• Application Process                
  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts  
  •  Personal Statement
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL Requirements

    Application Process

    Begin the application process early. To insure that scores are available when admission decisions are normally made, you should take the GRE and TOEFL (if required) no later than the December before the fall for which you are applying. Requests for transcripts and letters of recommendation should also be made no later than December in order to give the senders time to get the documents to Rice before the deadline.

    The deadline for receipt of completed applications for the fall semester is January 5.

    Late applications may be considered until April 1. However, candidates who miss the deadline place themselves in a less competitive position.

    Application Form 

    Use our  online application process to submit your application. In addition to the application, transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and three letters of recommendation must be sent by mail.

    Application Fee 

    The normal application fee of $85.00 is currently waived for all applicants. 

    Letters of Recommendation 

    Three letters of recommendation are required. They should be written by individuals, usually professors or instructors, familiar with your work, and thus best qualified to testify to your capacity for graduate study. These letters must be sent directly to us by the person writing the recommendation, either electronically through our application website or sent with other supporting documents in envelopes that are sealed and signed across the flap by the recommender.


    We require one copy of the official, confidential transcript from each institution (undergraduate and graduate) that you have attended. These transcripts are essential parts of your application. Send transcripts from any institution where you earned (or will earn) a degree, studied for one year or more, or took classes that relate to your current application for graduate study. 

    The transcripts should provide a listing, year-by-year, of all courses taken and the grade or marks received for each one. It is helpful to have the grading scale of the institution and the student's rank in class included when such information is available. Do not submit secondary school records.

    While official transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution to Rice are preferred, digital copies submitted by applicants themselves will be acceptable for the application process.  However, all offers of admission extended to applicants without official transcripts on file will be conditional upon the receipt of official transcripts within 30 days of the offer being made. 

    To be considered, all documents not in English must be accompanied by official English translations. These translations must also bear an original ink signature and seal; translations alone will not be acceptable. 

    Personal Statement 

    Your personal statement should help us to know you as an individual. It should provide information about your professional goals and discuss your interest in political science including your particular area of desired study.

    GRE Scores 

    The Department of Political Science requires all applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test scores. This test should be taken not earlier than three years prior to the date of application and no later than the December prior to the desired fall entry. An official copy must be sent to the Department of Political Science directly from the Educational Testing Service. Photocopies are not acceptable. For further information on the GRE, contact the Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541 USA. ETS can be reached by telephone at(609) 921-9000, by email at or on the web at

    GRE Codes:

    • School Code - 6609
    • Department Code - 1902

    TOEFL Requirements 

    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of any student whose native language is not English. This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541 USA. They can be reached by telephone at (609) 921-9000, by email at or on the web at Be sure to take this test in time for the scores to reach us by the January 5 deadline. An official copy of your scores must be sent to the Department of Political Science directly from ETS. A photocopy is not acceptable.

    Applicants must score at least 90 on the internet-based TOEFL, at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, or at least 250 on the computer-based TOEFL. For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. The TOEFL and the IELTS may be waived for an international student who received a degree from a university in which English is the official language of communication.