Ph.D. Admissions

The application for Fall 2021 will open in September and is due by December 1, 2020.

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

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. This year, the program will award up to 75 high-achieving students with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including Master's and PhD's in Political Science. More information 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: