The program requires PS 292A and at least 16 graded courses, including four in each of two major fields, two in a minor field, and six electives. There is also a language/methods requirement which students satisfy by taking whichever is most appropriate to their plan of research. Taken together, the major and minor fields work in tandem to provide breadth of background and depth of focus for crafting sophisticated research projects. The elective courses permit students to tailor their studies to their individual needs and interests. Needless to say, most students pursue significantly more coursework beyond these minimum requirements. Many students take classes outside the department as well. Generally, students satisfy course requirements within the first two years of study. At the same time, they take their preliminary exam and prepare to write their field papers.