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PhD Admissions

The Schar School of Policy and Government offers three programs of study at the doctoral level. Program descriptions can be found here:

Biodefense
Political Science
Public Policy

PhD Admissions Requirements

Biodefense, PhD

  • Graduate application and fee
  • One official transcript from all colleges and universities attended. Official hard-copy transcripts can be sent in a sealed envelope to the Schar School of Policy and Government, Graduate Admissions Office. For official electronic transcripts, submit to Mason’s official email address for electronic transcript receipt, ugtrans@gmu.edu.
  • A current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (from professional or academic contacts)
  • A 750-1,000 word written statement of your academic and professional goals. Please state your purpose in undertaking graduate study with this program. This statement should address your intellectual interests, academic objectives, career goals, and proposed topic(s) of graduate study. You should also explain how this program will help you fulfill your academic and professional objectives. The statement is a critical component of the application.
  • Writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.
  • GRE scores (taken within five years prior to date of application)

Applicants with international academic credentials must also provide:

  • Official transcripts, degree certificates or diplomas, and certified translations of the documents in English (if applicable). For guidelines, visit: http://admissions.gmu.edu/documents
    /internationalTranscriptGuidelines.pdf
  • Proof of English proficiency: either TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English. Please refer to the university’s English Proficiency standard.

Political Science, PhD

  • Graduate application and fee
  • One official transcript from all colleges and universities attended. Official hard-copy transcripts can be sent in a sealed envelope to the Schar School of Policy and Government, Graduate Admissions Office. For official electronic transcripts, submit to Mason’s official email address for electronic transcript receipt, ugtrans@gmu.edu.
  • A current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (from professional or academic contacts)
  • Statement of professional goals (usually two pages)
  • Writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.
  • GRE scores (taken within five years prior to date of application)

Applicants with international academic credentials must also provide:

  • Official transcripts, degree certificates or diplomas, and certified translations of the documents in English (if applicable). For guidelines, visit: http://admissions.gmu.edu/documents
    /internationalTranscriptGuidelines.pdf
  • Proof of English proficiency: either TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English. Please refer to the university’s English Proficiency standard.

Public Policy
The ideal doctoral applicant has demonstrated capabilities in research and writing, basic mathematical skills approximately equal to the first semester of calculus and a competence in statistics, some background in economics and government, and a theoretical and working knowledge of political and public policy processes. Applicants with strong academic records who are deficient in one or more of these areas may possibly be admitted to the program and will receive assistance in making up any deficiencies.

To apply for the PhD program, applicants are required to submit the following credentials. All Public Policy PhD applicants must have earned a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited university or college prior to matriculation. It is strongly preferred that all materials be sent together in one package. All credentials must be received in order for an application to be reviewed.

  • Graduate application and fee
  • A 750-1,000 word written statement of your academic goals – include your research area of interest for advanced study and your post-degree goals.
  • A current resume
  • One official transcript from all colleges and universities attended. Official hard-copy transcripts can be sent in a sealed envelope to the Schar School of Policy and Government, Graduate Admissions Office. For official electronic transcripts, submit to Mason’s official email address for electronic transcript receipt, ugtrans@gmu.edu.
  • GRE scores (taken within five years prior to date of application)
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty at the prospective student’s previous institutions or from persons acquainted with policy-relevant work. At least one recommendation should be from an individual who is qualified to attest to the candidate’s academic potential.
  • A writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.

Applicants with international academic credentials must also provide:

  • Official transcripts, degree certificates or diplomas, and certified translations of the documents in English (if applicable). For guidelines, visit: http://admissions.gmu.edu/documents
    /internationalTranscriptGuidelines.pdf
  • Proof of English proficiency: either TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English. Please refer to the university’s English Proficiency standard.

Where to Submit application and materials:
Please submit transcripts and application materials to the following address:

Office of Graduate Admissions
4400 University Drive, MS 4C8
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-9700
Fax: 703-993-2392
Email: masongrad@gmu.edu

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