Yes, the department offers full fellowships to all incoming PhD students regardless of financial need or nationality. The funding is for five years, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance. In return, students serve as teaching fellows in the department for six semesters, generally one course per semester starting in the spring of the first year.
Most of our master’s students receive generous scholarships in the form of merit- and need-based aid. Often awarded at the time of admission, these scholarships do not require a separate application. These awards are made to both international students and U.S. citizens. Scholarships usually provide partial tuition and may be supplemented by low-interest government loans for U.S. citizens and permanent residents via the FAFSA form. More information can be found at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Master's Student Aid page.
The Admissions Committee will not consider incomplete files. The writing sample, GRE scores, English proficiency scores (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE for students whose first language is not English) and three letters of recommendations are required for all candidates. The admissions committee attaches roughly equal weight to these factors, to your recommendations — preferably from academics familiar with your scholarly work — and the writing sample.
Yes. Please describe your specific area of interest, and indicate whether you plan to concentrate on international relations, comparative politics, political theory, or American political development. You are not permanently committed to this choice, of course, and you may change your major field of study after beginning the program.
The admissions committee strongly prefers to see letters from those who can assess your likelihood of academic success in graduate school. Letters from non-academic employers carry much less weight than letters from academics and scholars who are familiar with your work.
Generally, we contact admitted Master's students by email between March and the end of April. PhD students receive notification earlier than this, allowing them plenty of time to select their program before April 15.
Generally until April 15, although we will give you 4 weeks or so from the date of your receipt of the decision letter. We appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible, since your slot may then become available to another applicant.
Between four-and-a-half and seven years. The following timeline may be helpful: it takes two years to complete coursework; a semester to prepare for and pass comprehensive and language exams; an average of one-and-a-half to two years to do research; and one to three years to write the dissertation.
Yes. However, at the beginning of your second full year of study you can request credit for graduate coursework completed elsewhere. Students generally can receive a maximum of two class credits for work elsewhere, but exceptions are possible.
The program is designed to be completed in three semesters or less. Some students finish in two terms of coursework and then one summer semester of thesis writing; others finish their coursework and thesis writing in two terms.
This program takes teaching very seriously. PhD students take a pedagogy course in their second year. All PhD students receiving departmental fellowships begin serving as teaching assistants in their second semester and continue serving as teaching assistants for one course in each of six subsequent semesters. Some of our students also choose to teach part time at area colleges and universities.
Small grants are generally available for summer work. Also, faculty members may employ graduate students to do research. Students sometimes find employment teaching in other departments, or working in the library, for example.