Application Information

This page is divided into information about Degrees, Procedures, and Frequently Asked Questions.


The department accepts applications only for full time study for the Ph.D. in Political Science. We do not offer a Master’s (M.A.) program or part-time study. More information about the Ph.D. program, including program requirements, is available here. All admitted students receive five full years of funding (with a possibility of a sixth), including tuition, health insurance, and a generous stipend.

A joint Ph.D. degree is available with African American Studies, the Yale Law School, or the School of Management. Students applying for a joint degree program must apply to and be accepted by both programs independently. Consult the Yale Graduate School’s Requirements for Joint Degree Programs for further information.

(Visting students from other universities may apply for Visiting Assistant in Research Positions. Students who wish to take classes without pursuing a degree may apply for Special Student status. More information is available under Frequently Asked Questions.)


The application deadline for admission in Fall 2021 is December 15, 2020. 

Late applications are not accepted. Applicants will be informed of the results of the application process by mid–March 2021.

The application is an online process that is managed by the Graduate School’s Admissions Office. We do not accept application materials directly in the department or answer queries about the status of an application. All policies, procedures, instructions, and answers to frequently asked application questions, as well as access to the application, are on the Graduate School’s Admissions website. If you have any questions about the application process, contact them directly.

Please note that ALL applicants for the Ph.D. in Political Science are required to submit a writing sample, a personal statement, transcripts, and 3 letters of recommendation. Students are also required to select a primary subfield of study (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, or Political Theory).  The GRE General Exam test scores are optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Additionally, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Test System) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English.

This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction.