Thanks for your interest in the Ph.D. and M.A. program in Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This page provides information for prospective applicants.

The deadline for applications to enter the PhD program in Fall 2023 is on December 15, 2022. We do not accept late applications.

As indicated below (see “Deadlines”) we accept applications for the M.A. program until April 15, 2023.

You should read this page alongside the Graduate Center’s main admissions site. That site elaborates six steps to help navigate the application process and provides a range of other information related to admissions, including on fellowships and financial aid, tuition and fees, educational opportunity and diversity, and housing, as well as specific information for international students. If you decide to apply, it is through that site that you will submit your application.

Below, you’ll find information about the application process and requirements, and deadlines. There are also some helpful tips for applicants as well as further information on financial aid, non-matriculated students and readmissions to the program.

As you review this page, we encourage you to get to know us better. Read our prospective students page. Learn more about our faculty and our past and current students. Review our program newsletter, Homo Politicus. Our program website also features information about upcoming and recent events, the courses we teach and the research centers with whom we are affiliated.

If you have queries, please email Prof. Robyn Marasco, Chair of the Admissions Committee, at


The application process and requirements

Applicants for the Ph.D. and M.A. program in Political Science must have completed a minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate work in acceptable courses in the disciplines of Political Science, History, Economics, Sociology, or in related fields.

Please note that applicants for Fall 2023 are not required to take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This requirement remains suspended in light of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 public health crisis on GRE testing. 

Applications for the Ph.D. and M.A. program in Political Science comprise the following elements; see below (“Helpful tips for applicants”) for guidance in preparing your application:

  • statement of purpose that is between 2 and 5 pages long;
  • writing sample (or samples, although only one writing sample is required for submission);
  • Academic transcripts from each college or university that you attended (even if you did not complete a degree or did not enroll in courses in Political Science);
  • At least two academic letters of recommendation.

In addition to these items, international students must present evidence of sufficient competence in the English language.

  • Applicants that completed a post-secondary degree in a non-English speaking country are required to submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Applicants that completed a post-secondary degree in one of the countries listed here are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Here, evidence of degree completion (e.g., academic transcripts) is sufficient to meet the English language requirement.

For further information on the English language requirements for international students, see the International Students page on the Graduate Center admissions site (scroll down and click on, “English Language Requirements”).


The deadline for submitting applications for the Ph.D. program is on December 15, 2022. We do not accept late applications.

The deadline for submitting applications for the M.A. program is April 15, 2023.

For MA applicants, the Graduate Center’s online applications system is currently open and is accessible here.


Helpful tips for applicants

Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQ on the Graduate Center’s admissions site. There, you will find useful guidance regarding academic transcripts and academic letters of recommendation. Regarding the latter, please make sure that you provide two academic references from professors who can attest to your scholarly ability and performance.

Your statement of purpose should discuss your research interests and the work you would like to do as a political scientist. We are interested in how you view yourself as a future professional. Be sure to edit your statement of purpose carefully, such that it demonstrates your ability to write well and communicate ideas persuasively. Further guidance for writing a successful statement of purpose is available here.

We will not review incomplete applications. Make sure that all supporting materials are received by the deadline in order to ensure that your application is reviewed.

FYI, the Ph.D. program accepts a maximum of 21 credits from other graduate programs. The M.A. program accepts a maximum of 12 credits from other graduate programs. Transfer credit evaluations are made during the student’s first semester.

Financial aid

Our top doctoral applicants will receive fellowships which include stipends, five-year tuition awards at the in-state level and teaching assignments at CUNY colleges during the second, third, and fourth years of the fellowship. Students will be notified as other sources of funding become available. University Fellowships, based on academic merit and financial need, will continue to be made available to eligible students. Fellowships and assistantships may carry partial or full tuition waivers. A limited number of dissertation awards and fellowships, other grants, and adjunct lectureship positions may also available.

Full time doctoral students enrolled in our program who teach on a CUNY campus are entitled to tuition remission at in-state rates.

For more information on financial aid available through the University, see the Office of Financial Aid website. In particular, note the page for prospective students. The Political Science Program also maintains a funding opportunities for graduate students page.

Students wishing to apply for financial assistance should refer to the full listing of awards in the Graduate Center Bulletin(also online here) for application dates and other pertinent information. An applicant seeking financial assistance must submit both the admissions and financial forms and supporting documents by the award deadline date.

Non-matriculated students

Anyone wishing to enroll in a Political Science course as a non-matriculated student must have transcripts documenting at least three undergraduate courses in Political Science, with excellent grades. Prospective applicants who meet this requirement should email the Executive Officer or Deputy Executive Officer two weeks before the start of classes (no earlier, please) to schedule an appointment to complete the necessary forms. Click here to download the application form.

Registration for non-matriculated students is subject to the availability of places in requested courses and the approval of the Executive Officer. There is a $75 application fee. Non-matriculated students are not permitted to accumulate a total of more than two courses or eight credits (whichever is less) at The Graduate Center.


Students applying for readmission to the Political Science program should consult the Graduate Center Registrar’s Readmissions page. All applications for readmission will be reviewed by the Political Science Program’s Admissions Committee.

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