Admisson PhD

Students who just completed a MA in Political Science from this department at the University of Kansas can provide a statement and three letters of recommendation from faculty to apply to the PhD program without having to submit a formal online application.  If some time has passed since the student received the degree, and they are not enrolled at the university, then they will still have to apply online to the program.   The courses taken in this department toward the MA also apply toward the PhD.


  Apply online and include

  • Resume
  • Statement of Goals for Graduate Study
  • Official Transcripts
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (for non-native speakers of English)
  • Letters of Reference
  • Financial Documentation (for International Applicants) 

Graduate Admissions Criteria

Admission to the graduate program in Political Science is based primarily on the applicant's academic record, standardized test scores (GREs for all applicants; TOEFL for international applicants), references from instructors and statement of purpose.

The Graduate Studies Committee considers all elements of the application when deciding admission. While GREs and GPAs are a very important part of the total application package, there are no strict minimum criteria. Recently admitted students have had an average GRE score of around 600 (or 148 on the newer test scale) for the quantitative section, 550(or 156 on the newer test scale)for the verbal section, and 5.0 for the analytical section. Recently admitted students have had an average GPA of around 3.5. Recently admitted international students have a score of at least 20 for each section of the TOEFL.

An undergraduate major in Political Science is not required, but Ph.D. applicants are expected to have completed at least 15 semester hours of graduate-level courses in Political Science and (except in cases of specific exemption by the Graduate Studies Committee) hold a master's degree or its equivalent in Political Science or a closely related field from an accredited U.S. institution.

Minority group members and women are encouraged to apply. The Department actively pursues equal opportunity policies. Minority fellowships are available for qualified applicants.

Required Application Materials for M.A. and Ph.D. Programs.

Application form and fee

Submit your application online


After using a credit card for the application fee ($55 U.S., $65 international), your application is sent electronically.

Mail any additional application materials to:

(We prefer most items attached to your online application. You can mail a writing sample if you wish to include one.)

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Political Science
University of Kansas
1541 Lilac Lane, Rm 504 Blake
Lawrence, KS 66045


Please submit a resume listing all educational and professional experience.

Statement of Goals for Graduate Study

The department requires a one to two page essay stating your research interests and career goals. We hope this essay will describe some of your intended research topics.

Official Transcripts

Submit an official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework you have done. You must have at least a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale for regular admission to do graduate work at KU. The original transcript must be mailed directly from your school's registrar. Do not send photocopies. An official copy should also be scanned in to your online application, if possible..

GRE Scores

The department requires that all applicants submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. The scores may not be more than five years old. Only the General Test is required - Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical portions. To register for the GRE, please see the GRE web site or call 1-800-967-1100. For score reporting, KU's institution code is 6871 and the Political Science Department code is 1902.

TOEFL Scores (for non-native speakers of English)

International students must submit scores from a TOEFL exam taken within the past two years.  The Applied English Center will also test all international students on their English proficiency upon arrival at the University, regardless of TOEFL scores.

Letters of Reference

Request letters of reference from three people, preferably from professors who can advise us about your potential in graduate study. The letters of reference that are not received online can be mailed and will be scanned in to your application by the department.

Financial Documentation (for International Applicants)

Immigration regulations require every international student to verify the availability of financial resources to pay for all educational, living and other expenses before a visa is issued. Verification of additional funds for dependents is also required. For more information on required amounts, please contact the KU Office of International Student Services.


The Department of Political Science only admits new graduate students for the fall semester. We have two major deadlines and application files must be complete if they are to be considered.

For Fall 2016 Admission:

January 7 : Application by this date is required for applicants who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships or graduate fellowships.

April 15 : Students who miss the January 7th deadline can apply for admission by this date. These applicants will not be considered for fellowships or scholarships.

Applications received after April 15th cannot be assured consideration by the Graduate Studies Committee.

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