How to Apply

Information on Applying and Application Materials

General Requirements:

  • Undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE general test scores (see further details below)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose/personal statement

How to Apply:

Instructions for Applicants
Letter of Recommendation Form
Thank you for your interest in graduate study in the Department of Political Science at WVU! The Department welcomes your application and will be happy to answer any questions that you have. 

Please direct any questions to Matthew Jacobsmeier, Director of Graduate Studies:

In addition to the information below, you should know that the Department considers applications for the PhD and MA programs on a “rolling” basis. However, decisions about what students/applicants will receive offers of funding for the next academic year are made during February. Therefore, the Department strongly encourages you to submit your applications by January 15th. To be clear, this is the preferred date by which the Department wishes to receive applications. However, the Department still welcomes applications past this date. If funding is freed up because others turn it down, or because funding remains after the Department has considered applications submitted by January 15th, you may still receive funding. 

In addition, the Department sometimes nominates outstanding applicants for fellowships provided by the University. Applicants wishing to be considered for these fellowships should get their materials in even earlier. All new applicants are considered for funding automatically. 

To apply to the PhD or MA program, you must apply to the University online, and note that you are applying to PhD or MA program in Political Science. Almost all of your materials will be submitted through University’s online system, including your GRE scores, letters of recommendation submitted by your “letter writers,” and so on.  

In addition, the Department also requires applicants to complete a separate application and submit it directly to the Department. To fill out this separate application, which goes to the Department only, clink the tab for "Department Application" on the left of this page. Please note that the Department asks you to report your GRE scores on this application. However, you are still required to have these scores submitted directly to the University by the Educational Testing Service.

Some applicants to the MA program who wish to enroll in Fall 2017 or later may not be required to submit GRE scores.  All applicants to the PhD program must still submit GRE scores.  All applicants to the MA program who wish to be considered for departmental financial support in their first year in the program must also still submit GRE scores.  Applicants to the MA program who have a GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of applying and do not wish to be considered for departmental support in their first year in the program are not required to submit GRE scores, but it is still suggested that they do so. 

A final note on letters of recommendation: Have three individuals who are well‐positioned to assess your potential for success in the MA program or the PhD program submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Your letter writers can submit the application using WVU's online application system. You will be asked to set this up when you apply through the University’s online application system.Alternatively, if your letter writers prefer, they can use this recommendation form (a link to which is provided in the tab above) and submit it directly to the Department (under separate cover than your application materials) by email, fax, or mail using the contact information provided above. In particular, the Department is especially interested in receiving recommendations from professors that you have had in undergraduate and/or graduate courses who are well‐positioned to assess your potential for success in graduate school. Of course, if you have a supervisor from your employment history who is well‐positioned to discuss your intellectual potential, a recommendation from them is appropriate as well.