Graduate Admissions

Applying to Our Ph.D. Program: A Critical Guide

Prospective students applying to our PhD program need to ask themselves two crucial questions: 

  1. Does this program suit my theoretical and empirical interests?
  2. Which faculty members can help me to advance these interests and enhance my skills as a scholar of political science?

These questions are crucial because our faculty are eager to welcome promising graduate students whose primary aspiration is to pursue careers in academia, teaching, and research. We are, of course, also interested in real-world empirical issues and their practical implications for policymaking and leadership in a host of professional fields. But the training you will get at Georgetown’s Department of Government pivots around exploring key conceptual questions and debates that animate one or more of the four political science sub-fields, i.e., American Government, Comparative Government, International Relations, and Political Theory.

Thus, in your application, it it is essential that you look carefully at the scholars who are teaching in these sub-fields, in order to see how their empirical and conceptual research speak to your own background, experience, and interests. Hopefully, you are considering Georgetown because you are already familiar with some of these faculty members. Still, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our faculty’s research topics and regional expertise and to explore the books and journal articles that our faculty have published. A good visit to our website will give you a wider and more detailed sense of whether this program is a good “match.”

Note that this match does not – and indeed should not – be perfect: we want to learn from you as well, and we hope that our engagement with your work will expand our own intellectual horizons. However, you must clearly articulate in your application a compelling case as to why you want to join our remarkable faculty and talented students, so that you can become a participant – and partner – in a political science department that has become a national leader when it comes to preparing students for careers in research, scholarship, and academia.

In addition, please take a look at our placement page to see our department’s impressive record in placing our students into leading academic and research institutions. This record speaks to our department’s deep intellectual energy, commitment, and ambitions. If this is the place for you, we look forward to reading your application!

PhD Program Information Session Dates

Each session will last approximately 1 hour, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the Intercultural Center, in the Department of Government located on the sixth floor. Please come to the front desk in the Department by 2:00 p.m. All information sessions are held on Georgetown University’s main campus. For directions please click here.

**Please check this page for updates on future info session dates.** 

Graduate School Admissions

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions Application Procedures page and the Admissions Requirements Checklist.