Ph.D. Program

作者:2018/01/09 03:52

Course of Study:

International Graduate Program in Politics

East China Normal University

- Revised 23 June 2017 -


This document explains the required Course of Study for students entering doctoral studies with the International Graduate Program in Politics in the Department of Politics at East China Normal University during the Fall 2017 term. Matriculating students should study this document carefully, along with other program-related materials.

1. IGPP Student Assessment Guide 

Topics of Study

The IGPP doctoral program is aimed at aligning four factors: student interest; advisor expertise; program, department and university strengths; and an appropriate topic related to Chinese politics. Traditional disciplinary approaches common to politics and political science departments are welcomed; interdisciplinary approaches of the newer kind also not dismissed. Topics of study must be approved by the advisor and the IGPP Academic Review Committee (ARC). Students must submit a completed Course of Study Approval Form to the ARC before the end of the second semester. As a rule, department strengths correspond with the major areas of study for which the department has its reputation: political philosophy, political history, political theory and systems, political communication and public relations, political education and participation, international relations, and research methods. Advisor areas of expertise are listed below. But the department is a large one with evolving interests and a growing faculty: the list is neither definitive nor final.

Course of Study Approval Form

The Course of Study Approval Form for PhD students establishes an approved course of study and addresses in specific terms the student’s special reading list for the second part of the comprehensive examination and in a general way describes the student’s dissertation topic. The form serves as a proposed study plan for coursework, language study and publication requirements. Forms are available in the program office and require four signatures and a department seal. The student, the advisor, the Program Director (pending successful review of the IGPP’s Academic Review Committee) and the Department Chair are the four people who must sign this form.

IGPP Academic Review Committee (ARC)

The IGPP ARC is made up of at least three members: the Program Director, the Department Chair or his representative and the Vice President of the Department’s Academic Council. A minimum of three members required to make up the quorum, two more committee members may be assigned to the committee at the discretion of the Department’s Academic Council: these additional members serve either on a per meeting or a per need basis, sometimes both. The Program Director chairs the Academic Review Committee, the Program Associate acting as the administrative secretary.


All faculty members in the Department are available for consultation. Only full professors certified by the University as doctoral supervisors may serve as official advisors. This is the current list of certified doctoral supervisors together with their research respective areas: 




Wu Guanjun, Ph.D.

Professor & Vice President, Academic Council &Department Chair

Chinese & Western Political Philosophy, Critical Theory

Qi Weiping*

Distinguished Professor

History of the Communist Party, Political Thought & Education

Liu Qing, Ph.D.


Comparative Intellectual History, Liberalism

Hao Yuqing, Ph.D.*


Chinese Marxism, The International Communist Movement, Research Design & Methods in Politics

Josef Gregory Mahoney, Ph.D.

Professor & Program Director

Comparative Epistemology, Marxism, Critical Methods

Wang Xiangming, Ph.D.


Political Theory, Chinese Government and Politics, Labor Union and Organization Research, Public Events and Public Policy Research

Chong Ming, Ph.D.


History of Western Political Thoughts, History of France, History of Christian Thought, Rousseau and Tocqueville

*Professors Qi and Hao prefer to work with students who can communicate effectively in Chinese.

Program Length

Commonly, the program requires 4 years of study beyond the master’s degree. It can be completed in no less than 3, and faces a time limit of 6 years.

Credits Required

Whereas the European model generally requires no course work beyond the MA, and the American model can require up to 48 credits before dissertation work, we require 15-21 credits. Courses can be drawn from the same courses offered to the master’s students, but with extra requirements determined by the instructor and reflecting program values. Alternatively, courses can be drawn from cross-listed offerings from other programs. Students will work with an advisor to create a study plan. Although students are required to complete only 15 credits with grades of 80 or higher, they are strongly encouraged to take more to enrich their studies and address any deficiencies. Students are required to complete at least 12 credits in the first year, and an additional 3 during the second year.

Topic and Credits



Credits Offered



9 credits



Introduction to Chinese Civilization


Approved Cross-listed Course



6 credits*

Research Methods I


Research Methods II


Policy /


At least 3 credits

History of Western Political Philosophy


China and South Asia


Environmental Governance in China


International Relations Theory




Chinese Political Philosophy


Modern Chinese History / Thematic Studies in Chinese History


The Western Impact on Chinese Political and Intellectual Transformation


Chinese Political and Governmental Systems


Political Participation in China


Citizenship and Ideological Education in China


Comparative Political Communication


Party and Governmental Public Relations in China


Chinese International Relations


Women and Gender in Chinese Politics


Directed Reading/Research





Total Required for Graduation

15 or 21


Two courses at ECNU^


* Students are required to take Research Methods I and II unless these requirements have been completed in previous graduate-level studies. Waivers can be obtained when appropriate from the IGPP ARC. ^ Unless students can provide documentation proving passage HSK 6 with a score of at least 200, then at least 2 semesters of Chinese language course are required by State regulations. However, credits from language studies will not count toward the total required for graduation.

