Admission Requirements
For information about application and general admission requirements, please see applications and admissions. In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Political Science has the following requirements:


  • Acceptable scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
  • A strong cumulative grade-point average in the Master's degree, or at the undergraduate level for fast-track applicants (see below).
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's potential to do graduate work in Political Science.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities applicant has attended.
  • Personal statement of goals for political science degree.
  • A writing sample.

PhD students who are studying full time receive priority in the provision of graduate assistantships.  Applicants for doctoral study who wish to apply for an assistantship must complete an application form. To receive full consideration, applications for financial assistance should be received, together with the admission application, by Feb. 1.  The final application deadline for students not interested in an assistantship is March 1.


For students interested in pursuing a PhD in Political Science, the department offers two options:


The Direct Admit / Fast Track Ph.D.

This degree program is designed for students who do not already hold an MA in Political Science; we welcome applicants holding only an undergraduate degree to apply.  It allows students to complete the Ph.D., with an M.A. in passing, more quickly than if they were to complete each degree separately.  More specifically, the degree program requires 54 hours of coursework (18 courses) inclusive of the four required methods courses, a masters non-thesis paper, two successful comprehensive exams, a major area paper, and a dissertation.   In addition, all PhD students must meet the language/ research skills requirement. 

The Post-M.A. Ph.D.

Students with an M.A. in Political Science are required to take 36 hours of coursework (12 courses) inclusive of the required methods courses, two successful comprehensive exams, a major area paper and a dissertation.  They are not required to write the MA non- thesis paper.  In addition, all PhD students must meet the language/ research skills requirement. 


Declaration of Intent Form



For more information about this and other PhD-level specializations, please contact:

Dr. Amy Steigerwalt

Director of Graduate Studies
Georgia State University

Department of Political Science
1005 Langdale Hall
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404-413-6162
Fax: 404-413-6156

Toni Creighton
Assistant to the Graduate Director