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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 2020-21 is   January 15th. The application system closes at midnight (Eastern Time Zone). 


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

The Political Science Doctoral Program admits admit students who intend to complete the Ph.D., although students are eligible to receive the M.A.

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:

  • Stony Brook University online application including statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Transcripts should be uploaded as part of your application. In addition to the upload, two   official  transcripts from each institution you’ve attended (even if a degree was not issued) should be submitted to the department. 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.
  • GRE and TOEFL scores reported directly to Stony Brook ( code 2548).
  • Writing Sample. Please upload these documents under “Additional Uploads.” Samples can include recent scholarly or critical paper (40-50 pages, double-spaced). Applicants may submit two or three shorter samples if they do not have a long one.
  • Proof of Permanent Residency is required for students who declare themselves as Permanent Residents
  • Application fee of $100 (credit Card).


Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should sufficiently describe your reasons for applying to the PhD program in Political Science program 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).


GRE Scores

All applicants must submit GRE scores, even if they have completed an advanced degrees.

Q: Do you have a minimum GRE score or GPA Requirements?
A: No. However, admission to our program is highly competitive. In 2015, Admitted students typically had very high GRE scores (approx.. in the 86th percentile for quantitative and 75th percentile for verbal or higher).[

Q: What happens if my official GRE/TOEFL scores or official transcripts arrive after the application deadline?  
A: If we haven't received official scores or transcripts by the time the admissions committee begins review, we will consider your application with the unofficial scores and transcripts submitted in your online application. However, we will need to receive official scores from ETS and official transcripts before making an official offer of admission.

Q: How old can my GRE scores be?
A: GRE scores are only valid for five years. It is highly recommended that submitted scores are recent (within three years).



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. For example, TOEFL exams taken prior to January 2016 will not be accepted for applications due on January 15, 2018.  
The Department of Political Science does not waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirements under any conditions.

Minimum Scores:

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


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 15th. Applications with missing letters of recommendations will still be reviewed by the committee for consideration. While recommenders may upload outstanding letters after January 15th , 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.
Where should I send my official transcripts?
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.
Can I contact someone before applying to discuss my interest in the program?
Applicants are welcome to contact our PhD Recruitment Director, Dr. Yanna Krupnikov.


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?