Chinese Language Exam

Doctoral students are required to pass the HSK 4 exam prior to the final dissertation defense, but are strongly encouraged to pass HSK 5 at least or HSK 6 if possible. For students entering the program with little to no Mandarin abilities, it will likely prove a significant challenge to complete the program requirements and HSK 4. However, foreign students entering ECNU’s Mandarin-based academic programs are required to have already passed HSK 5, and would likely be able to pass HSK 6 before graduation. HSK 4 represents a basic threshold of communicative ability; HSK 5 represents the ability to attend lectures and sit for exams in Chinese; HSK 6 represents a high degree of fluency, and is a well-known qualification that employers seek. Therefore, achieving the highest possible HSK exam certification during one’s studies with IGPP should be a priority. Per international standards, credits from language course will not be counted toward the total credits requirement, given the fact that language studies are considered to constitute undergraduate level work.

Comprehensive Examination

Doctoral students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in the third semester of their studies in this program. The exact timing of the test is determined by the program’s administrators. The examination has two parts that must be completed in a single 4-hour session. The first part is based on a core reading list taken from both sections of the Comprehensive Examination Reading List: these are the books and articles which are underlined. These core readings are required of all students. The second part of the examination is based on a specially chosen reading list according with each individual student’s research interests. The contents of this second list are determined in consultation with the student’s advisor and stand under condition of approval by the IGPP’s Academic Review Committee.

Each part of the doctoral examination consists of four questions from which a student chooses and answers only two. The questions are asked in English and the answers must be written in English in order to be considered for review. Each question is worth 25 points for a total possible score of 100. The examination is graded by the IGPP Grading Committee made up of at least three faculty members appointed by the IGPP’s Academic Review Committee. The Grading Committee meets when necessary, on a per-need basis. At least three members of the Grading Committee must grade all four answers for any given student’s examination. The aggregate of the grades for each answer will be calculated from between the scores given by each of the Grading Committee’s members. The final score is the total of the four aggregates.

The following grading scale is used: 73 or less = fail; 74 to 83 = low pass; 84 to 93 = pass; 94 to 100 = high pass. The Academic Review Committee will inform students of their scores. A student who has earned a failing grade has the right to take a new examination in the next six months. A second failing grade earns dismissal from from the program.


Doctoral students are required to show proof of two first-author articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals prior to scheduling the final dissertation defense. If the article is a book review or an interview it must be published either in an AHCI, SSCI or a CSSCI indexed journal. Original research paper may be published in certain non-indexed journals. Only one first-author publication is required if it is an original research article is published in an AHCI or SSCI journal. Students are encouraged to publish exclusively in AHCI, SSCI or CSSCI journals.


Students are required to produce a dissertation of original research. Only the basic procedures and requirements are given here. A separate document called the Dissertation Guidelines for IGPP Doctoral Students, provides comprehensive guidance: research procedures, formatting, length, style and structure. English-language dissertations in politics go from two to three hundred pages; those written in Chinese are expected to have more than 100,000 characters.

After passing the comprehensive examination in the third semester students submit and defend a dissertation research proposal at beginning of the fourth semester to a proposal-review committee appointed by the ARC. This proposal-review committee has two purposes: to provide critical feedback to the student and to signal approval for the research topic, methods and direction to the Department. If the proposal defense fails or requires a second review, then this will be done before the end of that same fourth semester.

Final semester, students will sit for two defenses: first the preliminary defense early in the term, then the final defense towards the end of the semester. At the preliminary defense students must prove that they have satisfied all non-dissertation program requirements. A student who fails this first defense will have to wait for a semester or a year to try again. Failing the final defense makes for the same delay: half a year or a whole year before you have the chance to try again..

Applying for Graduation

Upon completion of all requirements students apply for graduation by submitting an Application for Graduation Form to the IGPP ARC. Upon favorable review the committee will recommend graduation to the department and the University. Then you graduate. The Application for Graduation Form is in the Program Office.

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