Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information about admission and the graduate program?

We encourage you to explore our graduate program web pages where you should be able to find much of the information for which you are looking.

Once admission decisions are sent out, you will receive initial information about funding. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Division Website provide additional information on the cost of attending UCSB and financial aid opportunities.

Who should I contact for more information?

If you are looking for general information beyond what can be found on our website, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Carol Conley by email (conley@polsci.ucsb.edu) or phone (805-893-3626).

We also encourage you to contact individual faculty members in your area or areas of research. A full listing of faculty with contact information can be found on our online directory.

Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?

We judge each applicant by his/her total merits and circumstances. Standardized test scores are viewed in relationship to the letters of recommendation, GPA as recorded on transcripts, and a focused/well-written statement of purpose. Although the department does not have a specific minimum GRE requirement, we wish to ensure that our students are adequately prepared to pursue graduate work. Higher scores may increase your chance of admission and for funding consideration.

What is your policy on TOEFL/IELTS scores?

According to the UCSB Graduate Division, applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. Exemptions or exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English. Proof must be provided by sending the final/official transcripts associated with the degree.

The campus minimum TOEFL score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper-based test (PBT) and 80 when taking the internet-based test (IBT). The department requires a minimum score of 600 for the written test or 80 for the internet based test. Our minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7.

What is your admission rate and how many students usually receive funding support?

Our acceptance rate is usually about 1 in 3. Our entering class size is about 8 students, all of whom receive 5-year financial aid offers. These offers include fellowship money as well as Teaching Assistantships. In the first year, most financial packages are primarily fellowship-based, with one Teaching Assistantship.  In subsequent years, most financial aid comes in the form of two Teaching Assistantships, with fellowship funding to cover all fees and tuition. 

What is the size of your entering class?

The entering class size is about 8 students. 

How many of the incoming students are international students?

The number of international students in each cohort varies. In general, about 1/4 of our admitted students have an international background.