Admission

We begin accepting applications during the second week of September for the following fall quarter. The application deadline for admission and fellowship consideration is January 5. Applications for admission are accepted until September 1 (June 1 for foreign applicants). Applications received after the January 5 deadline are considered for fellowship considerations if funds are available.  If you are ready to apply, please complete the official UCR Graduate School Application. This is the application that serves as the official application to the Political Science Department’s Graduate Program. The UCR Graduate Division provides more information about the official application procedures.

The completed application consists of GRE scores, three academic letters of recommendation (from persons familiar with the student’s academic work), and official transcripts from all academic institutions attended. For additional information about the application process or status of your application, contact Sara Palmer [sara.palmer@ucr.edu] Graduate Assistant.  Our faculty are happy to answer any questions about the program and their subfields.  For general questions about the program and admissions, contact the Director of Graduate Admissions Indridi H. Indridason [indridi.indridason@ucr.edu].

To be admitted to the graduate program, the basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution, with a major related to political science. This degree must represent the completion of a program equivalent both in the distribution of academic subject matter and scholarship achievement comparable to that offered at the University of California. Satisfying minimal standards does not guarantee admission since the number of qualified applicants typically exceeds the number of places available; as a result, many well-qualified applicants may not be accommodated.

Admission decisions are based on a number of factors, including academic degrees and record, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, and relevant experience. The appropriateness of the applicant’s goals to the political science program and its relationship to the research interests of the faculty is also considered. The MA program is open to students with all career objectives. Typically, however, only students with a career objective of attaining a faculty position in higher education are considered for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Because professions need a diverse membership and the educational experience is enhanced by a diverse student body, UCR views the enrollment of men and women from different backgrounds and from different demographic and ethnic groups as a high priority.

Minimum Admission Requirements:

  • The minimum GPA for the last two years of undergraduate or graduate course work is 3.20. Admission may be justified for applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.19 – based on a high GRE score and/or strong academic letters of recommendation. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are ineligible.
  • All applicants are required to take the GRE exam; scores up to five years old may be used. 307 (1200 on the old scale) is the minimum GRE score required for admission (combined quantitative and verbal portions only); combined Q/V scores below 307 (1200 on the old scale) may be justified by a high GPA (3.75+) and/or strong academic letters of recommendation. Subject test is not required.
  • All International applications are required to take the TOEFL exam; scores up to two years old may be used. 213 is the minimum TOEFL score on computer administration; 550 is the minimum TOEFL score on paper and pencil administration; and 80 is the minimum for the Internet-based exam (iBT). The TOEFL requirement is waived for international applicants who have successfully completed a degree where the language of instruction is English. For a variety of reasons, the department cannot make offers of admission conditional on students successfully taking the TOEFL exam after a year of language study.  Students seeking language training prior to applying to our programs may want to consider the options offered by UCR Extensions.
  • Three academic letters of recommendation from faculty in your current program of study are required (written in English).