How To Apply

In response to the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, graduate programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh are pausing admissions for fall 2021. This one-year intermission will enable us to devote our resources and attention to our continuing students. Graduate training and research are central to the mission of the Dietrich School and the Department of Political Science. While we do not pause admissions lightly, in these uncertain times we are committed to optimally supporting our current students’ success and wellbeing.

If you seek to begin your graduate studies in the fall of 2021, we thank you for your understanding and wish you all the best in your endeavors. If you consider applying to our program for fall 2022, or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Burcu Savun (



Application Requirements

All application materials must be submitted electronically through the University of Pittsburgh online application process. We will no longer process submitted paper applications.

The COMPLETE application materials include the following:

  • An application form (which must be submitted to the School of Arts & Sciences online using this link); application fee of $50 (non-refundable).
  • A brief career statement (approximately 500 words) that outlines your intellectual and professional interests in political science. In addition to explaining your research interests, please address and—where possible—provide evidence from your scholarly and professional life of your perseverance, work ethic, and ability to work independently. If you are presently enrolled in an MA or PhD program at another institution, explain your reasons for wanting to change programs.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation intended to provide independent evaluation of each applicant's potential; reference writers will submit these forms and letters independently from the application using a link embedded in an e-mail they receive from the "apply online" process. (The department views submission of letters written by applicants as a form of cheating. Any applications containing letters written by applicants will be downgraded or disqualified.)
  • Unofficial copy of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended. If non-US citizens, please submit transcripts in the native language accompanied by notarized English translations. Note: official transcripts will need to be sent if admitted into the program;
  • A writing sample is optional.  If you choose to submit one, please upload it with the online application.
  • An official report of your performance on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills, is widely used by U.S. universities as an index of an applicant's potential for graduate study. The GRE is offered several times each year at sites in the United States and abroad. Annual schedules and other test information can be obtained online or by mail from:

Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Graduate Record Examination, Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000, USA
(609) 921-9000 (NJ)
(510) 654-1200 (CA)

More information about the GRE is available from Princeton Review.

GRE Institutional Code: 2927

GRE Department of Political Science code: 1902


All non-U.S. citizens applying to the graduate program - except for those who have received degrees from a U.S. institution or from other English-speaking countries - must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of their application packet to demonstrate a sufficient command of English to meet the requirements of their field. The minimum scores are 90 for TOEFL (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and 7.0 for IELTS (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections).

The TOEFL is offered several times each year at sites in the United States and abroad. If not available locally, the annual schedules and other information about the TOEFL can be obtained online or by mail from:
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
TOEFL, Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA
(609) 771-7100

NOTE: GRE and TOEFL application booklets generally are available at U.S. colleges and universities and at U.S. consulates and U.S. Information Service offices abroad. Foreign students should check with these sources before writing to Princeton.

TOEFL Institutional Code: 2927

TOEFL Department Code: 89

IELTS official scores should be mailed to:
Graduate Administrator
University of Pittsburgh
4600 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Questions about the graduate program may be addressed to Graduate Administrator Brian Deutsch at Review the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate and Professional Bulletin online.

Campus Safety

As mandated by federal and state law, the University of Pittsburgh has published a brochure that describes safety and security policies, procedures, and programs, as well as campus crime statistics for the past three years. This information is available online. If you would like a printed copy, please write to:
Campus Safety Information
Mailing Services
University of Pittsburgh
400 North Lexington Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260