PhD Admissions

The deadline for applications is January 8, 2024. The application fee is $70. To request a fee waiver or for any questions about the application process, please contact the Department of Political Science by email at

How to Apply

For your application, you will need to complete the following items. Your application is complete only when you submit the online application and we receive the other required items.

Online Application

To complete the online application, you will need to identify your recommenders and prepare a personal statement. Three recommenders and the statement are submitted as part of the online application. In the personal statement, you will provide information about yourself, your aims and plans for the future, reasons for choosing graduate study in political science, areas of specific interest, and experiences in the field (300-750 words). You should include the names of specific professors, if any, with whom you especially wish to study.

Diversity Statement

The University of Rochester motto of Meliora—or “ever better”—deeply integrates critical core values into all that we do. These core values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability define not only who we are, but also who we hope to become. Based on our motto please share something about your background, lived experiences, or viewpoint(s) that speaks to how you can contribute to your intended field of study, your community, or the University of Rochester to make it “ever better”. The uploaded statement should be no more than 500 words.

Standardized Tests

GRE general test is required. GRE scores should be sent to department code 1902, school code 2928.

English Language Proficiency Policy: All international students are required to provide proof of English language proficiency through the submission of official test scores from one of the following exams. Scores more than two years old from the application deadline are not valid.

  • IELTS: University of Rochester, Graduate Studies - AS&E, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, P.O. Box 270401, Rochester, NY 14627
  • TOEFL or TOEFL iBt Home Edition: submitted using the code 2928
  • Duolingo: students completing the Duolingo exam can select the University of Rochester as the recipient of the scores

The English proficiency test requirement is waived for citizens of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Commonwealth Caribbean Nations
  • Ghana
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • U.K.
  • Virgin Islands

The requirement may also be waived if a student has completed at least three years of postsecondary study in one of the countries listed above or the United States. We reserve the right to require demonstration of English proficiency, even if you have received your degree from one of the above mentioned countries.


You may scan transcripts to the online application. An original transcript will be required upon admission.

Letters of Recommendation

The Department of Political Science requires three letters of recommendation. In filling out the online application, you will be asked for the names of your three recommenders, each of whom will be sent an email with a link giving them instructions on how to submit their letters electronically.

Writing Sample

You may upload a writing sample in the application. This must be a sample of your own original academic writing in English. (Translations are acceptable, provided the translation is your own work.) Please indicate the original purpose of the writing sample, and when and to whom it was submitted.

Curriculum Vitae (optional)

You may also upload a brief resume listing any additional information you believe to be relevant to your application for admission.