Graduate Program Admissions Information

  • Application Deadlines for a Start of Fall 2021
    Applications will be accepted beginning October 1. The application deadline is December 1, 2021
    Most students who are admitted will be informed by late February although some decisions, including definite non-admits, are delayed into March or later.
  • Admission Requirements
    The following items are required as part of the graduate application and must be submitted electronically, direct through the online UCI Graduate Application portal:
    • Application Fee: US $120 (for US Citizens and Permanent Residents); US $140 (for international applicants)
      Application fee waivers are available to qualifying US citizens and permanent residents. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants.
    • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)
      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, including US permanent residents, except citizens of primarily English-speaking countries (principally, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom). International applicants (including US permanent residents) who completed all four years of high school in the US may request an exemption (see HERE for more information).
      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.
      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 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.
      Please note that Political Science does not admit students without financial support, so most international students must meet or exceed that minimum Speaking score. An international student can be considered for admission with a lower Speaking score if she or he has guaranteed external funding sufficient to cover tuition and living expenses (such as Fulbright or the other government fellowship). Such applicants will be required to provide evidence of that support.
      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. Please see HERE for more information on the campus policy.
    • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • Transcripts (Include undergraduate and graduate if applicable.)
      Official documents are required before your application can be considered. We require only a single transcript from each school attended, uploaded by the applicant. We are not able to accept paper documents through the mail, or to upload electronic supplemental materials on the applicant's behalf. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for admission consideration. All admission offers will be provisional. Those who are offered and accept admission and financial support will then be required to submit official documents before the start of the Fall 2021 term, to clear the provisional admission status.
    • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • Writing Sample
      May be single-spaced; an excerpt from a longer piece is fine; 20 pages is the maximum length. Please upload this electronically through the UCI Graduate Application).
    • Personal History Statement
      Required if applying for a fee waiver and otherwise recommended; may be included in the academic statement of purpose if not applying for a fee waiver)
    • Current CV or Resume
      Optional, not required.
    • GRE Required

    If you have further questions, please visit our FAQ page or contact the Graduate Admissions Office at or (949) 824-4074.
  • Costs and Financial Support
    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.


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