UCI offers funding packages that are competitive with those offered by other top political science departments. Support packages normally consist of various combinations of financial support and Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantships. Virtually all our incoming Ph.D. students in political science are offered some form of financial assistance for at least four years of graduate study (with yearly renewal contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree). The School of Social Sciences, the University, and the Department of Political Science award merit-based fellowships and assistantship guarantees to incoming students on the strength of their individual applications as a whole. We give careful consideration to letters of recommendation, to the skills and capacities evidenced by writing samples, and to educational achievements indicated by test scores, grade-point averages, and academic honors.
All applicants are automatically considered for a variety of funding options. Departmental support takes many forms, ranging from full fellowships and in-state tuition to competitive aid packages offering various combinations of fellowships, tuition and/or fee credits, teaching or research assistantships, and/or loans. Although the most common form of support is in the form of multiyear TAship packages, other types of fellowships and fellowship packages are awarded to the most competitive candidates for admission.
Students admitted to the Political Science Department whose interests overlap with those of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) -- whose research program focuses on the empirical study of democracy in the United States and internationally --are eligible to be considered for Democracy Fellowships. Democracy Fellowships customarily receive whole or partial fellowship support and in-state (or out-of-state) tuition support for the first year, and commitments of fellowship or TAship support for additional years (as well as eligibility to be considered for CSD summer RAships). Fellows are expected to participate in the training program and activities of the Center -- including the study of parties, interest groups, elections, constitutions, social movements, democratic transitions and consolidation, race and civic inclusion, economics of governance, etc. Students interested in being considered for such fellowships should indicate an interest in democratization on their application form. For detail of CSD fellowships and information about former fellows see the Center for the Study of Democracy web site at http://www.democ.uci.edu/.
In addition to departmental and CSD funding, there are a number of fellowships available to incoming political science students involving a competition that is either School of Social Sciences wide, or campus wide. Among the general fellowships available to all incoming social science graduate students is the Social Science Merit Fellowship. Among the general fellowships available for which there is a campus wide competition are the Chancellors Fellowship and the Regents Fellowship, as well as a number of more specialized fellowship to encourage diversity such as the Cota Robles Fellowship. Additional information about financial aid is available through the UCI Graduate Office. Particularly qualified applicants across the various subfields are encouraged to consider extramural application to nationally competitive graduate fellowship programs, information on which can be found at the American Political Science Association website under Extramural Financial Support.
Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) Fellowships
Three to four CSD fellowships are awarded each year to entering graduate students whose research interests overlap with those of the Center for the Study of Democracy (constitutional design, elections and electoral rules, political participation, race and ethnic inclusion , and democratic transitions and consolidation are some of the many topics falling under the rubric of the Center’s activities). These fellowships are funded at competitive levels, and may sometimes also cover the first year out-of-state tuition.
Social Science Merit Fellowship
This merit-based fellowship offers five years of guaranteed support to outstanding domestic applicants. The first year includes payment of student fees, nonresident tuition if applicable, one quarter of fellowship, two quarters of employment as a Teaching Assistant, a summer fellowship and a research and travel award. The value of the first year package is $24,000-$34,700. The following four years includes employment as a Teaching Assistant, payment of student fees, and two quarters of 'floating' fellowship (fees + stipend) which can be used anytime between the second and fifth year.
The fellowship is also available to outstanding international applicants and offers four years of guaranteed support. The first year includes payment of student fees, nonresident tuition, one quarter of fellowship, two quarters of employment as a Teaching Assistant, a summer fellowship and a research and travel award. The value of the first year package is $34,700. The following three years includes employment as a Teaching Assistant, two quarters of 'floating' fellowship that can be used anytime between the second and fifth year and two additional year’s payment of the nonresident tuition. When students advance to candidacy the tuition is reduced by 75%.
International applicants will not be considered for this fellowship unless he/she has taken the TSE or SPEAK Test (UCI Administered only) and passed with a score of 50 or better.
Graduate Tuition Fellowship
The basic Graduate Tuition Fellowship offers two years of guaranteed support although programs may increase funding levels or include additional years of support. The fellowship is designed for nonresident domestic applicants, although it may also be awarded to an international applicant. The basic package includes one year payment of the nonresident tuition, two years payment of student fees, and two years of employment as a Teaching Assistant.
The goal of the Diversity Program is to achieve "a student population of men and women reflective of the population at large, inclusive of those traditionally under-represented in various academic fields and of all socioeconomic levels, physical disabilities, ages, religions, national origins, sexual orientations, and other attributes" (from the Office of Graduate Studies). These awards are for domestic applicants only. For more information, go to http://www.rgs.uci.edu/grad/diversity/index.htm
Eugene-Cota Robles Fellowship
The Eugene-Cota Robles Fellowship offers two years of centrally funded support that includes payment of student fees and a stipend of $12,500/year. Two additional years of support are awarded by the program. Nominees for this fellowship are required to have an "interest in an academic career in teaching and research." For more information: http://www.rgs.uci.edu/grad/diversity/opp.htm
Graduate Opportunity Fellowship
The Graduate Opportunity Fellowship is designed for the domestic applicant who has experienced educational disadvantage in their education. The fellowship offers three years of support. The first year, funded centrally, pays student fees and a stipend of $10,000. The program provides two additional years of support. For more information: http://www.rgs.uci.edu/grad/diversity/opp.htm
The Regents' Predissertation Fellowships
This one quarter non-renewable fellowship from the School of Social Sciences is for students who have not yet advanced to candidacy and merit dedicated research time in order to optimize their plans for advancement. It consists of a $3750 stipend plus payment of student fees. Nonresident tuition is not covered.
Regents' Dissertation Writing Fellowship
This one quarter (non-renewable) fellowship consists of a $4,200 stipend plus payment of student fees and if applicable, the reduced tuition for international students who are chosen for an award. To qualify for the fellowship, all initial research should be completed, and the student should be currently well into the writing phase of the dissertation. In addition to the recommendations of the Advisor and Graduate Director, the factors considered in final award decisions include academic record and progress to date (including time since matriculation into the program), and the schedule for completion of all degree requirements. Identification of the most opportune time for this award is crucial and is a consideration in the decision as to who receive funds. Successful completion of the Ph.D. is expected no later than two quarters after the fellowship tenure.
Regents' Summer Fellowships
The School awards approximately 25-30 Regents' Summer Fellowships valued at $1500-$2500 each. Two thirds will be awarded to students not advanced to candidacy, and one third will be awarded to students who have advanced to candidacy and are actively working on their dissertation.
Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) Summer and School-Year RAships
Faculty associated with the Center for the Study of Democracy are eligible to apply to CSD for student research assistance support. This support may be given to Center Fellows who are past their first year. Students selected as RAs receive $3,000 per quarter (or during the summer.).
RAships through the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (GPACS)
Faculty in the Political Science Department associated with the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies are eligible to apply to GPACS for student research assistance support, which may be given to graduate students with an interest in international relations, international studies, or peace and conflict resolution.
Department of Political Science
Research and summer research support is also available through the Department’s graduate support funds. The Department also provides limited financial support for conference participation by its graduate students.