Graduate Program

Apply to Notre Dame's Graduate School

The Ph.D. program in Political Science offers talented faculty, strength across subfields, an engaged community, and generous financial support.

Prospective Students

Read a letter to prospective students from the Director of Graduate Studies.

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Faculty Mentoring

Political Science graduate students learn from more than 45 faculty members, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Faculty interests are diverse, making it possible for graduate students to explore almost any area of political science and any region of the world. 

Strength Across Subfields

The Department of Political Science features areas of exceptional strength in five different fields:

Kroc Institute Joint Ph.D. in Peace Studies and Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers a Ph.D. in Political Science and Peace Studies in partnership with Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Graduates are fully credentialed in both political science and interdisciplinary peace research. For more information, or to apply to the Ph.D. program in Political Science and Peace Studies, begin here:

Student Success and Placement

Recent students have secured major external grants from the NSF, Fulbright, Mellon/ACLS, and USAID among others. Students have also published, on their own and as co-authors, articles in such journals as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Theory and Comparative Political Studies. Click here for a list of recent student publications.

Notre Dame graduates have been placed in prestigious academic and non-academic jobs. Here is a list of student placements.

Recent Award Winners

Javier, Osorio, 2015 UN Office of Drugs and Organized Crime (UNODC) award for the best dissertation in Latin America and the Caribbean on public security and violence. 

Victor Hernandez Huerta, 2015 annual IDEA/Electoral Integrity Project award for the best graduate student paper on electoral integrity

Michael Hartney, American Political Science Association's 2015 Harold D. Lasswell Award for the best dissertation in the field of public policy.

Intellectual Community

A number of on-campus institutes, listed below, gather some of the world's foremost scholars as fellows and visiting faculty. They build intellectual community through programming (e.g., lectures, conferences, and other events) and provide funding for faculty and student research.

Generous Financial Support

We guarantee tuition and fellowship support for five full years to Ph.D. students who are making satisfactory progress toward the degree (typically one year less for Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A.).

Admissions Information

Information about admissions requirements, financial support, and the online application process can be found at The Graduate School.  The deadline for graduate school applications is December 15. Additional information about admissions materials for Political Science is located here:


Graduate Program email:
Karrie Koesel
Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: (574) 631-9017