Department of Political Science

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Contact Information
Phone. (619) 594-6244
Fax: (619) 594-7302

Nasatir Hall 126
Mail Code: 4427
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego CA, 92182-4427
Office Hours: M-F 8:30-4:00

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Last Update: 11/19/14



Prospective Students

Admissions Information

General Requirements
.  The Political Science Department requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of undergraduate work, a 3.0 GPA for upper division political science courses, and a 3.0 GPA for all courses taken in political science.  You should also attain a score of 500 or above on the verbal portion of the GRE General Test and a score of 500 or above on the quantitative section.

The main deadline for admission in Fall 2015 is February 1, 2015. If you wish to be considered for fellowship or nonresident tuition waiver, your application must be complete by that date. We will begin making admission decisions at that time, as well.

Students who do not wish to be included in the first round of admissions must still begin their online application process by February 15, 2015. Application files with all documents on hand in the Political Science office by March 1, 2015 will be given full consideration in our second round of admissions. Files with all documents postmarked by April 15, 2015 will be considered on a wait list basis. We will not be doing any admissions for Spring 2016.

There are two steps to the application, and it is essential to have both portions complete in order to be considered for admission. 

The first step is to have the SDSU Graduate Division collect and review the main application documents: (  Complete the electronic application online at  In addition, you should send them the following materials well in advance of the application deadline:

  • Official copies of all undergraduate transcripts

  • An official record of your graduate work at other universities

  • Your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores 

  • If you have not previously been educated in English, your TOEFL score (a minimum score of 213 is required for a computer-based test)

Any materials to be mailed to SDSU’s Graduate Division can be sent to the following address: 

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416
Telephone: (619) 594-6336

Second, send the following supplemental materials directly to the Graduate Admissions Coordinator in the Political Science department (at the contact address listed below):

  • A brief personal statement of up to 1200 words that indicates your background in political science or other social sciences, your main topics or issues of interest, and your reasons for undertaking advanced work in political science at San Diego State.  This can be the same statement as the one the Graduate Division requests online, but note that we do permit a longer statement here at the department level. Since the personal statement is solely for departmental purposes, any box for a personal statement on the electronic application can be can be left blank or filled in with the words 'sent directly to department.''

  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic work.  These should be from former professors, if at all possible.  You would be welcome to include additional letters from nonacademic references who can speak to other skills or personal qualities that you believe are relevant, but only two letters are necessary.  Download the cover sheet for these letters (.pdf)

The graduate division will forward their files to us once they have reviewed them, a process that often takes at least a month.  At the department level, we make our admissions decisions based on the entire package of materials.  We review only complete files, so please make sure that you send everything early enough that your file is ready by the application deadline.

You are welcome to address any questions to the graduate adviser and to visit the department to learn more.

For more information, contact:
Karina Borg, Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Department of Political Science
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive, MC 4427
San Diego, CA 92182-4427

San Diego State University