The Department of Political Science offers diversified and flexible programs of graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Our aim is to provide the highest quality graduate training for students who go on to academic teaching and research positions, and to non-academic careers in the public and private sectors. Our graduate students benefit from an active, engaged faculty, extensive methodological training, a focus in the department on inter-disciplinary approaches, and close work with a faculty mentor under our apprenticeship model of faculty-student relationships. Doctoral students are trained in primary and secondary fields, in addition to methods. The primary field is chosen from the department's four traditional sub-fields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory) and is completed via coursework and a written comprehensive exam. The second field may be chosen from the four main sub-fields, or from the department's two research foci (Politics of Identity and Politics of the Environment), or may be defined by the student and approved according to departmental policy. The second field is completed via coursework and by either a written comprehensive exam or a field paper.

Mailing Address
Department of Political Science
University of California, Santa Barbara
Ellison Hall, Room 3834
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9420

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines
  • Fall Only - December 14, 2020 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal Achievements/Contributions, and Resume or CV (Submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (Submitted online)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Submitted online)
  • TOEFL scores 600 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable)
  • Writing Sample (submitted in the online application)
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.
Environment and Society; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Quantitative Methods in the Social Science; Technology & Society (Ph.D. Only)
Comparative Politics, American Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Methodology