FAQs - Prospective DPE Students


Who should apply to the Division of Politics and Economics?

Unlike many programs, we do not use a restrictive set of standards for admissions, but rather seek to evaluate each applicant on his or her individual merit and specific profile of experiences and goals. The most successful applicants are intelligent and passionate about their education, driven to excellence, and serious about becoming an active member of the Division of Politics and Economics student body. A previous Master’s degree is not required for entrance into our Ph.D. programs, but previous graduate level work is generally to an applicant’s advantage in terms of admissions and financial aid decisions.

Must I have an undergraduate degree in political science or
economics to apply to the Department of Politics and Policy
or the Department of Economics?

 No. Our students come to us with degrees in a variety of fields within both the social sciences and humanities, as well as other academic backgrounds. Obviously, the greater the background you have in your chosen field of study, the better prepared you will be to complete the assigned work.

Is there a specific undergraduate GPA required?

Again, the answer is no. Every effort is made to review transcripts of previous academic work carefully and to consider the many factors that can affect the picture they present. We are aware of the differences that occur between one’s freshman and senior years, and of the many outside factors that may impact a student’s academic performance. We do expect a student to do well in his/her major, but we do not set a requisite grade point average. We take into consideration not merely the grades received, but also the quality of the institution, the difficulty of courses taken, and the reputation of the professors with whom an individual studies.


Are there any test scores that must be submitted for my

Applicants to the Department of Politics and Policy must submit test scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants to the Department of Economics must submit test scores from either the GRE, or from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Requirements for the GRE and GMAT also apply to international applicants from countries where English is the native language. We will only accept scores from tests administered within the last five years.

Is there a minimum score required on the GRE?

Politics and Policy -   No. We would expect a student who completed a degree in the U.S. to achieve a minimum of approximately 500 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. Obviously, the closer the scores are towards 800 in each category, the more competitive an application becomes. There are, of course, many factors that are taken into consideration when reviewing test results.

Economics   - The greater the quantitative requirements for most students in economics means that we expect students to achieve scores of at least 550 on the quantitative section. Regardless of this score, however, the student’s performance in relevant classes is examined, instead of relying solely on the GRE scores. Again, the closer the scores are towards 800 in each category, the more competitive an application becomes.


I already have a Master’s degree from another institution.
Must I still submit test scores?

 Yes. All applicants must submit current either GRE or GMAT scores, regardless of whether a previous graduate degree has been obtained.


I am an international applicant. How does my application
differ from domestic applicants?

All applicants whose native language is not English and do not hold a degree conferred from a U.S. college or university must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score in addition to the GRE or GMAT score. A TOEFL score of 550 (old style) or 213 (new style) or higher is strongly recommended. Students are not required to submit results from the Test of Spoken English (TSE) exam. See the guidelines here

CGU requires that all international applicants must prove their ability to support themselves financially for at least the first year of study. Approximately $36,374 is required for a calendar year at Claremont for students taking 12 units per term. Students who are being sponsored by an organization or government agency must be aware of their sponsoring agency's regulations on payment of tuition and fees; the University will bill sponsoring agencies after registration at the student's request.  Click here for more information


Do extracurricular and professional activities count when

Yes. The admissions committee is careful to weigh community and campus activities, as well as professional experience, when considering an applicant. While we are clearly an academic institution, we integrate “real life” experience with classroom learning. We therefore respect the time, effort, and learning a student gains from work outside the classroom.


Do you allow students to attend courses part-time?

Absolutely. Our faculty and staff are aware that many students can not devote themselves exclusively to full-time study, and we appreciate the time constraints that many students face. CGU requires a minimum of twelve units of coursework a year for domestic students (equivalent to three 4-unit courses), which can be arranged at your discretion. International students are required to study full-time.


What financial aid is offered, and how are the decisions made?

The admissions committee, after making decisions to recommend admission, then becomes the fellowship committee. All admitted students for a given semester are, in a sense, compared to one another. It is competitive. Most aid is provided in the form of fellowships, equal to a percentage of tuition. Full tuition fellowships are very rarely given. The school endeavors to support as many qualified students as possible, but the budget is limited, and the competition for funds is high. Application for fellowships is made at the same time as applying for admission. Federal loan programs are administered from our central CGU Financial Aid Office.


Are research and teaching assistantships available?

Students who are awarded assistantships are still required to pay the full tuition amount. Payment for assistantship positions is made directly to the student for work completed; it has nothing to do with any tuition fellowships that may have been awarded.

Politics and Policy  A limited number of teaching assistantships are available, along with a larger number of research assistantships. Generally, first-semester students are not assigned as research or teaching assistants, in order to become grounded academically. There is a period of adjustment for all students entering graduate programs, and adding the responsibilities that assistantships entail could perhaps place students at a disadvantage.

Economics  A limited number of teaching assistantships are available, as well as a larger number of research assistant opportunities. Many students, including first-year students, are given research assistantships for a limited number of hours each week. Research assignments and expectations should not conflict with class responsibilities.


Who selects my advisor?

Politics and Policy  Initially, the admissions committee will assign you an advisor, based on information given in your application. If a change due to programmatic reasons is necessary, the program administrator will assist the student in selecting a new advisor.

Economics  All first-semester students are assigned to a temporary first-year advisor, and more permanent decisions are made as a student progresses in their coursework. A student may at any time discuss his or her program with another faculty member or select a new advisor.


If you still have questions after reading this list, please feel free to contact  Assistant Director of Admissions Annekah Hall at Annekah.Hall@cgu.edu or by telephone at  909.607.3371.




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