In light of the Covid-19 situation,  all UC Davis Fall 2020 courses will move to virtual instruction.  As a result, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions until further notice.  At this time, the preferred method of contact for departmental staff members is e-mail; please visit our administrative staff contact page for further information.


The Department of Political Science accepts applications for our Ph.D. program and the M.A./J.D. joint program, conducted in association with the School of Law. We do not offer a stand-alone M.A. program.

The admission application (required) and fellowship application (encouraged, but not required) must be completed through the online application system. The admission application and fellowship application, along with instructions, are available through the Office of Graduate Studies website beginning in early September. Applications are accepted for fall quarter only.

For full consideration and review your application must be completed by December 15, and any transcripts must be postmarked by December 15.

Applicants who are not already law students must also apply directly to the UC Davis School of Law for the combined M.A./J.D. program. Separate applications must be submitted to each department because the evaluation and decision processes are performed independently. If admitted to both programs, the applicant must enroll at the School of Law for the first year.


The following information is required and must be submitted online as part of your online admission application:

  • initial application (online)
  • application fee, paid by credit card or e-check — The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete, and the fee must be paid for each application submitted. Consult the Graduate Studies website for fee information.
  • three "Letters of Recommendation" — Your letter writers must upload their statements through the online application system; no paper letters will be accepted. Your recommenders will receive instructions for submitting their recommendations online.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores — Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores will NOT be required for Fall 2021 Admissions. The executive decision to temporarily waive the GRE requirement will be for the Fall 2021 admission cycle only.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores — if you have not studied at an institution and received a degree where the language of instruction is English. These scores must be current (taken with the past two years). TOEFL should be sent electronically directly from ETS to UC Davis. IELTS scores should be mailed directly to UC Davis from IELTS.
  • writing sample — must be submitted electronically as part of the online application.
  • transcripts — All applicants must upload PDF versions of their transcripts or academic records directly to our system. Paper transcripts are not acceptable. Consult the Graduate Studies website for instructions about uploading transcripts.


The University of California Davis, a public institution, is committed to supporting the diversity of the graduate student body and promoting equal opportunity in higher education. This commitment furthers the educational mission to serve the increasingly diverse population and educational needs of California and the nation. Joining the Vice Provost of Graduate Education/Dean of Graduate Studies and the University of California, both the Department of Political Science Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Graduate Department in Political Science affirm that diversity is critical to promoting lively intellectual exchange and the ideas and perspectives essential to advancing the highest quality of education and research. Our graduate students contribute to the global pool of future scholars and academic leaders, thus we highly value a diverse graduate student body to support the University of California’s mission of academic excellence. We invite you to include in your Personal History and Diversity Statement how you may contribute to the diversification of graduate education and the UC Davis community.