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Our Ph.D. program in Political Science is selective and small by design, fostering close faculty-to-student and student-to-student interaction and collaboration.

Generally, six or seven new students matriculate each year. New students enter our program in the fall semester. Presently, our program has approximately 40 full-time students enrolled at various stages of study. Our program is structured exclusively for full-time study.

Applicants to our program should have strong academic preparation in political science or related social science disciplines. Our program is STEM-designated and emphasizes quantitative methods of inquiry.

Our Graduate Admissions Committee, comprised of a diverse subset of our Political Science faculty, makes its decisions about admissions and fellowships after it reviews all applications. The components of our application include:

  • a personal statement by the applicant
  • the previous academic record of the applicant
  • letters of recommendation, especially from faculty who know the academic potential of the applicant
  • a writing sample from the applicant
  • any relevant personal experiences that position the applicant for success

GRE scores are recommended but not required. Our Graduate Admissions Committee reviews every application, whether it includes or excludes GRE scores. GRE scores may be helpful in overall evaluations of candidates for admission. If you have GRE scores, submit them.

The average combined verbal and quantitative GRE score for students entering the program is around 320.

We require TOEFL scores (except for applicants whose native language is English or who possess an undergraduate degree from a four-year English-speaking institution). Non-native English speakers who matriculate in the Laney Graduate School will take English as a Second Language (ESL) testing upon arrival on campus for placement in ESL courses, if needed.

Many of the most successful applicants to our doctoral program enter with prior exposure to or experience with statistical or mathematical concepts and methods, along with some demonstrated experience involving original research (e.g., undergraduate or graduate theses). It is optional for applicants to submit their GRE scores. There is no minimum score for the GRE or TOEFL. There is no minimum required GPA. Strong letters of recommendation (generally from faculty members) are essential. Finally, and most important, we seek a solid fit between the intellectual and scholarly interests of our applicants and our faculty.



APPLY HERE (deadline Dec. 15)

Financial Awards

Every student we admit to our Ph.D. program is offered a five-year financial award for full-time study. Financial awards are merit-based, and contingent upon a student maintaining normal progress toward completion of the Ph.D.

Financial awards include both full-tuition scholarships and health insurance subsidies. Tuition scholarships are awards for tuition credits; they are neither cash awards nor stipend dollars.