Political Science

Graduate Admission

Learn about about admission to the Doctoral program in Political Science at Brown University.

Degree and Financial Support

The department accepts applications only for full time study for the Ph.D. in Political Science. All admitted students receive five years of funding, including tuition, health insurance, and a generous stipend. Those in their sixth year and in good standing will receive similar financial support. 

Ph.D. Program Requirements

Application Materials

The admissions application deadline is December 18th each year for admission the following fall. Late applications are not accepted. 

All applicants for the Ph.D. in Political Science are required to submit GRE General Exam test scores, a writing sample, a personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. We do not rank applicants by GRE scores, and no minimum score is required to apply. We use a holistic admission process in which we review the entirety of each applicant's application, looking for evidence that the applicant is a good fit for our program. We strongly encourage you to review our website, our faculty, and their research areas before applying.

Personal Statement

We ask that prospective students provide us with a personal statement of 1000-1500 words which includes the following: reasons for deciding to do graduate work in the major field you have chosen (i.e., American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, or Political Theory); a statement concerning your past work (study and research) in your chosen field; your plans for study at Brown including issues and problems you want to address; and the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working. 

Writing Sample

We also ask that prospective students provide us with a sample of written work, in English. This is usually a thesis chapter and/or a longer essay. We strongly recommend that students select one piece of work that best represents their writing style. Your sample should be no more than 30 pages. It is strongly encouraged (but not obligatory) to choose work roughly in the subject area in which you plan to do research.


Additionally, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Test System) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. For specific details, please see consult the Graduate School website.