Graduate Admissions

The Department of Political Science offers two graduate degree programs through the Graduate School of Arts and Scienes (GSAS): a one-year free-standing program leading to the Master of Arts in political science, and a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in political science.

Students in the Ph.D. program earn the M.A. and the M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy) degrees in process toward completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. The M.Phil. degree certifies that a candidate for the Ph.D. has completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. except for the dissertation. It is the equivalent of all-but-dissertation (ABD) status. It is not a separate degree program offered in this department, and therefore one cannot apply to the M.Phil. program.

  • Applications are accepted for full-time study only, and for the fall semester of each academic year. No applications are reviewed for spring semester admission.
  • All applicants to the Ph.D. program must select M.A./M.Phil./Ph.D. regardless of any previous graduate degree already earned.
  • The GSAS Admissions office phone number is (212) 854-8903.
  • The GSAS Admissions office fax number is (212) 854-2863.
  • GSAS Admissions information is available here.
  • The ETS code (the GSAS Institution Code for submitting TOEFL and GRE scores) is 2162. There is no separate departmental code for political science.

Please visit the FAQ section of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions web page for more information about submitting the application.

Ph.D. fall 2016 application deadline: December 2, 2015

Free-standing fall 2016 M.A. application deadline: April 2, 2016

Applications are submitted online.

Application to the Department of Political Science should be made through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Questions regarding the admissions process should be directed to the GSAS Office of Admissions at 212-854-8903 or

Applicants may submit letters of evaluation online or as hard copies. Transcripts and standardized test scores should be submitted online.

All materials should be sent to the Office of Admissions:

GSAS Office of Admissions
Columbia University
107 Low Library, MC 4303
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Applicants should not send any materials to the department.

Application requirements for both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent (a Master's degree is not required for eligibility)
  • Online Application
  • Application fee: $105
  • Tuition deposit: A $750 tuition deposit is required for M.A. students, which must be paid via credit card upon acceptance of the offer of admission. Doctoral students are not required to submit a tuition deposit.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Writing Sample no longer than 20 pages
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation; Reapplicants may, through SLATE, elect to reuse letters of recommendation from the previous year’s application. (Note: This option is only available to reapplicants who applied in the immediately preceding year; reapplicants who applied in an earlier year will have to submit new letters.)
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary (after high school) education
  • GRE exam (required of all applicants including those with graduate degrees)
  • TOEFL exam (required of international applicants, see GSAS policy here for more information)