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Graduate Admissions Information: PhD


The online application can be accessed here.The deadline to apply for admission for the academic year 2023-24 is January 15th, 2023. The application system closes at midnight (Eastern Time Zone). 

All application materials must be uploaded with your application. 


The department of Political Science only reviews applications for students that will be entering our program during the fall semester.

Applicants who apply for the PhD but are not offered admission, may contact the department to be considered for the M.A. in Political Science program (an additional application fee will not be required).


Application Requirements

A complete application consists of the following documentation:

1. Stony Brook University online application.  Application fee of $100 (credit Card)

2. Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement:

The Statement should sufficiently describe your reasons for applying to the PhD in Political Science at Stony Brook University. Your statement should address:

Research Interests
Background in Political Science
Career plans
Additional interests or information that can assist the admissions committee in evaluating your application.
The Statement of Purpose should not exceed two double spaced pages (approx. 500 words).

3. Three letters of recommendation:

These letters should be academic, but consideration will also be given to non-academic letters. Letters must be uploaded online by the recommender using the link which will be sent via email.

4. Transcripts:

Applicants with domestic credentials must submit an official transcript from each undergraduate college or university attended, regardless of whether a degree was conferred.  Applicants must also submit an official transcript from each college or university relating to graduate level work, regardless of whether a degree was conferred. 

Applicants with international credentials must submit an official English translation of all coursework showing a complete course-by-course record, GPA, degree, and institution, in addition to the original documents. SBU graduate admissions personnel will evaluate coursework, GPA, degree requirements and institutional equivalence. In some instances where the coursework, degree equivalency, GPA, and/or institution cannot be verified, a course-by-course evaluation from one of Stony Brook University's approved NACES members listed below, may be requested from the applicant. 

  1. World Education Services (WES)
  2. International Education Evaluations, Inc. (IEE)
  3. Education Credential Evaluators (ICE)

Unofficial copies for both domestic and international credentials are acceptable for an admission decision to be made. If admitted, the applicant must submit final official transcripts/evaluations sent directly from the college/university or evaluation agency. 

Applicants must have an earned baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree.

Transcripts should be uploaded as part of your application. Additionally, upon acceptance, official transcripts are required.
Official e-transcripts sent directly from the Office of the Registrar at your institution are acceptable. E-transcript orders should be sent to  Please note that all physical mail is being forwarded to an imaging service and sent back to our office digitally; therefore, receipt of physical mail may be delayed.  

Mail should be sent using United States Postal Services (USPS), not other mailing services. Please mail official materials to :

Office of Graduate and Health Sciences Admissions 
Health Sciences Tower
Stony Brook University
Level 2, Room 271
Stony Brook, New York 11794-8276

Phone:  (631) 444-2111
Fax:  (631) 444-6035
General E-mail:

*What constitutes an official, final transcript? Official transcripts are valid when they are issued by the school you attended. They have an official seal/stamp and an official signature by an appropriate academic administrative officer. They are sealed by the university. Official electronic transcripts, sent by authorized delivery agents, are also accepted. Photocopied documents are NOT official. Final transcripts state that a degree has been conferred and provide the date of conferral. 

If you’ve previously attend Stony Brook University, you will not be required to send an official SBU transcript, but are required to upload an unofficial version of the SBU transcript for review purposes. 

Additional Materials:

1. Test Scores:

 GRE scores are waived for the 22-23 admissions cycle.

TOEFL scores reported directly to Stony Brook (code 2548).

These scores are required for applicants who declare a language other than English as their native language. The Graduate School will not accept any test scores that are more than 2 years old based on the application deadline date.

The department of Political Science does not waive language score requirements.

Minimum Scores:

IELTS: Overall score of 6.5, with no subsection recommended to be below 6

TOEFL: 80 for Master's level; 90 for admission to a doctoral program and to be eligible for consideration for TA/GA support

There are no exceptions for these minimum score requirements.

2. Proof of Permanent Residency is required for students who declare themselves as Permanent Residents.


Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All application materials are due by the posted deadline of January 15th.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some of my letters of recommendation might arrive after the deadline. Is this acceptable?
Please note that as soon as you enter your recommender’s e-mail address in your application and save it, they will be sent a link (even if you have not submitted your application). It is therefore recommended that you do this as early in the application process as possible.

Your letter writers should submit their letters by the posted deadline: January 13th. Applications with missing letters of recommendations will still be reviewed by the committee for consideration. While recommenders may upload outstanding letters after January 13th , there's no guarantee they will be read by the committee.

Can letters of recommendation be submitted via snail mail or Interfolio?
No. Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the online application system.
Att: Carri Ann Horner
Political Science
Stony Brook University
S707 Social and Behavioral Sciences 
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4392
Can you tell me if you received my transcripts/test scores/letters of recommendation?

We will update all applicant application status pages online (weekly). Please note that due to the volume of documents we receive, it can take several business days for updates of materials to be reflected.

If you have uploaded your transcripts, but we have not received the official mailed versions, your status will show it as either “missing” or “received unofficial.” The system will not show the status of your application as “complete” however your file can still be reviewed.

Test scores usually take longer as they enter a central database before being manually applied to applications.

I asked ETS to send my GRE scores in a previous year. Do I need to resubmit my GRE or TOEFL scores?
As long as the scores are within the time frame listed above, we should be able to retrieve them. Note that the GRE is waived for the 22-23 admissions cycle.
Can I contact someone before applying to discuss my interest in the program?
Applicants are welcome to contact our PhD Recruitment Director, Dr. Reuben Kline.


If you have additional questions or issues with application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Carri Horner. Please note that during admission season, e-mail is preferred.

Phone: 631-632-7667

Will I have a chance visit before I accept an offer of admission?