The application deadline for admission in Fall 2025 is December 1, 2024. Follow this link to apply.

A complete application consists of:

  • An application form and fee.
  • An academic statement of purpose (1,000 words) and a personal statement (2- up to 250 words required prompts and 2- up to 250 words optional prompts) responding to the prompts below.
  • A sample of your written work, such as a paper you wrote for a political science course.
  • Transcripts from every college or university you have attended, whether or not you earned a degree there.
  • A minimum of three letters of reference.
  • English proficiency requirements for graduate admission, including exemptions, are detailed here.

For applications due in December 2024, the Department of Political Science will not require GRE scores and will not consider GRE scores as part of an applicant's record.

Academic Statement of Purpose

Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe (within 1000 words): (1) the substantive scholarly questions you are interested in exploring in graduate study, (2) your academic background, intellectual interests, and any training, research, or other experiences that have prepared you for graduate study, (3) how our program would help you achieve your intellectual goals, (4) any specific faculty members, if applicable, whose research interests align with your own interests, and (5) your professional goals.

Personal Statement

Below is the prompt that was used for the personal statement in the Fall 2024 admission cycle. This prompt is subject to revision for the Fall 2025 admission cycle. We anticipate that the prompt will be finalized by the end of September 2024.

Please respond to the 2 required and 2 optional prompts (up to 1000 words): (1) Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development (required; up to 250 words). (2)  Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively (required; up to 250 words). (3) Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware (optional; up to 250 words). (4) If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here (optional; up to 250 words).


Please submit all your application materials through the UIUC Graduate College's online application process. Do not mail them to our department. Your references will be prompted by an automated email message to upload their letters. If they are unable to do so, they may send their letters to the address below:

Department of Political Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Attn. Graduate Admissions
420 David Kinley Hall MC-713
1407 W Gregory Dr
Urbana IL 61801

If you have questions about the graduate admissions process, please contact