Graduate Program

About the Graduate Program

The doctoral program in political science at Washington University is one of the top programs in the country. Graduate students take classes and engage in research with a faculty recognized nationally and internationally as among the most expert, active, and productive in the country.

Job Training and Placement

Washington University's PhD program in political science is designed to prepare students for academic careers in research and teaching at major institutions across the country. We pride ourselves on our job placement on the academic job market. Our graduates go on to have successful careers in tenure track jobs, and our placement record is among the top in the discipline.

While our program stresses the importance of political methodology (applied statistics) and formal theory (game theory and mathematical modeling), our program is designed to train all students in these methods, regardless of their mathematical background. We provide professional training in the discipline through our professional development seminar and we encourage our students to attend professional meetings and participate in convention programs.

Research

We have active research groups in American politics and institutions, comparative politics, international political economy, positive and normative theory, and political methodology. A number of students also work in the field of political economy, collaborating with faculty in political science, economics, law, and business.

It is important to emphasize that we do not regard these sub-fields as separate entities. Many of our faculty have research and teaching interests that transcend political science sub-fields, as well as traditional disciplinary boundaries. We have strong connections with other departments at Washington University, including economics, anthropology, the law school, and with various interdisciplinary research centers on campus.

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Professors Margit Tavits and Deniz Aksoy and PhD Candidate William O’Brochta Publish in British Journal of Political Science

Congratulations to Professors Margit Tavits and Deniz Aksoy and PhD Candidate William O’Brochta! Their article “Western Political Rhetoric and Radicalization” is now forthcoming in the British Journal of Political Science.

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PhD Candidate Luwei Ying Paper Accepted at Journal of Conflict Resolution

Congratulation to PhD Candidate Luwei Ying! Her paper, "How State Presence Leads to Civil Conflict" has been accepted for publication at the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Program Highlights

Job Placement

We pride ourselves on our job placement on the academic job market, and our placement record is among the top in the discipline. We place about 90 percent of our students, and we place most of them in tenure-track positions.

Placement Information and Services

Financial Support

Our incoming classes are fully funded, covering tuition and living expenses. We try to provide financial support for our students during most if not all of their time at Washington University.

Graduate Funding

Our People

Graduate students take classes and engage in research with a faculty recognized nationally and internationally as among the most expert, active, and productive in the country.

Meet the Faculty

Collaborative Publications

Graduate students regularly collaborate with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty to publish original work. Browse a selection of books, articles, book chapters, and other publications that have been coauthored by graduate students and faculty.

Publications List (PDF)

Virtual Coffee Hour for Prospective Political Science Graduate Students

The political science department would like to answer your questions about applying to our graduate program. Please join us for a virtual coffee hour on Monday, November 23rd from 9-10 AM. We'll talk about what makes our program unique, rigorous, and fun. We'd love to meet you!

Event Information

Graduate Life

Our graduate program is relatively small. We admit around eight students into the PhD program each year, and most of these complete the doctorate, generally in four to five years. There are approximately forty graduate students currently in residence.

Our department has long had a reputation for collegiality, and for treating graduate students as participants in the enterprise of teaching and research to which the faculty is committed, and from which we get a good deal of satisfaction, and fun.

The University is centrally located in Saint Louis, Missouri, a metropolitan area rich in heritage and cultural offerings with an increasingly diverse community. Most faculty and students live in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding our attractive campus, but there is much to do and explore all over the Saint Louis region.

Learn more about GradLife at WashU

Have questions?

We're here to help! Feel free to reach out via the departmental contact form. 

Contact Us