Prospective Graduate Student FAQ
If you still have questions after reviewing this FAQ, please contact the department.
For PhD students: Your personal statement should be 2 to 3 pages. One of the most important criteria for admission is your potential to successfully conduct research. Please describe your prior experience in research in undergraduate or graduate programs or outside of academia. If you have not had research experience, please describe how your other experiences contribute to your ability to work independently, organize and manage projects, and creatively solve problems.
For all other students: The personal statement should be 2-3 pages. It should reflect on the applicant’s research, curricular interests and professional goals.
The writing sample (PhD and MA only) should be no more than 30 pages. Ideally, it should be a seminar paper or thesis related to political science. However, if you do not have a political science paper, we are happy to consider writing samples from related social science fields. The writing sample should not be co-authored. A published article is also acceptable.
The GRE is optional for the following applicants:
- All students applying to our masters programs regardless of start term
- All students applying to our PhD in Political Science program with a Fall 2022 start term
For those submitting GRE scores, we do not have a minimum score requirement, and we evaluate all parts of the application in the context of the whole. Test scores may be helpful for applicants with little or no experience beyond the undergraduate degree.
The application system allows you to check the status of your application at any time. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s Admissions FAQ page.
The Certificate and Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies can both be completed 100% online. The Master of Arts and PhD in Political Science cannot be completed 100% online, however some courses may be taken online.
Students wishing to complete the Security and Resilience Studies degrees fully online should meet with the graduate program administrator to discuss a plan of study.
The Political Science department does not offer summer courses. Because the Security and Resilience Studies degree program is interdisciplinary, there may be courses offered in other departments that fulfill degree requirements.
The Certificate and Masters programs can be done part time. The PhD program is a full time only program. Full time status in CSSH is 2 courses per semester.
All admitted PhDs are awarded Stipended Graduate Assistantships (SGA). These awards offer a stipend, tuition remission and the NUSHP health plan to full-time students. Our program is fully funded for 5 years. Student fees, including the University Health and Counseling Services fee, are not covered by the assistantship. In order to maintain awards, students must be making satisfactory progress toward their degrees. More details about assistantships are included in the admissions offer letters.
Information about tuition and fees can be found on the Student Financial Services website.