Department of Political Science

College of Letters & Science
HomeHow to Apply?

How to Apply?

The Department of Political Science requires that all application materials be submitted electronically through the Graduate School's application web site. 

All application materials listed below must be received no later than December 15 in the year prior to your planned enrollment into the program. Late applicants will not be considered for admission.

Please also review the Graduate School's website Application Process at a Glance for an overview of the application process.

The Graduate School sets the minimum admission requirements for all prospective graduate students.  The standards of the Department of Political Science are higher than the Graduate School minimum requirements. All elements of the application are reviewed holistically, but it may be useful to know that students admitted to  in 2016 had the following average scores:

  • GPA of 3.8
  • GRE verbal score in 89th percentile
  • GRE quantitative score in 75th percentile
  • GRE analytic writing score in 85th percentile
  • TOEFL exam (if required) iBT score of 115.


Department of Political Science - Application Materials Checklist
Review the checklist before you start the Graduate School application so the documents to be uploaded are available in an electronic format.



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Statement of Reasons for Graduate Study, including your field(s) of interest.


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Curriculum vitae (c.v.) or resume to be uploaded into the application.



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Three letters of recommendation, submitted electronically.  The references identified in your online application will be sent a recommendation request by email. This email will include your name and a link to the electronic recommendation form. Contact your references in advance so that they can expect your request for recommendation.  The request can be sent at any time providing you meet the December 15th deadline. You are able to change references or send a reminder through your application.


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Complete the Supplemental Application section of the online application.




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Writing sample and abstract to be uploaded into the application. 
Each applicant is required to submit either a research paper or thesis chapter that demonstrates your research, writing, and analytical abilities. The document should also include a research abstract of no more than 600 words (roughly one single-spaced page) that indicates the central question, arguments, data sources, methods, and conclusions of the research paper or thesis chapter being submitted.


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Scanned copies of official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended to be uploaded into the application.
Documents should be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and official signature. International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. See FAQs for additional details.

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GRE 
scores. Use institution code 1846. (There is not a separate departmental or program code.)


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TOEFL 
scores (if required)

All materials are submitted electronically through the application. If this is not possible, or you have other questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator (admit@polisci.wisc.edu).