Admission Requirements

*Applications for 2024-2025 open on October 1, 2023.

**The application deadline--->Click Here

Applications for admission to the Ph.D. program are invited from students who have completed an undergraduate politics major or who have demonstrated excellence in some related discipline (e.g., sociology, economics, history, anthropology, or philosophy).

  • However, the Politics Department will be particularly interested in evidence of outstanding achievement in rigorous fields and the promise of originality of thought.

Admission to the program is based on:

  • The applicant’s statement of purpose (2-4 pages)
  • Personal history statement (1-3 pages)
  • Transcripts of undergraduate work (and previous graduate-level work, if any)
  • (3)-Letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • and writing sample (15-50 pages)
As of the academic year 2020-21, the Politics Department does not require applicants to take the GRE.

The writing sample should be a piece of your scholarly written work, one that represents your best research and capacity to engage in scholarly inquiry. The work need not be in the area of politics but should reveal an ability to address abstract issues and formulate and investigate precise hypotheses.

  • This may be a term paper, thesis, article, or conference paper, and ideally should be about the typical length of such pieces (15-50 double-spaced pages).

Application Procedure

All applications are submitted online through the Graduate Admissions website.

  • Your application will be reviewed only when all the application materials are received, along with the application fee.
  • The Politics Department does not admit students seeking a Master's Degree.

NOTE: The Graduate Division's website also contains a great deal of helpful information on topics of interest to UCSC graduate students, such as:

  • Application deadlines
  • Registration
  • Fees
  • Tuition
  • Financial support
  • and Housing