Graduate Program

The application for Fall 2015 admission to the Political Science PhD program is now open. The application deadline is December 2nd, 2014.  Incomplete applications will not be able to be completed or submitted after the application deadline. Recommendation letters can be submitted by faculty until one week after the application deadline. All other supporting documentation must be received by the application deadline.  The Department of Political Science does not offer a Master's program.

Before starting the application process please read the information about the graduate program requirements and read our Frequently Asked Questions.   All questions regarding graduate admissions should be directed to carambula [at] stanford [dot] edu (J)jradley [at] stanford [dot] edu (subject: Political%20Science%20Graduate%20Admissions%20Inquiry) (ennifer Radley).

The principal goal of the Stanford Ph.D. program in political science is the training of scholars.  Most students who receive doctorates in the program do research and teach at colleges or universities.  We offer courses and research opportunities in a wide variety of fields in the discipline, including American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Political Methodology.  The program is built around small seminars that analyze critically the literature of a field or focus on a research problem. These courses prepare students for the Ph.D. comprehensive exam requirement within a two-year period and for work on the doctoral dissertation.  

Admission to the graduate program in political science is highly selective.  About fourteen to eighteen students, chosen from a large pool of applicants, enter the program each year.  The small size of our student body allows more individual work with members of the faculty than most graduate programs. It also makes possible financial assistance in one form or another to most students admitted to the Ph.D. program. 

Programs of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in political science are designed by the student, in consultation with advisers and the Director of Graduate Studies, to serve his or her particular interests as well as to achieve the program requirements.  The most current and complete information about degree requirements can be found in the 2014-15 Ph.D. Program Guide.  Students should also familiarize themselves with University requirements outlined in the Graduate Degrees section of the Stanford Bulletin.