Political Science (Ph.D.)

Political Science (Ph.D.) | Graduate

The study of political science at Howard transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries found at most other institutions. We train students in the empirical analysis of political processes, systems, and behavior, and center the study of African American and Black Diaspora politics from the study of global liberation movements to an examination of Black political sphere.

The Ph.D. in Political Science at Howard’s Graduate School prepares students for careers in academia, public affairs, policy, law, and foreign affairs as well as for senior-level research and consulting positions. You will benefit from Howard's premier location at the nexus of American politics and policymaking in Washington, D.C., and have access to a network of top-ranked and nationally recognized research institutions, consulting firms, think tanks, and government agencies. As a doctoral student in the Political Science program, you may choose from four distinct fields of specialization: American politics, Black politics, comparative politics, and international relations. You will have the opportunity to shape your course of study in two major subfields and one minor subfield and pursue significant original research tailored to your individualized program of study. The Department of Political Science aims to retain and expand its position as a major source of political scientists concerned with issues impacting the lives of people of African descent. Our graduate students benefit from the close mentorship of graduate faculty notable for its political commentary across major media outlets and for its wide-ranging research, including empirically grounded comparative analysis of state and non-state political phenomena; the study of electoral politics within Black communities; and the examination of political change, nationalist ideology, and global liberation movements.

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by committee)


Dr. Robinson Woodward-Burns

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Daryl Harris

Interim Department Chair

Shamaria Bell

Program Coordinator

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required 
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)
  • Critical writing sample of academic research on a political or public policy topic

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.5
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.5

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Other 

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Coworker
  • Clergy