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What will I learn?

As a discipline, political science concentrates on the theory and practice of government and politics. At the graduate level, study of political science involves in-depth investigation into a broad range of political phenomena in areas as diverse as regional specializations in comparative politics, international peace and conflict resolution, feminist political theory, and American voting behavior. The breadth of the discipline, which is exemplified by the theoretical and research interests of the political science faculty at the University of Washington, in addition to the supportive philosophy of the faculty, gives students the freedom to shape an individualized program of study to meet their personal interests and career goals.

The department recognizes four "general fields" in political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. The department requires each student to select at least one general field, in which the student must become familiar with the main body of literature, major intellectual issues and develop competence in that field's mode of analysis. To meet this requirement, students must take the core course in the designated field. All students are required to take at least one additional core course in another general field.

A student must also prepare in a second general field or in one of the specialized fields: area study (i.e., China Studies or Western European politics), Public Law, Political Economy, Public Policy Processes, Political Communications, Political Methodology, Middle East Studies and Minority and Race Politics. Specialized fields are periodically redefined given faculty/student interests. The third field may be a general or specialized field or the doctoral student may choose to substitute one non-designated field that is constructed from another academic discipline such as anthropology or sociology, or individually defined by the student. International law, public administration, urban politics, political psychology, ethnicity and nationality, philosophy of social science, and language policy are examples of recent non-designated fields.

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (92 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$30,208.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2023


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements: Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1or its equivalent from a foreign institution; Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. Other English Language Requirements: 580 paper-based TOEFL.

For international students

Hold the minimum equivalent of a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from an accredited foreign institution or a Bologna bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 180 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.

English Proficiency:

A score of 7.0 the IELTS

A score of 92 on the TOEFL iBT.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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