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Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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 10-12 students or less. Faculty members regularly supervise individual research courses that permit students to investigate specialized research topics on a one-to-one basis.

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.

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.


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

No, we do not require a specific major.

Do I have to take to the GRE to apply?

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

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.

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

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

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

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. New students typically have GPAs of 3.0 or higher and a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of about 1150.

If I have an MA can I still apply?

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


What is the application deadline?

The deadline for applications is February 28.

Do you offer admission beginning in the spring semester?

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

What materials must I submit with the application?

To apply to the program, you will need:

·      A statement of purpose

·      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.

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.

How do I submit additional application materials?

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

Where should my letters of recommendation be sent?

They can submit the forms electronically through the KSU Graduate Studies web site or they can mail them 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:

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.


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, in-state tuition, and a heavily subsidized health insurance plan. Students who receive a GA position serve as research assistants, teaching assistants, and/or teaching fellows.

What do I have to do to be considered for a funded graduate assistantship?

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

Is funding available for MA students?

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

What is the cost of tuition?

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

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

Please consult the KSU Admissions for more information about financial aid