Graduate Education

The UConn Department of Political Science is an engaging academic community that takes a pluralistic approach to research.

Our graduate students participate in a distinct education that prepares them to succeed in careers in academia, industry, and the public sector. The Department offers several graduate-level program options, including a Ph.D. in Political Science and several masters and certificate options.

What We Offer

  • An intimate graduate community
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Small seminar courses
  • Sustained mentorship with professors
  • Research collaborations with faculty members and peers, often leading to publications


Program Options

The primary goal of UConn's political science Ph.D. program is to train scholars to teach and do research in institutions of higher education. Many students who complete the Ph.D. also pursue careers in government, non-governmental organizations, and research foundations. Students develop expertise in two chosen subfields, including American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public law. They also conduct their own original research for a final dissertation project.

This 30-credit program offers strong undergraduates already at UConn an opportunity to begin graduate-level study during their senior year and continue for a fifth year after completing undergraduate requirements. Students in the program will develop the capacity to conduct independent research in politics via encounters with a wide range of political science methodologies. The program also affords the flexibility to focus on professional development tailored to their individualized goals.

The MA in Intersectional Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics offers students the opportunity to critically explore indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics in ways that inform their work and practice. This master's program is especially valuable for current UConn undergraduates, recent graduates, or current professionals working in the public sector. Graduates will increase their earning potential and competitiveness on the job market, and will be well-positioned to apply for Ph.D. programs in related fields.

The new MA in Politics and Popular Culture offers students a combination of rigorous social science training with the creative arts of popular culture studies. Students take courses that cover an exciting range of topics – from science fiction and popular music to film theory and digital culture – while also exploring relevant research techniques, theories, and cultural perspectives.

Admitted or enrolled UConn master’s or Ph.D. students have the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate by completing four pre-approved, 3-credit courses related to race, ethnicity, and politics at no additional cost. Students studying social science, social work, law, history, or public policy may find this certificate an excellent opportunity to enhance their ability to think, write, and teach about the relationships between race, ethnicity, and politics across the globe.

Research and Mentorship

UConn political science faculty members are experts in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public law. They bring diverse perspectives to their work, with several holding affiliations or joint appointments with programs including American studies; Asian and Asian American studies; global affairs; human rights; literatures, cultures, and languages; and Middle East studies.

Our graduate programs encourage students to conduct their own research and work closely with faculty. Our low student-to-faculty ratio means that graduate seminars are typically small (less than 10 students) and students receive a great deal of individual attention from faculty members. As a result, many of our graduate students work on research collaborations that result in publications.

Recent Graduate Student Publications

Professor Evelyn Simien recently published with former UConn Ph.D. Sara Cote Hampson in American Politics Research in an article titled “Black Votes Count, But Do They Matter? Symbolic Empowerment and the Jackson-Obama Mobilizing Effect on Gender and Age Cohorts,” American Politics Research, 48(6): 725-737

Associate Professor Thomas Hayes former MA student Chris Guay and recently published an article in the Social Science Journal titled “Viewing Equality as a Loss: How Highlighting Policy Costs and Benefits Influences Attitudes.”

Professor Jane Gordon recently published a book chapter with former MA student Elizabeth Jennerwein titled “Revolutionary Responsibility: Mothering a Monster.” In Creolizing Frankenstein, edited by Michael Paradiso-Michau.

Professor Lyle Scruggs published two articles with former Ph.D. student Salil Benegal:

More Graduate Student Publications

Arat, Zehra and Caryl Nuñez. 2017. “The Limits of Tolerance and LGBT Rights and in Turkey,” Human Rights Review. 18: 1-19.

Arat, Zehra and Abdullah Hasan.  2018.   “Muslim Masculinities: What Is the Prescription of the Qur’an?” Co-authored with Abdullah Hasan. Journal of Gender Studies 27:7 788-801.

Bayulgen, Oksan and Salil Benegal.  2019.  “Green Priorities: How Economic Frames Affect Perceptions of Renewable Energy in the United States,” Energy Research and Social Science 47: 28-36

Bayulgen, Oksan, Ekim Arbatli, and Sercan Canbolat.  2018.  “Against All Odds: Elite Strategies of Survival and Autocratic Reversal and Resilience in Turkey,” Polity 50:3: 333-365

Dyson, Stephen and Matthew Parent.  2017 ‘The Operational Code Approach to Profiling Foreign Political Leaders: Understanding Vladimir Putin,’ with Matthew Parent. Intelligence and National Security 33: 1: pp. 84-100.

Dyson, Stephen and Thomas Briggs.  2017.  ‘Leaders and Foreign Policy: Surveying the Evidence,’ The Oxford Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations (New York: Oxford University Press).

Gordon, Jane Anna and Elizabeth Jennerwein. Forthcoming. "Revolutionary Responsibility: Mothering a Monster" in Creolizing Frankenstein, edited by Michael Paradiso-Michau.  London: Rowman and Littlefield International.

Hayes, Thomas, and Christopher Guay. "Viewing equality as a loss: How highlighting policy costs and benefits influences attitudes." The Social Science Journal (2020): 1-15.

Hertel, Shareen, Corinne Tagliarina, and Catherine Buerger. “Cheap Talk on Food: Party Politics in India and the challenge of implementing the right to food,” Human Rights Quarterly 39, 2 (2017): 449-467.

