Department of Political Science

Prospective Students

Admissions: General Information and Timelines

The Ph.D. program is open to any qualified individual with a master's degree. Typically, at a minimum, an applicant should have earned at least a 3.2 GPA as an undergraduate and at least a 3.5 GPA for their graduate degrees. Further, an applicant  should score at least 1000 on the GRE Quantitative and Verbal Sections. These are guidelines, and do not alone guarantee nor prohibit admission to the JPAPP program. The admissions committee considers the quality  of previous academic work, letters of recommendation, scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL (for non-native English speakers), professional experience, and the fit between the student's educational objectives, faculty research interests, and the specializations we offer. The committee welcomes additional evidence of strong analytical and verbal skills, creativity, and commitment to the field of study.

The AU and AUM PhD program in Public Administration and Public Policy accepts new students in the fall of each year. To allow time for the admissions committee to review your materials and process the admission decisions through the graduate school, all required materials  for admission should be received no later than:

  • February 5th for the Fall Semester
  • March 1st for GTA/GRA consideration

We are also pleased to host a growing number of international students. International students can obtain more information about the campuses and University Requirements through the AU Office of International Education and AUM International Students Programs and Services Office.

Application Process

Besides holding a Master's degree, applicants also need to do the following to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program:

  • Apply online through the Auburn Graduate School.
  • Send the following materials directly to the AU graduate school after you have applied on-line:
    106 Hargis Hall
    Auburn, AL 36849
    • Certified copies of transcripts from all post-secondary schools (undergraduate and graduate). Most International students will have to translate their transcripts and transform them into American Standards.
    • Certified GRE scores from the last 5 years
    • TOEFL scores (international students only -- However, international students holding an accredited American degree may not need TOEFL. For more information, please visit the AU Office of International Education.
  • Send the following materials directly to the AU Political Science Department at the address below:
    ATTN: Ms. Janine Barnes
    Department of Political Science
    7080 Haley Center
    Auburn University, AL 36849
    • Three letters of recommendation  (at least two should be from previous Professors if possible)
    • "Applicants are also strongly encouraged (but not required) to ask their recommenders to complete the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI) in addition to writing letters of recommendation. If you registered for the GRE on or after May 1, 2009, or have registered to take the GRE, you can send up to four evaluation reports free as part of your test fee. Please enter your name exactly as it appears in your registration. To sign up for the PPI, create an ETS PPI applicant account
    • A personal statement no longer than 1500 words (please describe yourself, the reasons you want to be a Ph.D. candidate, academic interests, and areas of potential study)
    • Current vitae (resume)
    • A short writing sample or any publication
  • An admission is valid for one year. Admission can sometimes be deferred with the Admissions Committee's approval.
  • Once all the materials are received, then the application is sent to the five-person Admissions Committee for consideration. Applicants generally receive a decision within 4-6 weeks from the date all application materials are received. Any students with questions about the status of their materials or completed application should contact Ms. Barnes. Students will receive written notification (mail and/or email) from the graduate school. If a student is accepted into the PhD program, then the student will receive information from the AU Political Science department about beginning the program.
  • Students then need to inform the PhD Director of their intention to enter the program.

***Do NOT send any materials directly to the AUM Graduate School or Public Administration Department. This will delay processing of your application.

Questions about this page.

Last Updated: May 24, 2017