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Graduate Admissions

The Department of Political Science believes that professionalism is best pursued in an educational environment that places value on both academic merit and social diversity. We evaluate each application as a whole, using all of the information we have to assess whether each applicant is both a good fit with our department and has the capacity to succeed in a rigorous graduate program. No one factor is deterministic, but a weakness in one component should be offset by strengths in other parts of the application. The application process is competitive, and some fields and programs are more competitive than others. A complete application will include

Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts: The applicant must have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement as an undergraduate or in previous graduate studies. The Political Science Department considers all applicants regardless of undergraduate major, but some work in political science, or another social science, is preferred.

We may begin our assessment with unofficial transcripts, which applicants can upload with other application materials.

However, the University Admissions Office must receive official copies of all transcripts before we can admit any applicant.

Three letters of recommendation from faculty members attesting to the academic abilities of the applicant are required. Students who are applying to the MA program in Public Affairs or Political Campaigning may (but are not required to) substitute one academic letter with a letter that speaks to the applicant’s relevant experience in an internship, public service, professional work environment, or a political campaign. Applicants who have been out of academic settings for many years and have difficulties finding three academic references should explain that in the statement of purpose, and provide letters that speak to work habits and the potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate program.

Graduate Record Exam scores:   Due to current admission examination testing difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Political Science, in sync with the UF Graduate School, is waiving the GRE requirement for MA and PhD applicants  seeking  Spring or Fall 2021 admission. This temporary emergency waiver applies only to admission for the Spring and Fall 2021 semesters.

A statement of purpose which should be a concise, sharply focused and well-crafted essay of a page or more that conveys intellectual ambitions, indicates how the program of study satisfies the student’s interests, and how the student would contribute to the program.

Ph.D. applicants are also required to submit a Writing Sample, which should be an academic research paper or scholarly essay that demonstrates the applicant’s capacity to do doctoral level work.

Application Deadlines

Ph.D. Program (fall admission only): All materials must be received by January 15.

MA. Program (fall admission): Complete applications for the MA programs are due by March 15. International students (who are not permanent residents of the U.S.) must complete their applications by February 1.

March 15 is a hard deadline for the general MA and MA in International Relations

Applications for Public Affairs or Political Campaigning may be considered after March 15 on a space available basis.

MA. Programs in Public Affairs or Political Campaigning (spring admission): Complete applications for the MA programs are due by November 15.

We do not offer Spring admission for the general MA, MA in International Relations, or PhD programs.

How to Apply

Apply Online – click here to complete the application, and submit your statement of purpose, unofficial transcripts, writing sample (Ph.D. applicants only), and contact information for three letters of recommendation. Please direct any questions to our graduate Secretary, Sue Lawless-Yanchisin, 352-273-2376 or

Please have your official transcripts, official GRE scores, TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants), and certificate of financial responsibility (international applicants) sent to the Office of Admissions.

Extra Considerations for International Students

Our international students are valued members of our academic community, and contribute much to the vitality of our department. Presently, we have graduate students from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Kuwait, Mexico, Senegal, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam.

International students (who are not permanent residents of the U.S.) applying for the Ph.D. program must complete their applications by January 15, and those applying for the M.A. program must complete their applications by February 1.

International applicants must submit to the UF Office of Admissions

an official copy in the native language of each transcript,

mark sheet and diploma/degree certificate from each university or college attended, and

a certified, literal (exact) English translations for documents not originally issued in English.


For admission to our graduate program, international students from non-English speaking countries are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. We require that candidates seeking admission score 80 or better on the TOEFL (internet), or 6 or better on the IELTS. International students are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement if enrolled for one academic year in a degree-seeking program at a recognized/regionally accredited university or college in a country where English is the official language prior to your anticipated term of enrollment at UF. For a list of those countries, see

PhD applicants seeking funding from the Department are also required to demonstrate proficiency in spoken English. Students from non-English speaking countries can demonstrate proficiency with scores of 23 or higher on the TOEFL speaking test, 7 or higher on the IELTS speaking test, or 45 or higher on the SPEAK test.

We welcome applications from students with support from Fulbright or their home governments.

More information for international students at the University of Florida is available from the Graduate School, the Admissions Office, and the International Center.