Graduate Division

Political Science Ph.D. and Concentration in Public Choice

Section 1

Overview

The Department of Political Science offers a Ph.D. program in Political Science. The department has attained a reputation for producing the very best innovative and interdisciplinary scholarship. Faculty are engaged in the study of such key questions as the politics of advanced and democratizing societies, international cooperation and peace, the politics of racial and ethnic minority groups, and the origins of altruism and morality and their impact on world politics.

Graduate students can pursue concentration in public choice and specializations in democracy studies, international relations, and race and minority politics. The Ph.D. program offers big payoffs to graduate students, in fact, because of the extended range of inquiry an interdisciplinary program affords.

Political science faculty members are regular participants in and help direct several research units on campus. The Center for the Study of Democracy, an Organized Research Unit at UCI, sponsors research and education aimed at improving the democratic process in the United States and expanding democracy around the world. The UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality explores questions concerning the origins and causes of morality. The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS), housed in the School of Social Sciences, is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to promoting scholarly, student and public understanding of international conflict and cooperation. The Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, also located in the School of Social Sciences, offers opportunities for participation in ongoing faculty research, notably with faculty members engaged in fields of public choice and political economy.

Students may apply to the Ph.D. in Political Science or the Ph.D. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Choice.

What Sets Us Apart?

Coming soon.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

6 years

Capstone Type

Dissertation

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

HOW TO APPLY

All applicants for the PhD programs must apply online using the UCI Online Application for Graduate Admissions.

FALL 2019 APPLICATION DEADLINES:

Applications will be accepted beginning September 1. The application deadline is December 1, 2018.

For full consideration, applications must be received by the December 1 deadline. Although applications received after the deadline may be considered, we cannot guarantee that they can be reviewed. Late applications are more likely to be reviewed if they arrive by mid-December. Most students who are admitted will be informed by late February although some decisions, including definite non-admits, are delayed into March or later.

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

The following items are required as part of the graduate application:

  •     Application Fee: US $105 (for US Citizens and Permanent Residents); US $125 (for international applicants)
    • Application fee waivers are available to qualifying US citizens and permanent residents. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants.
  •     Academic Statement of Purpose
  •     GRE (general test) score report*
  •     TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable - see below)*
  •     Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  •     Transcripts (Include undergraduate and graduate if applicable. Official documents are required before your application can be considered. An electronic copy is accepted and preferred, but must be an official document sent by the university or by a secure source, e.g. the National Student Clearinghouse. Electronic copies should be sent to socsci.gradinfo@uci.edu. Two copies are required of any non-electronic official transcripts.)
  •     Writing Sample (May be single-spaced; an excerpt from a longer piece is fine; 20 pages is the maximum length. Please email it as a PDF FILE ONLY to socsci.gradinfo@uci.edu including your full name and "political science writing sample.").
  •     Personal History Statement (required if applying for a fee waiver and otherwise recommended; may be included in the academic statement of purpose if not applying for a fee waiver)
  •     Current CV or resume (optional, not required)


 If you have further questions, please visit our FAQ page or contact the Graduate Admissions Office at socsci.gradinfo@uci.edu or (949) 824-7352.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants for PhD admission. We cannot waive this requirement; even when the applicant has completed an advanced degree at another college or university in the United States.

We cannot accept GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores in place of the GREs. We do not require that applicants file scores from any of the various GRE (subject) tests available. GRE scores can be no older than five years.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The internet-based TOEFL(-ibT) is required of all international applicants except citizens of primarily English-speaking countries (principally, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom). The test is also required of international applicants who are US permanent residents who did not graduate from high school in the United States after attending for four full years. 

A minimum overall score of 80/120 is required for admission, while a minimum sub-score of 26/30 on the Speaking component of the test is needed to qualify for financial support consideration.

We can accept current IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as an alternative to the TOEFL-ibT, in which case a minimum 7/9 (overall, no individual module score under 6) is required for admission, and a minimum 8/9 (Speaking component) for financial support consideration.

TOEFL-ibt or IELTS test scores can be no older than 2 years. We cannot waive the requirement for current TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Please see HERE for more information on the English language policy. 

Financial Support

All applications for PhD admission are considered also for financial support, and all admission offers to Political Science currently include six years of funding. Applicants are not required to apply separately for admission and financial support. Our competitive, merit-based funding packages include:

  •  annual registration fees;
  •  comprehensive student health insurance;
  •  a combination of TA or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointment with individual members of faculty, and fellowship quarters in lieu of employment.

All offers to non-residents of California include non-resident tuition for the first year of study for US citizens and permanent residents, and for the first three years for international students (conditional on satisfactory progress).

