All applicants for the PhD programs must apply online using the UCI Online Application for Graduate Admissions.


Applications will be accepted beginning September 1. The application deadline is December 1, 2018

For full consideration, applications must be received by the December 1 deadline. Although applications received after the deadline may be considered, we cannot guarantee that they can be reviewed. Late applications are more likely to be reviewed if they arrive by mid-December. Most students who are admitted will be informed by late February although some decisions, including definite non-admits, are delayed into March or later.

Materials that cannot be uploaded to the online application should be sent to the School of Social Sciences, via U.S. Postal Mail, and addressed as follows:

Attention: Graduate Admissions (Political Science)
Graduate Affairs Office
School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
3151 Social Science Plaza A
Irvine, CA 92697-5100


Application fee waivers are available to qualifying US citizens and permanent residents. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants.


Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants for PhD admission. We cannot waive this requirement; even when the applicant has completed an advanced degree at another college or university in the United States.

We cannot accept GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores in place of the GREs. We do not require that applicants file scores from any of the various GRE (subject) tests available. GRE scores can be no older than five years.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The internet-based TOEFL(-ibT) is required of all international applicants except citizens of primarily English-speaking countries (principally, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom). The test is also required of international applicants who are US permanent residents who did not graduate from high school in the United States after attending for four full years. 

A minimum overall score of 80/120 is required for admission, while a minimum sub-score of 26/30 on the Speaking component of the test is needed to qualify for financial support consideration. 

We can accept current IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as an alternative to the TOEFL-ibT, in which case a minimum 7/9 (overall, no individual module score under 6) is required for admission, and a minimum 8/9 (Speaking component) for financial support consideration.

TOEFL-ibt or IELTS test scores can be no older than 2 years. We cannot waive the requirement for current TOEFL or IELTS scores. 

Please see HERE for more information on the English language policy. 


Tuition and Fees

View the University of California's current published fee and tuition rates.

United States citizens and permanent residents who relocate to California from other states may apply for legal residency here, following one year of continuous residence. The required "procedures of intent" are outlined here.

Financial Support

All applications for PhD admission are considered also for financial support, and all admission offers to Political Science currently include six years of funding. Applicants are not required to apply separately for admission and financial support. Our competitive, merit-based funding packages include:

 annual registration fees;

 comprehensive student health insurance;

 a combination of TA or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointment with individual members of faculty, and fellowship quarters in lieu of employment.

All offers to non-residents of California include non-resident tuition for the first year of study for US citizens and permanent residents, and for the first three years for international students (conditional on satisfactory progress).

Financial assistance based on need (loans, primarily) is available to qualifying student applicants, through UCI Financial Aid & Scholarships.

 All students applying for need-based financial aid are required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

International students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to apply for federal need-based financial aid aid.

Further information on assistantships and funding resources can be found here.


For academic questions, we encourage prospective students to contact the Graduate Admissions Director, Professor Simone Chambers at or visit the Social Sciences Graduate Studies website.


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766