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Admissions & Degree Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the graduate program, students must first meet Graduate College admission requirements as described in the Graduate College Bulletin.

The Department of Political Science expects that students seeking admittance to graduate work will have successfully completed at least 24 hours of undergraduate study in political science or 15 hours in political science plus nine of another social science field. Students lacking this preparation will be considered for admission, but they may be asked to commence their studies with additional courses in order to be fully prepared for graduate work. Additional coursework will be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science at the time of enrollment. All applicants must have received at least a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution.

To seek admission, students must apply directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions by submitting the official online application, along with transcripts, application fee, and additional departmental required application materials, as detailed below.

All applicants for whom English is a second language must present evidence of proficiency in the English language. Students whose native language is not English are required to submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL institutional code for the University of Oklahoma is 6879. Please consult the Office of Graduate Admissions English Proficiency Requirements for more information.

The application deadline for Fall 2017 is February 1, 2017.

Admission to the Political Science Ph.D. program at the University of Oklahoma is highly selective. Applicants must demonstrate the ability and motivation to succeed in a rigorous program of graduate study, and must make the case that there is a close fit between their aspirations and the offerings of the Department of Political Science at OU. Furthermore, study for the Ph.D. is a full-time endeavor that demands complete intellectual commitment. Outside employment is not permitted while enrolled in the doctoral program in political science.

The Admissions Committee reviews applications once annually, following the February 1 deadline. Only complete applications are considered. In reviewing applications, the Admissions Committee undertakes a comprehensive examination of all elements of the application file. In addition to the Graduate Admissions application described above, students must submit the following materials with your online application:

  • Scores on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). While there is no fixed minimum for admission, and GRE scores are only one piece of evidence considered by the Admissions Committee, mean scores for admitted students have been in the range of 300-315 (verbal + quantitative) or higher in recent years. The GRE institutional code for the University of Oklahoma is 6879. The political science code is 1902.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons in a position to speak knowledgeably about the applicant’s academic ability. Typically, these would be academic references rather than personal acquaintances or employers. When completing the online application you will have an opportunity to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders. Upon submission of your application, your recommenders will be sent an email notifying them to submit their letters through an electronic system.
  • A statement of about 1,000 words articulating the applicant’s specific preparation for graduate study, proposed fields of study and area of focus, and career aspirations. A compelling statement is a critical part of the application; the applicant should invest substantial time in crafting the personal statement.
  • A writing sample. The writing sample should be a substantive piece of work that displays the applicant's writing, analytical and research skills. 

All supplemental documents may be uploaded with the online application.

 The Department of Political Science typically announces admissions decisions around March 1.

PhD Degree Requirements


Graduate Assistantships


All prospective students interested in a graduate assistantship should indicate their interest on the admission application. When available, the financial support package typically includes a nine-month salary, tuition waiver and health insurance.


All transcripts, test scores, correspondence or other materials submitted in conjunction with an application for admission become the permanent property of the University and will not be returned.

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