Program Requirements:

1.Can I start the PhD program with just a BA degree?

• Yes, an MA degree is not required. 

2. What distinguishes the MA program from the PhD program?

• The MA program offers a thesis option, which can be completed in two years, and a non-thesis option, which can be finished in three semesters. In contrast, the PhD program typically spans five years. While MA and PhD students share the same classes in the first semester, MA students are not required to take methods classes starting from the second semester.

3. Is it possible to transfer credits from another program?

• Unfortunately, our graduate program does not accept transfer credits


4.Does the Political Science department offer funding?

• We offer a limited number of funding opportunities in the form of tuition waivers and stipends.

5. What do I need to do to be considered for funding?

• All PhD applicants are automatically considered for funding.

6. What is the number of applications the program receives each year, and how many funding lines are available?

• We receive approximately 100 applications annually and offer support to 4-7 students each year.

7. What steps can I take to increase my chances of receiving funding?

• While there is no guaranteed method to secure funding, it is important to ensure that all components of your application are strong and well-prepared. The Graduate Committee evaluates every aspect of your application, from the statement of purpose to reference letters, in order to determine funding eligibility. Funding decisions are ultimately made based on the overall competitiveness of your application and how well you interests align with the program's objectives.

8. Is funding available for MA degrees? Can I receive a fee waiver for an MA program?

• Unfortunately, we do not offer funding or fee waivers for our MA program.

9. Can I receive a fee waiver when applying for a PhD?

• A limited number of fee waivers are available for qualified PhD candidates. To be considered, please start your application and email the Director of Graduate Studies with supporting information for your waiver request by January 1st, two weeks before the application deadline. Please do not submit your application until the fee has been paid or waived. We aim to notify recipients of our decision within two days of receiving their request.

10. Is there anyone in the department I can contact for a quick response?

• You can always call or email our Administration team during business hours.

11. Would reaching out to a professor and expressing my interest in working with them improve my chances of receiving funding from them?  

• Contacting a professor will not increase your chances of being funded. Funding for graduate students is allocated exclusively from the department's funds, and decisions regarding funding are made solely by the Graduate Committee.

General Admission Questions:

2. I am unsure of how to apply; what steps should I take?

• Click the "apply now" button on the main Graduate Page

13. Is it possible to receive a waiver for the GRE test?

• The GRE test is not mandatory for our program, so there is no need to request a waiver.

14. What is the deadline for admissions, and is it possible to apply after the deadline has passed?

• Deadline: January 15th. Late applications accepted but less likely to receive funding.

15. Is it possible to apply for admission in the spring term?

• Admissions are only accepted for the fall term.

16. Can I still apply to the graduate program even if my background is not in political science?

• Yes, applicants from all academic backgrounds are welcome.

17. I applied to an MA program. Can I switch my application to a PhD, or vice versa?

• Yes, provided the deadline has not passed. Email gradadmission@binghamton.edu to change.

18. Should I upload a writing sample? Does the writing sample have to be published?

• Writing samples are highly recommended but do not need to be published.

19. Am I at a disadvantage because I am an international student?

• No, the program values diversity and international students are not at a disadvantage.

20- Can I receive a waiver for the English language requirement? What score is acceptable? How can I submit my TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores?  

• Please review "International Student Requirements" on the Graduate Admissions page

21. How can I verify that my academic interests are in alignment with those of the department, and  how can I determine if this program is the appropriate choice for me?

•  First, our Political Science department places a strong emphasis on quantitative training, and we offer required methodology courses. It is important that you are interested in this approach to the field. Second, we encourage you to explore the interests of our faculty members by visiting our webpage. https://www.binghamton.edu/political- science/people/index.html#political-faculty. Please make sure that there are faculty members whose work aligns with your own interests and with whom you would like to collaborate.

22. What are the possible outcomes of my application?

• You may be denied admission, admitted, admitted and be on the waiting list for funding or admitted with funding.

23. How should I go about choosing a supervisor? Which professor should I contact now?

• Supervisors for MA students are assigned at the end of the first year, and for PhD students at the end of their second year in the program. You are not expected to find a supervisor now.

Document Submission:

24. I am experiencing difficulty uploading a document; what should I do?

•  Contact gradadmission@binghamton.edu for technical assistance.

25. I will not receive my official transcript until the end of the semester. Can I upload an unofficialone for now?

• Yes, unofficial transcripts are acceptable until the official one is received.

26. I am having difficulty uploading documents. Can I send them to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) instead?

•  No, all documents must be uploaded to the application portal.

27. What happens if I still have materials pending for submission? • Review process begins once all materials are received post-deadline.

28. I am required to provide a financial document demonstrating that I have the necessary funds, but I don't possess such a document as I am hoping to receive departmental funding. What should I do?

• In this case, you are not required to upload a financial document. If you receive funding from the department, you should then submit the offer letter as proof of your funding.

Post- Admission Questions:

29. How can I defer my admission as an admitted student? •  Please email the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss deferment options.

30. I deferred my admission from last year, and this year I have updated my CV and education. Am I able to upload those documents? •  Yes, you are welcome to upload the updated documents. Please email the Director of Graduate Studies to inform them of the changes.- Is it possible to secure a graduate assistantship position if I have not received departmental funding?

•  Yes, Binghamton University offers Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions that you can apply for once you have a Binghamton University account. 28. Is there an orientation for new applicants?

•   Yes, we organize two online orientations for admitted graduate students and faculty. You will be notified via email of the time and date. 29. Am I able to visit the campus and the department?

•   Yes, you are welcome to visit both the campus and the department. Please email the Director of Graduate Studies to arrange a suitable time for your visit.

31. I am on the waiting list for funding; what should I do? •  We will start addressing the waiting list for funding from April 15th, depending on how many funding lines remain unfilled. Please allow us 1-2 weeks to finalize our decision and get back to you.

32. Are there any resources available for newly admitted students?

•  Yes, please refer to the link for comprehensive information ranging from housing to transportation. Admitted International Students Resources


33. What are some of the research opportunities for PHD students?

•Our department offers some research assistantships, particularly in the summer. Apart from this,  students often collaborate with fellow students and faculty members. To gain a better understanding of the scope and nature of these collaborations, we encourage you to view student publications on our website: Binghamton University Political Science Graduate Students. Additionally, our department has strong ties with the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (IGMAP) and the Human Rights Institute. Professor David Cingranelli, a co-director of the Human Rights Institute, is a prominent faculty member in our department. You can learn more about these institutes at IGMAP and Human Rights Institute. If your research interests align with the themes of these centers, you may find opportunities to engage with them as well.