The application for Fall 2020 will be available on July 9, 2019.

Complete and submit the Fall 2020 Graduate Application. The Political Science Department application deadline for Fall 2020 is December 15, 2019.

Note: If you are an international student, please visit the International Applicants section of the Graduate Admissions website.

  1. Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0) from an accredited university in the United States, or equivalent credentials from a non-U.S. institution, or a graduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Have a cumulative score on the Graduate Record Examination of at least 300 (verbal + quantitative), with a score of at least 153 on the verbal examination. Students not meeting the GRE requirements are advised to resubmit their application after retaking the examinations and obtaining satisfactory scores.
  3. All international applicants are required to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency. International students must provide TOEFL or IELTS exam scores or show proof of English. The department requires minimum scores of 90 for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS. If you have completed at least one year of full-time study at a U.S. institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) at the time you apply and within two years from your desired admission term, you may be exempt from the English language proficiency exam. This can be confirmed by your transcripts. 
  4. Submit one unofficial copy of your transcript(s) from each college or university you have attended. 
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation from members of the profession who can judge your ability to participate in a graduate program. You will be asked to supply the names of your recommenders and their email addresses within the application. Electronic requests for letters will be sent out after you submit your application.
  6. Provide a statement of professional and academic goals and intent. Prepare your statement as a .doc or .pdf file, and upload it with your application.

How to Apply:

Access the application here:

Additional helpful information for international applicants can be found here:

The four steps to complete your application are:

  • Create a User Account
  • Complete Application and Upload Documents
  • Submit and Pay for Your Application
  • Confirmation

Your application to conduct your graduate studies at CU Boulder will be considered after all application materials have been received. All materials, including your letters of reference, should be received by the deadline December 15, 2019. Missing information or credentials delay application processing and may affect your chances for admission. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed until the necessary items are received. Most items sent by mail typically require two weeks to reach the admissions office, as well as additional time to be processed. We recommend beginning the application process early and allowing plenty of time to complete the process.

Helpful Hints:

  • Unofficial Transcripts
    For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed.  Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university. ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts. Official transcripts must be issued to this University or Department. They may not be issued to the student. Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application.
  • Statement of Professional and Academic Goals and Intent
    This should be 2-3 pages double-spaced in length.
  • Transcript(s), GRE scores, and other supporting documentation that was not uploaded online should be sent directly to Graduate Admissions. Their phone number is 303-492-6301.
  • We require scores only from the standard GRE (in addition to TOEFL or IELTS for International applicants). Please send scores to Institution Code: 4841. No department code is needed.
  • Average Fall 2015 admitted student:
    • GRE: 154 quantitative, 160 verbal
    • GPA: 3.85/4.0
  • Selectivity:
    • The graduate program admits the top 30 applicants from a pool of approximately 120-150 applicants.
    • Around 12 -15 of the admitted applicants accept our offer of admission and enroll in the fall. 

For more information, please see the Graduate Admissions site or send an e-mail to, or contact Jana L. Jones.

The deadline for the submission of completed applications is December 15, 2019. The Graduate Studies Committee, a committee comprised of five faculty members (including the Director of Graduate Studies) and a graduate student representative, serves as the admissions committee for the graduate program. This committee reads and evaluates all applications that arrive by the deadline. Admission decisions normally fall into three categories: accepted, denied, and waitlisted. If the applicant is waitlisted, admission decisions will be made after initial accpetances have been finalized. 

Recommendations regarding financial aid are also made by the admissions committee. Offers for employment as a graduate teaching assistant are generally made at the time of admission though assistantships do become available over the summer. Students admitted but not initially awarded funding often receive assistantships on a semester-by-semester basis. A graduate teaching assistantship includes a stipend, a tuition waver, and partial health insurance. As a condition of funding all students appointed as graduate assistants are required to (a) take the teaching seminar (PSCI 7008) and (b) complete a minimum of nine credit hours per semester. To be considered for continued funding students must continue to make satisfactory progress in the program (see below).

Additional financial opportunities are available in the form of scholarships, grants, and work-study awards. Each year the Graduate Committee nominates the best applicants to compete for the university's Chancellor's Fellowship, a prestigious award won by three Political Science applicants in the past 8 years. Students are also eligible for work-study appointments; these appointments are based on financial need. To qualify for work study students must write to the financial aid office (Campus Box 106, Telephone number: 303-492-5091) and complete the FAFSA. There is no charge for this evaluation of financial need. This form should be filled out as early in the application process as possible to ensure full consideration.

If the student is accepted to the program of graduate study in Political Science it will be necessary for a written acceptance to be mailed to the Department of Political Science and for the "intent to register" form to be completed and returned to the Graduate School. Prior to enrolling, each new student must pay a $200 deposit to the university. This deposit will be refunded at the termination of the student's degree program.