Graduate FAQs

Structure and Content


Will I get some teaching experience?

Students are offered the opportunity to take our special seminar, "Teaching Political Science," and serve as teaching assistants before eventually teaching their own undergraduate political science courses that are directly related to their career goals. Thus, our graduates have a distinct edge once they enter the job market.

What types of research opportunities are there?

The program is designed to prepare students to engage in teaching and research at universities and colleges, and conduct research at top public and private research organizations. From the first year onward, students become involved in collaborative research with faculty and other graduate students that often generate conference papers, journal publications, and book chapters. Many students also present and publish single-authored work during their time at Kent State. The department assures funding for students to present papers at professional conferences each year.

How much individual attention will I receive?

With a selective admissions policy and a low student-to-faculty ratio, the department offers the opportunity for close student-teacher interaction. Seminars are limited in size and most have enrollments of 10 students or less. Faculty members regularly supervise individual research courses that permit students to investigate specialized research topics on a one-to-one basis.

Why should I apply to the program?

The graduate program in Political Science at Kent State University has a unique program that offers three tracks of study: American Politics and Policy, Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy, and Conflict Analysis and Management. Comprised of nationally recognized faculty, the program prepares students for careers in university teaching, government service, and research-based organizations by offering rigorous methodological training combined with a focus on relevant and contemporary political and policy issues and concerns.

Eligibility Criteria


What is the minimum GPA required for admission?

Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale.

How high do I have to score on the GRE to be accepted?

Applicants should have a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of about 300. In making the decision to admit students, the Graduate Studies Committee takes into account a number of factors including grade point average, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, statement of intent, and the writing sample.

Can I substitute another set of standardized test scores (such as the LSAT or GMAT) in lieu of the GRE?

No. In order to be considered for admission you must take the GRE.

Is it ok if my GRE scores are received after the application deadline?

Yes but we cannot review your application until all materials are received.

Do I have to take to the GRE to apply?

Yes, you must submit your GRE scores before your application can be considered.

If I have an MA can I still apply?

Absolutely. Although not a prerequisite, many of our students have some graduate-level experience.

Do I need a BA or MA degree in Political Science to be eligible for admission?

No, we do not require a specific major.



What is the minimum score on an English proficiency exam required for admission?

Please consult the Office of Global Education web site for information.

Do I need to provide proof of English proficiency?

Yes unless (1) you have received a degree from an accredited U.S. university or (2) you are citizen of one of the countries that is exempt from the requirement. More information can be found at the Office of Global Education web site.

Application Policies and Procedures


Do I need to choose an advisor when applying?

No, you do not choose an advisor when applying to the program. You may however indicate faculty that you would want to work with in your statement of purpose as part of the application process. After students enroll in the program, they will be assigned to an advisor based on their interests. Students are able to change their advisor at any time.

Where should my letters of recommendation be sent?

Your letters can be submitted electronically through the KSU Graduate Studies web site or they can be mailed here:

P.O. BOX 5190
KENT, OHIO 44242-0001

They can email them as well to

There is also an optional form that you can share with your letter writers.

How do I submit additional application materials?

Application materials may be submitted online through the KSU Graduate Studies web site.

How do I begin the admissions process?

To begin the process of applying to the MA or PhD programs, please visit the Graduate Studies application page. For International students, begin the process on the International Graduate Application page.

What materials must I submit with the application?

To apply to the program, you will need:

  • A statement of purpose/intent
  • Official academic transcripts from all schools with 9 semester hours or more
  • GRE scores
  • A writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • For international applicants: Proof of English proficiency.
Do you offer admission beginning in the spring semester?

No. Students are only admitted to begin in the fall semester.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for domestic applications is February 28. For international applicants, the deadline is January 31.

Financial Considerations


Where can I find more information about funding of graduate education?

Please visit the Kent State University Graduate Studies web site. International students may also want to visit the Office of Global Education.

What is the cost of tuition?

Current information about tuition rates can be found through the Bursar’s Office.

Is funding available for MA students?

No. Financial aid awards are not generally available from the department for MA students.

What do I have to do to be considered for a funded Graduate Assistantship (GA) position?

When you apply to the PhD program, you will automatically be considered for Graduate Assistantship. No additional steps are required.

Is funding available?

Most of the students in the PhD program are awarded a Graduate Assistantship (GA) based on merit. The financial support package, typically guaranteed for four years, includes a nine-month salary (currently $12,500), a tuition waiver, and a subsidized health insurance plan. Students who receive a GA position serve as research assistants, teaching assistants, and/or teaching fellows.