Lee, Hoeun and Matthew M. Singer. Forthcoming. “The Partisan Origins of Economic Perceptions in a Weak Party System: Evidence from South Korea.” Forthcoming in Political Behavior.

Singer, Matthew and Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya. 2020. “Voting Behavior in Latin America.” Forthcoming in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics

Lee, Fred and Steven Manicastri, “Not All Are Aboard: Decolonizing Exodus in Joon-Ho Bong’s Snowpiercer,” New Political Science 40, no. 2 (2018): 211-226

Scruggs, Lyle and Salil Benegal.  2018 “Correcting misinformation about climate change: the impact of partisanship in an experimental setting” Climatic Change 148(1/2), 2018: 61-80.

Scruggs, Lyle and Salil Benegal.  2016 “Economic Conditions and Public Opinion on Climate Change” Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication, Oxford University Press 2016 (1-29)

Scruggs, Lyle and Daniel Stockemer.  2013 “Bribes and Ballots: The Impact of Corruption on Voter Turnout.” International Political Science Review. 34(1), 2013: 74-90.

Scruggs, Lyle and Salil Benegal.  2012 “Declining Public Concern about Climate Change: Can We Blame the Great Recession?” Global Environmental Change. 22 (2), 2012:505-515.

Scruggs, Lyle and Daniel Stockemer.  2012 “Income Inequality, Development and Electoral Turnout – New Evidence on a Burgeoning Debate.” Electoral Studies 31, 2012: 764-773.

Scruggs, Lyle and James Allen.  2006 “The Material Consequences of Welfare States:  Benefit Generosity and Absolute Poverty in 16 OECD Countries.” Comparative Political Studies. 39 (7), 2006: 880-904.

Scruggs, Lyle and James Allen.  2006 “Welfare State Decommodification in Eighteen OECD Countries: A Replication and Revision. Journal of European Social Policy. 16(1), 2006: 55-72.

Scruggs, Lyle and James Allen.  2004 "Political Partisanship and Welfare State Reform in Advanced Industrial Societies."  American Journal of Political Science. 48 (3), 2004: 493-512.

Simien, Evelyn M., and Sara Cote Hampson. 2020. “Black Votes Count, But Do They Matter? Symbolic Empowerment and the Jackson-Obama Mobilizing Effect on Gender and Age Cohorts,” American Politics Research, 48(6): 725-737.

Simien, Evelyn M., Nneka Arinze, and Jennifer McGarry. 2019. “A Portrait of Marginality in Sport and Education: Toward a Theory of Intersectionality and Raced-Gendered Experiences for Black Female College Athletes,” Journal of Women, Politics, and Public Policy, 40(3): 409-427.

Simien, Evelyn M., and Sarah Cote Hampson. 2017. “Hillary Clinton and the Women Who Supported Her: Emotional Attachments and the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary,” DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 14(1): 93-116.

Sterling-Folker, Jennifer and Jason Charrette.  (2015) “Disciplining Human Nature: The Evolution of American Social Scientific Theorizing.” In Human Beings in International Relations, Daniel Jacobi and Annette Freyberg-Inan, eds.  Cambridge University Press.

Sterling-Folker, Jennifer and Jason Charrette. (2013).  “Realism.” In International Organization and Global Governance.  Thomas G. Weiss & Rorden Wilkinson, eds.  London:  Routledge.

Sterling-Folker, Jennifer and Dina Badie.  (2011).  “Constructivism.”  In The Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy.  Steven Hook and Christopher Jones, eds.  London: Routledge.

Sterling-Folker, Jennifer and Laura Janik.  (2011) “Neoliberal Institutionalism.” In International Encyclopedia of Political Science. Edited by Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Bertrand Badie, and Leonardo Morlino.  SAGE Publications.

Sterling-Folker, Jennifer and Rosemary E.  Shinko. (2007)  “Discourses of Power:  Traversing the Realist-Postmodern Divide.” In Power in World Politics, editors Felix Berenskoetter and M. J. Williams, eds., London/New York:  Routledge.  (Reprinted from Millennium:  Journal of International Studies, Special Issue, vol.33, number 3, (March 2005):  637-664.

More Resources for Graduate Students

Financial Aid and Awards

Most UConn political science Ph.D. students are awarded a graduate assistantship upon admission. They are welcome to apply for fellowships, awards, and grants available through the Graduate School, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Financial Aid. They also are also eligible to receive fellowships and funding awarded by the Department’s Graduate Affairs committee.

Learn more about financial aid and awards.

Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA)

The Political Science Graduate Students Association (PSGSA) is a registered Tier-II organization run by and for Political Science graduate students at the University of Connecticut. The purpose of the PSGSA is to foster socialization, camaraderie, and professionalism of Political Science graduate students through the coordination of awareness projects and events. The PSGSA also seeks to facilitate the interaction of graduate students and faculty. All interested Political Science graduate students are welcome to participate in any meetings and events organized by the PSGSA.



Chloe Kwak

Vice President

Jessica Cross


Minju Lee


San Lee

Officers of the PSGSA are elected annually.

The PSGSA is also always looking for volunteers so please feel free to send us an email if you are interested in getting involved!

Career Resources and Job Placements

The Department of Political Science strives to place graduate students in positions where they can make full use of their training both in and out of academia. View a list of recent job placements and professional development resources on our Careers and Outcomes page.