Admissions and Financial Aid

Admissions

Applicants for graduate study in Political Science must apply to and be accepted by both the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut and the Department of Political Science.

In order to apply to the Graduate School, applicants need to apply online via the UConn Graduate School websiteAll application materials, including supporting documents, must be received by January 15th. Applications will not be processed until the application fee is paid. The Graduate School can, when genuine need is demonstrated, extend fee waivers. Applicants must meet a minimum GPA of 3.0. International applicants must submit transcripts and degree statements both in the original language, and an official English translation. Additionally, international applicants from countries where the official language is not English, or who have not received a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English, must submit the results of the TOEFL examination to the Graduate Admissions Office:

Admissions Office
Graduate School, University of Connecticut
438 Whitney Road Ext., Unit 1152
Storrs, CT 06269-1152
Phone: (860) 486-3617
Email: gradschool@uconn.edu

The Department of Political Science is unable to consider applications until the requirements of the Graduate School have been fulfilled.

In addition to the Graduate School materials, the Department of Political Science requires a personal statement, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation and requests the test scores from the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record examinations. The personal statement should indicate that you understand what undertaking a Ph.D. in Political Science involves, that you have relevant preparation for it, and that UCONN’s program will enable you to work effectively toward your aims. Applicants who are seeking a PhD in Political Science should apply directly to the PhD Program even if they do not possess a Master’s Degree. Your writing sample should be a substantial piece of written work that demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively and to engage in sophisticated critical reasoning with materials and on themes related to the study of politics. Your letter writers should be sure that they will be able to submit their recommendations for you by the January 15th deadline and that they can write with considerable detail about your intellectual experience and talent and suitability to a doctoral program. There is no form for letters of recommendation, but they should appear on letterhead with complete contact information for the person writing the letter. Letter writers will receive an email asking them to upload your letter to the graduate application website. Further information about admission to the Ph.D. Program can be obtained by contacting the POLS Graduate Program Coordinator, Christine Luberto (christine.luberto@uconn.edu).

Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships

Most of our students are awarded 100% graduate assistantships upon admission. A full-time appointment for the 2019-2020 academic year includes a nine-month stipend of $23,836.61 for beginning graduate students and $25,081.68 for students who enter the PhD program with a Master’s. Tuition is waived for graduate students who are awarded a 50% or larger graduate assistantships, who are enrolled in 6 credits or more of courses per semester, and who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. 100% assistantships involve twenty-hours per week of service to the department.

The majority of POLS PhD students work as Graduate Assistantships (GAs) for the department. While GA duties may involve teaching discussion sections once a week for the large introductory lecture courses, most GAs work with faculty by helping to grade, keeping attendance, and assisting with audio-visual, library, and other course-related matters. Once students have completed their first PhD exam, they usually teach their own courses at one of UCONN’s branch campuses and occasionally in Storrs. These courses usually occur during the regular semesters and occasionally during the summer.

International applicants regularly receive graduate assistantships, however, to be classroom instructors, they must earn a score of 27 or higher on their TOEFL.  If they do not earn a 27, they must pass SPEAK and TEACH tests at UCONN, administered by ISSS, before they can become classroom instructors.

All GAs are strongly encouraged to participate in programs sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) that focus on developing their teaching skills.

Graduate School Fellowships

The Graduate School has a number of Internal Fellowships available. In order for an applicant to be considered for one of the following fellowships, the applicant must select that they wish to be considered in SLATE. Recipients of these fellowships will be the most academically promising members of the entering class of graduate students at the University of Connecticut. The criteria used to select recipients include the following:

  • Evidence of scholarly or creative achievement highlighted by the department or program in their nomination and evidence that the department or program provides the environment necessary for success in the areas of interest highlighted by the applicant.
  • Evidence of any prior scholarly or creative achievement by the nominee, e.g., publications, presentations, exhibits, performances.
  • Evidence that the nominee has been successful at previous academic institutions, e.g., letters of recommendation.
  • Quantitative evidence of academic accomplishment, e.g., undergraduate grade point average, GRE/GMAT (when available).

The Jorgensen Fellowship (JF) is available to outstanding young scholars applying to doctoral programs. The award consists of a service-free fellowship providing a $20,000 annual stipend for five years.

In addition, to be eligible for either the fellowships below, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to enhancing diversity in higher education and/or a commitment to enhancing diversity in their field of study.

  • The Harriott Fellowship (HF) is available to outstanding young scholars applying to doctoral programs. The award consists of a service-free fellowship providing a $20,000 annual stipend for five years.
  • The Crandall Fellowship (CF) is available to outstanding young scholars applying to master’s programs. The award consists of a service-free fellowship providing a $20,000 annual stipend for two years (MFA is for three years).

For HF and CF fellowships students must submit a diversity statement through the SLATE application system. Students can demonstrate a commitment to enhancing diversity in higher education through participation in organizations or activities that (a) directly relate to increasing access to higher education and retention in higher education of individuals, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, cultural background, religion, or beliefs or (b) that help to ensure that individuals are welcomed and included in higher education environments regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, cultural background, religion, or beliefs. Such organization and activities might include participation/affiliation with TRIO programs, cultural/affinity organizations/centers, volunteer experiences, and college or university committees focused on these goals. Students provide evidence of this commitment through research and educational experience reflected on their CV/resume (articles, presentations, internship, and research experience), in their personal statement, or in letters of recommendations.

Predoctoral Fellowships

Pending budgetary approval, summer pre-doctoral funding is awarded each spring. All POLS graduate students enrolled in the PhD program can apply.  Award amounts have ranged from $300-$2000 and been used toward participating in a methods course, supporting the conducting of fieldwork, or covering research expenses such as transcription services or software. Funds can be spent as soon as they are awarded but must be used by the end of the funded summer.

To apply for funds, students submit an application in late January and then participate in a workshop of their proposal with members of the Graduate Affairs committee at the beginning of the spring semester. Their revised applications are due in February and funding decisions are made by April. To remain eligible for funding, students who have previously received predoctoral funds must submit a predoctoral usage form.

Doctoral Student Travel Award

The Graduate School provides travel funding to support a limited number of doctoral students’ travel to present his/her research at national or international meetings/conferences. There are two (2) competitions during an academic year. The first one is designated for Fall semester travel and the second one is reserved for Spring semester travel. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible for travel as funding runs out.

Semi-Annual Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Program

Pending budgetary approval, the Graduate School awards a limited number of $2,000 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for advanced students in doctoral programs requiring a dissertation. The purpose is to enable students to place high priority on writing the doctoral dissertation as expeditiously as possible.

Office of Financial Aid

Based on financial need, additional grants are available for domestic students through programs, including work-study grants, administered by the Office of Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please visit: http://financialaid.uconn.edu/graduate

Short-Term Loans through the Graduate Student Senate

This fund is administered by the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and is funded by graduate student activities fees. It provides loans of up to $1000 to assist graduate students dealing with financial emergencies. Loans are issued for 60-day periods and are interest free. Applications are available in the Graduate Student Senate Office, Student Union Room 213 and on the GSS Website (http://gss.uconn.edu/).

Short Term Emergency Loans (STELF)

The Dean of Students Office has an emergency loan fund available to graduate students during the months of the year when they are in classes at the University. The fund is intended to help students in financial emergencies such as transportation cost home when there is an illness or other family emergency, car repairs, living expenses, school supplies, etc. To find out more, contact the Dean of Students Office at http://dos.uconn.edu/student-resources/