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Graduate Admissions

Students Lining up in Cap and Gown

The application for Fall 2018 admission is now closed. Admissions decisions will be announced in mid-February. 

Preparing to Apply

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 Jennifer 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 twelve to fifteen 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. 

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is a new graduate-level scholarship aimed at preparing the next generation of global leaders to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world. Starting in fall 2018, Knight-Hennessy Scholars will annually select up to 100 high-achieving students (50 in the first year) with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment, who will receive financial support for the full cost of attendance to pursue a graduate education at Stanford. Scholars may pursue studies at any of university’s seven internationally top-ranked graduate schools, and will be educated to navigate across business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sectors.

Apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by September 27, and to your Political Science graduate program by November 15. Read more about eligibility requirements and the application process on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website.

Graduate Admissions FAQ

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: