in person

Politics and Policy

PhD in Political Science

Through rigorous research and applied curriculum, the PhD in Political Science provides an in-depth understanding of politics and government and the underpinnings of national and global civil society.

In the contemporary world, understanding politics and policy is one key to successful, peaceful, and prosperous national and global civil society. The PhD program in Political Science equips you with the politics and international studies expertise to make an impact not only in American political life and thought but also in political arenas around the globe. You will develop the analytical ability and practical experience for both academic and research-based positions. Our highly engaged faculty-scholars conduct research on a range of contemporary issues, such as voting rights, non-state war, the rise of China, conserving liberty, environmental justice, state capacity, data visualization, citizen participation, globalization, corruption, the administrative state, and immigration. Our program prepares scholars for academic careers, teaching, and research as well as government and public service.

Program Highlights
  • PhD students typically complete the 72-unit program in five years.
  • All students choose two areas of concentrated study from American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, International Political Economy, Public Policy, and Research Methodology.
  • Our graduates work in government and the private sector, at NGOs and international institutions; they are also found teaching at prestigious universities across the world.
  • Pursue your PhD in Political Science in conjunction with another degree, such as an MA in Psychology. You earn a diploma for each degree and  “double count” some units from one program to the other to decrease your required total units.

Program At-a-glance

  • 72 units

    required units

  • PhD in Political Science

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Summer, Fall

    program start

  • 4 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

    7 years | part time

    estimated completion time

Areas of Concentration

  • American Politics

    The study of American Politics examines political institutions and political behavior in the United States. Courses cover all levels of government: national, state, and local.

  • Comparative Politics

    Scholars of Comparative Politics investigate similarities and differences in patterns of politics across the world. The field of Comparative Politics includes, among others, the study of political institutions and regimes; electoral behavior and procedures; identity, ideology, and culture; public policy; political economy and political and economic development; social movements and organizations; and protest and revolution.

  • International Relations and International Political Economy

    Explore the intersection of global politics, security, and economic development through advanced computational methods and a comprehensive study of political and economic theories. This concentration emphasizes the role of international and domestic political and economic processes, institutions, and relationships in shaping national security, economy, international conflict and peace, as well as the global economic landscape.

  • Public Policy

    Develop an interdisciplinary approach to address complex social challenges and analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of policy and program-based solutions to those challenges. Inform evidence-based policy decisions to promote social justice and wellbeing; enhance public services, health, technology and infrastructure; protect the environment and ameliorate the effects of climate change; and guide economic growth and sustainability. Pursue a career in academia, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, or think tanks and consulting firms focused on decision-making, policy analysis, and program evaluation.

  • Research Methodology

    Become an expert in political science by studying and solving real-world problems through research design, data collection and management, and data analysis and interpretation. Apply a wide variety of statistical tools—from big data and machine learning to computational analytics and data visualization techniques—to political experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational data. Pursue a data science career in academia or at public and private organizations focused on the analysis of sociopolitical, economic, and policy data.

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Frank Frias

Director of Admissions & Recruitment


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Portrait of Mark Abdollahian

    Mark Abdollahian

    Full Clinical Professor

    Research Interests

    Strategic Decision Making, International Political Economy, Sustainable Development

  • Heather Campbell

    Heather E. Campbell

    Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy
    Director, Division of Politics & Economics

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Urban Environmental Policy, Environmental Justice

  • Portrait of Yi Feng

    Yi Feng

    Luther Lee Jr. Memorial Chair Professor

    Research Interests

    International Political Economy, International Relations, Political Economy of China and Latin America, Quantitative Methodology

  • Robert Klitgaard

    Robert Klitgaard

    University Professor

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Economic Strategy, Institutional Reform, Corruption

  • Portrait of Jacek Kugler

    Jacek Kugler

    Elisabeth Helm Rosecrans Professor of International Relations

    Research Interests

    Causes and Consequences of War, Political Performance, Power Transition

  • Tanu Kumar

    Tanu Kumar

    Assistant Professor

    Research Interests

    Development, political behavior, urban politics, digital technology

  • Javier Rodríguez

    Associate Professor
    Field Chair for Policy

    Research Interests

    Public & Health Policy, Social Inequality, Quantitative Methods for Social Science Research

  • Portrait of Melissa Rogers

    Melissa Rogers

    Associate Professor, Politics & Policy
    Co-Director, Inequality and Policy Research Center
    Field Chair, Comparative Politics
    Field Chair, American Politics

    Research Interests

    Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Economic Inequality

  • Portrait of Jean Schroedel

    Jean Reith Schroedel

    Professor Emerita of Political Science
    Former Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy

    Research Interests

    Native American voting rights, American political development, women and politics, religion and politics, and congressional policy-making

  • Portrait of Sallama Shaker

    Sallama Shaker

    Senior Fellow of Middle East & International Studies

    Research Interests

    Power Politics, Religion, and Culture in the Middle East; Feminization of Poverty and Global Challenges; Globalization

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Standardized Test Scores Optional
Other Requirements English proficiency exam

Key Dates and Deadlines

CGU operates on a priority deadline cycle and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships.

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Review General Guidelines

Cost & Aid

Program 72 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

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