Graduate Admissions - Application for Fall 2015 is open

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. 

Application Materials

Once you are ready to apply, you can access the admissions application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.  A complete application consists of the following documentation:

  1. Stanford online application including statement of purpose.
  2. At least three letters of recommendation
  3. Two official transcripts from each institution you attended for at least one year
  4. GRE and TOEFL scores reported directly to Stanford (code 4704) - Learn more about these test requirements
  5. Recent scholarly or critical paper (20-35 pages, double-spaced). Applicants may submit two or three shorter samples if they do not have a long one.
  6. CV/resume (optional but recommended)
  7. Application fee of $125

Graduate Finances

The Department intends that all graduate students (both domestic and international) should have support adequate to enable them to complete their studies while enrolled full-time.  The standard financial package offered to admitted students covers the full cost of tuition and an additional amount for living expenses during the academic year.  The latter amount comes in the form of a stipend during the first year and a combination of teaching and research assistantships during years 2-5.  The Department also provides students with annual funds for professional development as well as a living stipend for the first two summers.  Although the Department cannot formally guarantee support beyond the first year, it expects to continue to provide five years of support for Ph.D. students who are making sufficient progress towards degree.  Current information regarding tuition, fees, and living expenses can be found here.

The Department encourages students in all stages of the program to apply for funding from outside sources. To learn more about such opportunities, visit our page listing Additional Sources of Funding.

Graduate Admissions FAQ

Still have questions?  Please visit our list of frequently asked questions. You may also find the following links useful if you have general questions about student life and graduate study at Stanford University: