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PhD in Political Science Application Requirements and Deadlines

All applicants must apply through the University’s Online Application System. Supplementary materials such as the statement of background and goals and writing sample should be uploaded into the online application system. Once the application is complete, it will be reviewed by faculty in the Department of Political Science.


  • February 1 - PhD applications are accepted for the fall semester only

PhD Application Checklist:

  • Completed Degree Application
  • $75 application fee
  • GRE or LSAT test scores
  • Transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work to date (unofficial copies can be submitted, but official will be required upon acceptance)
  • A statement of background and goals describing the applicants goals and academic interests
  • A substantial written piece of research, such as a master's essay or a major seminar paper
  • Resume
  • At least three letters of recommendation from professors who know the applicant's academic work

Instructions for the Statement of Background and Goals:

In a 2-3 page double-spaced essay, state your reason for undertaking graduate study in Political Science. Discuss any substantial accomplishments, either collegiate, professional, or in the community, which cannot be inferred through other areas of your application. Finally, explicitly indicate your subfield of interest (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Law or Public Policy) and discuss any specific topics or questions you would like to address in your research.

For International Applicants:

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.  For more information regarding English proficiency, degree equivalencies, and transcript requirements, please visit the University's International Applicants web page.

For more information, contact: 
Rockefeller College Office of Graduate Admissions
 | 518-442-5396

Please note: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the .