How to Apply

ATTENTION: The admissions cycle for Fall 2024 is complete. The admissions submission process for Fall 2025 will open in September 2024. There is no spring start in Political Science.

As a globally ranked university, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is an excellent choice for any student pursuing a doctorate in political science. The metropolitan area offers you a vibrant, culturally diverse community, while the department offers world-renowned faculty with global connections who specialize in a variety of areas. You will find that it is well worth the time and energy it takes to apply to the graduate program in political science.

The Department of Political Science admits to the PhD program. We do not admit to a terminal master's degree; however, students in the PhD program may earn a master's degree on the way to their doctorate.

All admitted students receive full funding for five years; no additional application is required.

We admit students to the PhD program for the fall semester only. The deadline to apply is December 15th.  A master's degree is not a requirement for admission to the PhD. Political Science is a highly competitive program. We notify applicants about decisions in early February.

To apply to the PhD program, upload all materials to the online application. For other information about the admissions process see the graduate admissions home page. 

The program is able to provide application fee waivers to students who meet any of the criteria below:

  • Students who are participating in the following American Political Science Association (APSA) programs should email for details on how to request an application fee waiver.
    • Diversity Student Recruitment Program (DSRP)
    • Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP)
    • Minority Fellowship Program (MFP)
    • Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI)
  • Students from Howard University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College should email for details of how to request an application fee waiver.
  • McNair Scholars may request an application fee waiver from the Graduate School's Diversity Office.

Required Application Materials

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Research Statement
    • Please provide a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to your chosen field, and a description of your research. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, please give that person's name and explain why you want to study with that person. You may also wish to include other information, such as any undergraduate research experience, internships, or other experiences you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in your chosen field. (unlimited word count)
  • Diversity Statement
    • Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success. (Not to exceed one page)
  • Writing sample (unlimited word count)
  • Three letters of recommendation (if using Interfolio, just enter the dedicated email address for each letter. Interfolio and Slate "talk" to each other and the letter appears in the application in Slate)
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency: See Graduate School's website for exam options, relevant scores and post-secondary coursework allowances. Please note that official English test scores are only required after applicants are admitted to graduate programs. Self-reported unofficial scores are accepted for the review process.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • The GRE is not required for admission decisions.

Applicants do not need to submit a separate "Research Description" in the online application. This information may be included in your Personal Statement.

Admissions statistics for the past several years are available for viewing.

Contact Graduate Program Coordinator Caitlin Boley if you have additional questions ( or 612-624-1187).