The Political Institutions and Public Choice Program (PIPC) is designed to provide an intensive research-training experience for Ph.D. students in political science who are interested in a public choice focus on political institutions.
The philosophical basis on which PIPC is structured is a set of interrelated ideas:
- There is no real distinction between teaching and research, especially with regard to the training of Ph.D. students. The process of research is an opportunity for teaching (perhaps the best possible opportunity). Classroom seminars, research workshops, individual tutorials, research, professional conferences, etc. should all be linked into as seamless a whole as possible.
- The laboratory-team model of research and teaching in the natural sciences is an appropriate and highly useful model for graduate training in the social sciences.
- Students should not only learn from faculty. They can learn a great deal from their peers, and opportunities should be created to foster this.
The structure and operation of PIPC are reflections of these ideas.
PIPC students have been successful while in graduate school, publishing in major journals such as American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, American Politics Research, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quartely, Political Analysis and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. They have also been successful on the job market as many teach at Ph.D. granting research universities. Former PIPC students currently hold faculty positions at American University, University of Georgia, Florida State University, University of Michigan, Washington University in St. Louis, Indiana University, Texas Tech University, University of South Carolina, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Texas A&M University, Wheaton College, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.