The general prerequisite for admission to graduate study is a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent. A student is not required to have an undergraduate major in political science but normally will have had at least nine semester hours of course work in political science. Ordinarily, we do not accept terminal Master students. Applicants who do not wish to continue to the Ph.D. may want to explore the Masters in Public Administration and the TransAtlantic Masters Program.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional. You may submit your GRE scores if you wish, but this is not a requirement. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries also must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless they have a degree from a university in the US. Students should take these tests early enough to enable them to submit official reports of scores with their applications. Decisions on admission of applicants may be withheld until test scores are provided.
How to Apply
Instructions on how to apply can be found at the UNC Graduate School’s website. Applications for admission should be submitted through UNC’s Online Application. It is not necessary to send any material directly to the department.
The deadline for applying to the Ph.D. program for Political Science is December 13, 2023 Please note that students are admitted only for the fall.
Fellowships and Assistantships
Most students in the Department of Political Science are supported by fellowships and assistantships provided by the Graduate School at UNC. These awards require service duties that range from ten to fifteen hours per week during the nine-month academic year. Such duties may be teaching in an elementary course, conducting recitation sections, or assisting a faculty member in research/teaching. After the first year, graduate students must demonstrate the ability to teach in English in order to be eligible for further financial support.
Graduate students in political science are also eligible for a variety of competitive, university-wide fellowships and scholarships. These fellowships and scholarships normally do not require a service commitment. For more information on Graduate School funding, please visit their website at http://gradschool.unc.edu/funding/.
Grants and fellowships are also available through the Fulbright program for students, which is designed to give master’s and doctoral candidates opportunities for personal development and international experience. Most grantees plan their own programs. For more information on the Fulbright Program, please contact Tessa Dean and consult the Fulbright website.
Foreign Language study grants are also available, both for summer support and yearlong fellowships designed to support advanced dissertation research in a foreign language.
It is worth nothing that Chapel Hill is a highly livable college town with a low cost of living, meaning that financial support goes farther at UNC than many peer institutions.