Graduate Program


The Department of Political Science offers flexible programs of graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Our aim is to provide the highest quality graduate training for students who go on to academic teaching and research positions, and to non-academic careers in the public and private sectors. Our department's faculty placed eighth in the nation in the Faculty Scholarly Production Index ranking. Our graduate students benefit from an active, engaged faculty, extensive methodological training, a focus in the department on inter-disciplinary approaches, and close work with a faculty mentor under our apprenticeship model of faculty-student relationships. Graduate students are involved in all areas of faculty research.

Information about our graduate program, facilities, and financial aid is detailed on the Program Requirements portion of our website and in the Department's Graduate Student Handbook.

Our Ph.D. program is one of the most flexible and interdisciplinary in the nation. Students have the option to train in either two traditional political science fields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, or Political Theory), or one traditional field and one of their own design (such as Environmental Politics or the Politics of Identity).

Graduate Program Advisor

Professor Paige Digeser

Admission Committee Chair

Professor Andrew Norris

Graduate Program Coordinator

Carol Conley

Placement Advisor

Professor M. Kent Jennings


Ellison Hall 3835

Contact Info
Phone: 805-893-3626
Fax: 805-893-3309

Hours: M-F 8am-12pm, 1-4:45pm

Graduate Program Profile

2013 Program Profile (pdf)

Approximately 70 students (from all over the world) are enrolled in the Department's graduate program. This ratio of four students per professor permits extensive contact and mentoring by the faculty. To see the profiles of current students enrolled in our graduate program, visit the department "People" webpage. To learn more about our students currently seeking academic positions, please visit the "On the Market" webpage

The graduate program in Political Science also occasionally admits non-degree students who meet all the regular admission requirements but prefer not to work toward an advanced degree. Our students come from all over the world.

Alumni and current students are invited to connect with one another through the MA/PhD LinkedIn group.