Admissions Changes Effective August 2012



The following presents the approved changes as they would appear in the relevant sections in the Catalog.

Department of Political Science

The program is committed to a holistic admissions approach. As a result, admissions criteria include: grade point averages, letters of recommendation, personal statements, advanced degrees, graduate courses taken as a degreed student or in another program, and professional work experience. The major purpose of the admissions criteria is to promote access to our program, but maintain standards that will enable the department to determine if the applicant demonstrates the requisite skill level to master the requirements of the program.

Applicants are required to submit an official transcript(s), three (3) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The department will review the application package in its entirety. The package is evaluated to determine if a student has achieved a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate work as calculated by the Graduate School, and meets other admission requirements. If a student has already earned an advanced degree, the department will evaluate the student’s academic performance in obtaining that degree equally with the undergraduate performance. International students must meet or exceed the minimum university standard on the TOEFL (550 for paper examination, 213 for computer examination), TOEFL iBT (total score of 79 with sectional scores that meet or exceed 22 for the writing section, 21 for the speaking section, 20 for the reading section, and 16 for the listening section), TSE (40), or the IELTS (6.5).

The criteria for admission below are used, without specific weights, as positive indicators of potential success in the program. All four criteria for unconditional admission must be met in order to receive unconditional admission.

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited general or specific program. A bachelor’s degree in political science, however, is not required.
  2. An undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or greater (as calculated by the Graduate School) in the last 60 credit hours of completing an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution (verified by the Graduate School from official transcripts from each college or university previously attended).
  3. A written statement (500 words) explaining the applicant’s reasons for graduate study in political science.
  4. Three letters of recommendation (including at least two from university/college faculty) mailed directly from the recommenders to the graduate advisor of political science. Letters of recommendation must favorably assess the applicant’s potential success in a graduate program and in the field of political science.

Probationary Status

Students who do not qualify for unconditional admission may be considered for probationary admission if they satisfy any 3 of the 4 criteria for unconditional admission. Students with a reported grade point average below 2.70, however, will not be eligible for probationary admission.