and academic honesty.As a research project course, academic integrity will be strictly expected; please see the departmentís policy at pages 26-27 of the departmentís Graduate Handbook 2005-06.The course is graded on an S/U basis.The departmental policy allows "incomplete" grades in POLS 590 only in extraordinary circumstances.


NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please contact us early in the semester so that we can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Center forAccess_Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is

located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815_753_1303). We look forward to talking with you soon to learn how we may be helpful in enhancing your academic success in this course.