Financial assistance based on need (loans, primarily) is available to qualifying student applicants, through UCI Financial Aid & Scholarships.

 All students applying for need-based financial aid are required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

International students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to apply for federal need-based financial aid aid.

Further information on assistantships and funding resources can be found here.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2018-2019/graduate.html

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Matthew N. Beckmann, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Associate Professor of Political Science


Graeme T. Boushey, Ph.D. University of Washington, Associate Professor of Political Science; Urban Planning and Public Policy


Daniel R. Brunstetter, Ph.D. University of California, Davis, Associate Professor of Political Science; European Languages and Studies (political theory, international relations, French political thought)


Alejandro E. Camacho, J.D., LL.M. Harvard University, Georgetown University, Professor of School of Law; Political Science


David O. Carter, J.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Political Science


Simone Chambers, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor of Political Science


James N. Danziger, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of Political Science


Louis DeSipio, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies; Political Science (ethnic politics, Latino politics, immigration, naturalization, U.S. electoral politics)


David Feldman, Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia, Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy; Political Science


Mark J. Fisher, M.D. University of Cincinnati, Professor of Neurology; Anatomy and Neurobiology; Political Science


David John Frank, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor of Sociology; Education; Political Science (globalization, sexuality, the natural environment, higher education)


Howard A. Gillman, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Chancellor and Professor of Political Science; Criminology, Law and Society; History; School of Law


Sara Goodman, Ph.D. Georgetown University, Associate Professor of Political Science


Bernard N. Grofman, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor of Political Science; Economics


Heidi Hardt, Ph.D. Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Richard L. Hasen, J.D. University of California, Los Angeles, UCI Chancellor's Professor of School of Law; Political Science


Marek Kaminski, Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park, Associate Professor of Political Science; Economics


Pamela A. Kelley, J.D. Yale University, Lecturer of Political Science


Claire J. Kim, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Political Science


Jeffrey Kopstein, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Department Chair and Professor of Political Science


Ines Levin, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Erin Lockwood, Ph.D. Northwestern University, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Cecelia M. Lynch, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor of Political Science; Religious Studies


Richard Matthew, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy; Political Science


Mary McThomas, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Political Science


Carrie Menkel-Meadow, J.D. University of Pennsylvania, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science; School of Law


David S. Meyer, Ph.D. Boston University, Professor of Sociology; Political Science; Urban Planning and Public Policy (social movements, public policy, peace and war, social justice)


Kristen R. Monroe, Ph.D. University of Chicago, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Political Science


Patrick M. Morgan, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor Emeritus of Political Science


Kevin E. Olson, Ph.D. Northwestern University, Professor of Political Science; Culture and Theory (contemporary European political theory, cultural politics, politics of diversity, popular sovereignty, citizenship, nineteenth- and twentieth-century political theory)


Mark P. Petracca, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Associate Professor of Political Science; Urban Planning and Public Policy


Davin Phoenix, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Shawn W. Rosenberg, M.S. Oxford University, Professor of Political Science (political psychology, deliberative democracy, ideology, social theory, social and development psychology)


Kamal Sadiq, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Associate Professor of Political Science


William R. Schonfeld, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor Emeritus of Political Science


Sherilyn K. Sellgren, MB.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Political Science


Caesar D. Sereseres, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, Associate Professor of Political Science


Gregory Shaffer, J.D. Stanford University, Director, Center of Globalization, Law and Society and UCI Chancellor's Professor of School of Law; Political Science


Stergios Skaperdas, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Clifford S. Heinz Chair and Professor of Economics; Political Science


Charles Smith, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor of Political Science


Etel Solingen, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Global Peace and Conflict Studies and Professor of Political Science


Dorothy J. Solinger, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of Political Science


Rein Taagepera, Ph.D. University of Delaware, Professor Emeritus of Political Science


Michael Tesler, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Political Science


Keith Topper, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Political Science; Culture and Theory (political theory, critical theory, poststructuralism, theories of power, language and politics, theory and politics of interpretation, politics of culture, philosophy of the social sciences)


Rodolfo D. Torres, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy; Political Science


Carole J. Uhlaner, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor of Political Science


Robert M. Uriu, Ph.D. Columbia University, Associate Professor of Political Science


Samantha Vortherms, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Martin P. Wattenberg, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Professor of Political Science


Christopher A. Whytock, J.D. Georgetown University, Professor of School of Law; Political Science


Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; Political Science (South Africa, poor whites, race in foreign policy, diaspora, comparative racial politics, third world feminisms, feminist pedagogy, black political thought)

Academic Data

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Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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Students & Alumni

Coming soon.