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Brandeis University's MA and PhD programs in Politics emphasize linkages among the patterns of American political development, contemporary American politics, and the politics of other developed and developing democratic systems. The graduate curriculum also addresses the advanced industrial democracies of Western Europe, the democratizing states of Eastern Europe, and the international political, economic, and military-security relations among these states. Substantive emphasis is on the politics of democratic and democratizing regimes. Our program is distinguished by methodological emphasis on analytical case study, including comparative case study rather than abstract mathematical modeling or statistical analysis. Read more about the program on the department's website. Application instructions can be found below.

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How to Apply

Application Deadlines

PhD: Admission to the PhD program has been paused for the 2024-2025 academic year.

MA: Rolling through April 15th

Application Requirements

To apply for the program, you need to submit:

  • An online application

  • An application fee

  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not send official transcripts to our office. Official transcripts sent prior to an offer of admission will be destroyed. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Three letters of recommendation, submitted online.

  • curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, which should include your educational history, employment experience, and other relevant information.

  • statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the politics program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Applicants to the doctoral program should also outline their research interests and elaborate how this research would advance knowledge about politics. Applicants to the master's program should discuss their academic and professional career plans and how the degree would help them attain their goals.

  • Critical writing sample not exceeding 30 pages; the 30-page maximum may consist of a single analytical essay or two shorter essays.

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test is required. Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores). MyBest scores from ETS will not be accepted.

  • International applicants should visit our International Students page to determine if official results from an English language proficiency exam are also required.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Alum Profile

Catherine Z. Worsnop

For Professor Catherine Z. Worsnop PhD’16, researching and teaching about issues that matter in the real world were driving motivations for her entry into public policy. “Political Science seeks to understand how the social and political world works,” she says. “As such, it encourages big thinking about theory but with a grounding in building knowledge about phenomena that affect people’s lives.”