Ph.D. in Political Science admissions

How to apply

Applicants who wish to begin their studies in a particular term should ensure that all of the application materials are submitted by the appropriate deadline.

  • Fall term early deadline: January 15 (for students seeking funding or graduate teaching assistant (GTA) positions)
  • Fall term deadline: June 15 (rolling admissions until program is full)
  • Winter term deadline: October 15

Note that applicants wishing to be considered for fellowships and scholarships must apply for fall admission and submit all application materials by January 15. Applications completed after these deadlines will be considered if space is available. If there is no space available, applicants who meet our qualifications will be advised to reapply for the next available semester. Admission to the Ph.D. program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Many applicants ask about funding for PhD students: see information about assistantships,fellowships and scholarships.

Application materials

The following documents must be submitted before applications are considered for admission. Materials can be completed or uploaded via the online application:

  • Official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, both undergraduate and graduate
  • Personal statement: Two to three-page essay describing your educational preparation, research experience and interests and professional goals as they relate to the Ph.D. in Political Science
  • Two letters of recommendation from instructors and/or employers
    • Letters from faculty, particularly those who understand challenging graduate programs, are preferred. The primary purpose of the letters should be to provide further evidence that the applicant can succeed in a rigorous graduate program
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • International applicants should consult university requirements for international students, including transcript evaluation and English proficiency requirements
  • Optional elements: writing sample and interview

Apply for graduate admission

Transfer of credits

Students wishing to transfer graduate credits toward the Ph.D. degree must first consult with the political science department's graduate director. If the director and the departmental Graduate Committee approve up to 30 credits may be applied towards the PhD.  Once approved by the department, the applicant must then file a petition with the Graduate School. An official transcript showing a minimum grade of B for the courses to be transferred must support the petition. B-minus credits are not acceptable for transfer. Transfer credits must be appropriate to the student's program.