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Department of Political Science
Admissions & Application Information

General Admission Information and Timelines

The Ph.D. program is open to qualified individuals 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 degree.

In addition, an applicant should score at or near the fiftieth percentile for both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE exam. These are guidelines, and do not alone guarantee nor prohibit admission to the joint program in Public Administration and Public Policy (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.

Application Deadline

The JPAPP 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 5 for fall semester admission.

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 at the address below after you have applied online:
    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 within 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 Department of Political Science at the address below:
    ATTN: Ms. Belinda Marable
    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)
    • 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, the application is sent to the five-person Admissions Committee for consideration. Applicants generally receive a decision by early March. Any students with questions about the status of their materials or completed application should first check the online application portal for completion or missing documents, or contact Ms. Belinda Marable if you are still unclear. Students will receive written notification (email to the address on the online application) from the Graduate School. If a student is accepted into the PhD program, then the student will receive information from the department about beginning the program.
  • Students should use the online application portal to accept or decline their admission offer once received. 

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

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.