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Deadline: December 1

The Graduate School administers the application process for the Department of Political Science.


  • Statement of Intent

  • Writing Sample

    • A writing sample is required. Writing samples that demonstrate an applicant's capacity for systematic and careful thought, reasoned argument, and clear writing about political phenomena improve the chances of admission.

  • Curriculum Vitae or Résumé

  • Three Letters of Recommendation

  • Unofficial Transcripts

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Required for Fall 2022 Admissions

The University of Notre Dame requires an official report of recent (five years or less) GRE scores for admission to graduate study. GRE scores are standardized, important components of a complete application to our program. All other things equal, our admissions process favors higher scores. We do not set a minimum GRE score requirement because we consider a broad set of factors in making admissions decisions.

The median GRE scores for recent cohorts of graduate students are:

  • Verbal 165
  • Quantitative 158
  • Analytical Writing 5.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

    The Notre Dame Graduate School advises applicants that successful TOEFL scores on iBT are 80 overall and 23 speaking or an IELTS score of 7.0. TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for 2 years

  • Application Fee

Rate of Admission

The Department of Political Science attracts many highly qualified applicants for its graduate program. Each year more than 250 prospective students apply, from the U.S. and around the world. Approximately 10-12 new students enter our program each year. Our student body is diverse in terms of national origin, cultural background, and intellectual interest.

Financial Support

Tuition and Fellowship Stipend: Guaranteed Support

Political Science offers generous financial aid packages to its Ph.D. students and is committed to maintaining comfortable and productive assistance for entering students.

A number of Notre Dame centers and institutes offer grants for students' research and professional development, as well as conference presentation.

Funding through programs in the College of Arts & Letters like the the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) support and promote the research, scholarship, and creative endeavors of graduate students, as well as faculty and undergraduates.

Our guaranteed support, tuition plus fellowship, lasts for five full years to Ph.D. students who are making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Grants and Fellowships

A number of Notre Dame centers and institutes offer grants for students' research and professional development, as well as conference presentation. Visit the Office of Grants and Fellowships for more details on funding opportunities. 

The Office of Grand and Fellowships helps graduate students in applying and winning prestigious external fellowships and grants using a peer-mentor model comprised of our multidisciplinary fellowship advising team.

Consultants will work with you one-on-one to provide constructive feedback on applications. Consultants are current Notre Dame graduate students and alumni who are experienced, successful grant and fellowship writers.

The Office of Grand and Fellowships team can also help you identify potential funding, generate a funding development plan throughout your graduate studies, and produce competitive external funding applications.

Kellogg Institute PhD Fellowship 

The Kellogg Institute PhD Fellowship is a supplemental stipend of $5,000/year for five years, administered and funded by the Kellogg Institute. Students interested in the politics of Latin America, Africa and/or Asia as it relates to the Institute's research themes of democracy and human development may be nominated for this award.

Burns Fellowships

Students interested in learning to conduct research on educational practices, programs and policies should apply for the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship to be a part of the Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research. This fellowship provides a stipend for up to five years, along with professional development funding for research and travel. Interested students will apply as part of their graduate application to their departmental Ph.D. program.

Outside Fellowships

Students in the department have also fared well in winning major outside fellowships and prizes for dissertation research. In recent years, our students have won funding from:

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Social Science Research Council
  • Fulbright
  • IREX
  • Mellon/ACLS
  • Germany's DAAD
  • Canada's SHRCC
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • US AID
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies
  • World Society Foundation
  • Irving L. Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy
  • Institute for the Study of World Affairs
  • Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford