Admissions Process

The Department of Government and Politics recruits highly qualified students, and admits only a limited number of the strongest applicants for our PhD program. The Admissions Committee rarely grants provisional or conditional admission to the graduate program. Admission is granted only for the Fall semester.

Application Deadline for Fall 2025 Admission: December 3, 2024*

*Students from historically underrepresented groups and first generation students: Application fee waivers are available through a number of programs at the Graduate School level. Click here to see if you qualify.

The GVPT department does not offer fee waivers. 


Apply Here for a PhD in Government and Politics


Application Requirements

A completed application must include the following items:

  • Personal statement (indicating reasons for pursuing graduate study at the University of Maryland)
  • Academic transcripts from previous institutions (both undergraduate and graduate)
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (for international graduate students)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • Writing sample

Note: The GRE is Not required 


We offer most incoming Ph.D. students a competitive five-year funding package that includes tuition remission and benefits. The most outstanding applications are also eligible for University-wide fellowships and/or summer fellowships. Students can also apply for funds to support their research through the individual subfields.

Funding opportunities on campus:

Fellowship Opportunities

Fellowships in Support of Diversity and Inclusion


External funding opportunities:

UMD Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Government Grants

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept part-time students?

No. Our focus is on training you for a career as a professional political scientist. We view your career as starting when you enter the Ph.D. program. As a result, we expect all students to be fully engaged in the program—not just courses, but also work as a Graduate Assistant (Teaching or Research Assistant) or Fellow, workshops, events, and other activities.

What is the acceptance rate?

Our goal is to admit the applicants we believe will be successful in the program. We generally strive for an entering class of 9- 10 students. The number we admit varies from year to year based on a variety of factors. Note that the number of applications and the acceptance rates also vary by subfield.

What are the minimum GPA and GRE scores needed to gain admission?

The admissions committee considers all aspects of each applicant’s file so there aren’t strict cut-offs. The most competitive applicants tend to have undergraduate GPAs above 3.5. The most competitive students who have obtained a Master’s Degree tend to have GPA’s in their Master’s program close to 4.0. 

Do you have night classes for those who work?

Since we expect students to be fully engaged in the program, we do not schedule courses to accommodate those with other obligations between 9 am and 5 pm. We do, sometimes, offer courses that start at 6:30 pm, but this is a function of faculty preference.

Can I work elsewhere and pursue a Ph.D.?

Technically, yes. However, we believe it is important for all students to be engaged in the program full time. Those who work on campus in addition to their work as a Graduate Assistant may receive a waiver to work an additional 10 hours per week.

Do I need a Master’s Degree to enter the Ph.D. program?

No. We have a mix of students who have Master’s degrees and those who do not.

Do you have a Master’s Degree program?

No. Students who enter the Ph.D. program can earn a Master’s Degree along the way after taking 10 courses, passing one comprehensive exam, and satisfying a writing requirement.

How do I translate my grades to a GPA?

Use the Graduate School's GPA calculator.