Where can I find general information about the PhD program in Political Science at UIUC?

You can find more information about our program here, information from the Graduate College here, and (if applicable) about admissions for international students here. A list of faculty is here. Our graduate handbook lays out the requirements for the PhD. The coursework section discusses how we structure the major field and minor field.


What is the application deadline?

December 1st.


Are GREs required to apply?

We’re not requiring GREs this cycle. Students are able to submit them, but per the statement on our website, we will not be considering GRE scores as part of an applicant’s record this year.


What are the language requirements for admission and for being a teaching assistant?

The language requirements for admission are here and for a teaching assistant appointment are here. Note that there are English proficiency requirement exemptions detailed at those links and that they may differ for admission and for teaching assistant appointments. Admitted students who are not otherwise exempt may be required to do an Oral English Assessment Interview after admission in order to hold a teaching assistant appointment (see here).


What financial support is available?

Our admitted students are typically guaranteed five years of funding, mostly through teaching assistantships and research assistantships. The funding includes a stipend and a tuition waiver so long as students are making satisfactory progress towards their degree and hold an assistantship. Summer and winter break teaching opportunities may be available to graduate students in their later years, with pay in addition to the academic year stipend. Based on the contract with the Graduate Employment Organization (the UIUC student union), the campus minimum nine-month stipend for academic year 2024-25 is $23,000. The Department of Political Science has historically offered our PhD students more than the minimum contractual requirement.


Can I get a waiver for the application fee?

Application fee details are here. Domestic applicants may be eligible for a waiver, as detailed on that page. International applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver unless coming under a valid exchange agreement that has an approved application fee waiver.


Do I need to contact faculty that I am interested in working with in the department?

Students aren’t admitted to work with a specific faculty person. You may contact faculty, although it is not required and does not affect the admissions process. In our program, students are assigned two first-year advisors, but the expectation is that students will work with a variety of faculty and develop the composition of their dissertation committee in later years. In other words, it’s enough to indicate in your academic statement of purpose which faculty in the department align with your research interests.


What if my transcripts are on a different grade scale than U.S. universities?

Grade conversions by country are here.


Do you offer an MA program?

The department does not currently offer a terminal MA program. Our PhD students have the option to earn an MA on the way to their PhD.


Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz is the current Director of Graduate Studies.