Information for Applicants

Application Instructions and Information
The deadline for applicants seeking financial support is Feb. 15. This deadline means that all materials must be received by the university by this date. Applicants (especially international applicants) are thus encouraged to begin the process much earlier. Applicants submitted past this deadline (Feb. 15) cannot be guaranteed review for either funding or admissions. 

We generally offer several Graduate Assistantships for Ph.D. students. These competitive awards provide a stipend and subsidized health insurance. Applicants who receive this funding serve 20 hours per week as a graduate assistant, generally with one member of our faculty. All admitted candidates are expected to begin their plan of study in the fall semester. We are currently accepting applications to begin in Fall 2022. Admission decisions are usually communicated to applicants in late February or early March.

There is a small fee to submit applications. While the Political Science Department cannot wave this fee, there is a free application week from Friday, Oct. 22 to Monday, Nov. 1. 

An application must have each of the following in order to be considered:

  • A cover letter: Please introduce yourself. This is a good place to let us know what your intended field/s of study is/are, whether there is a faculty person in our program with whom you are interested in working (this is not required), and for you to introduce the documents in your application. Is your writing sample from a specific course or research project? What should we know about your course work to date, if anything? Have you included additional documents? If so, what are they? (This again is not required. But if you choose to submit extra documents, you should let us know what they are and why they are important to our evaluation of your application.) What makes you an excellent candidate for our graduate program?
  • A Statement of Purpose: Please submit a two- to three-page summary of your academic interests and professional goals. We understand and expect that these will evolve over time, but we are interested in learning why you are pursuing graduate school, what you hope to achieve as a member of our program and what you intend to do with your degree.
  • Official academic transcripts: You must include transcripts from all schools attended for 8 semester hours or more. Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale. We do not require a specific undergraduate major for application.
  • GRE scores: We do not require GRE scores for admission into either our M.A. or Ph.D. programs. However, if an applicant does not quite meet one of the other admission requirements, such as a 3.0 GPA, the graduate admissions committee will consider the student’s GRE scores as an additional factor in the applicant’s favor. Ph.D. applicants who wish to be considered for assistantships can also submit GRE scores to strengthen their application. Applicants should have a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of above 300. 
  • A writing sample: Your writing sample should exemplify your ability to research and write, and your potential to do so at the graduate level. We encourage solo-authored samples.
  • Three letters of recommendation: It is best if your letter writers can speak directly to your academic and scholarly abilities and potential; thus, it is highly advisable to use former professors as your letter writers.
  • For international applicants: Proof of English proficiency is required. The minimum recommended TOEFL score is 79 on the internet exam, or 550 on the paper exam. There are exceptions to the exam requirement, which are listed at Office of Global Education's websiteIf you still have questions about whether you will be required to take the TOEFL, please contact the Office of Global Education. We (the Political Science Dept.) cannot wave the TOEFL for an applicant.
  • Curriculum Vitae/resume: We encourage applicants to submit a CV, but this is not required.  

Application materials can be submitted in one of three ways:

  1. Emailed to,
  2. Submitted electronically through the KSU Graduate Studies website, OR
  3. Mailed directly to our Graduate Studies office:
P.O. BOX 5190
KENT, OHIO 44242-0001


To begin the process of applying to the M.A. or Ph.D. programs, domestic students should visit the Graduate Studies application page. International students should begin the process on the International Graduate Application page.