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The Department of Political Science at the University of Utah has a long and proud tradition of training graduate students in diverse approaches to the study of politics and governance. Our awarding-winning faculty include nearly thirty scholars who use a variety of epistemological and methodological approaches to research, including quantitative, qualitative, interpretive, ontological, historical, and theoretical.

Every year, 5-10 new master’s and PhD students are enrolled into our selective program, maintaining a 2:1 student to faculty ratio that enables close mentorship and partnerships among our faculty and graduate students.

We strive to provide generous funding packages to admitted master’s and PhD students in the form of stipends and tuition waivers. Both masters and PhD students have opportunities to work as teaching and research assistants with our faculty.

At U of U Political Science, graduate students can choose among five subfields of study: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public administration. Our department is notable for encouraging and supporting collaboration across subfields and disciplines.

Faculty and students in our program produce important scholarship not only within political science, but also in cross-disciplinary collaboration on topics related to environmental studies, health and health policy, and more. This research is published in diverse peer-reviewed journals—including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Public Administration Review, World Politics, and more—as well as in top academic presses.

We pride ourselves on the diversity of careers our program’s students enter after graduation, including within academia, the private sector, and federal, state, and local government.

Degree Offerings

M.A. / M.S. in Political Science

M.A. / M.S. students pursue coursework in two fields of study and complete a master's thesis or master's essay. 

Ph.D. in Political Science

Ph.D. students select a major and minor field of study upon application to the program. In addition to field coursework requirements, students must complete coursework in Quantitative Analysis, Research Design, and either Qualitative and Interpretive Methods or Advanced Quantitative Analysis. 


Student Life

Located next to downtown Salt Lake City, the University of Utah boasts an energizing student experience that offers a vibrant mix of dining, arts and music venues. Political science students are especially rewarded - the Utah State Capitol is just minutes away from campus. 

The Graduate School has put together several resources for students considering the University of Utah. 

Political science graduate students can be found throughout the day teaching, researching, reading in the graduate student reading lounge, or attending one of the many symposia and guest speaking events available weekly across the campus. In addition, the Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) regularly coordinates meetings, outings, and other get-togethers to facilitate collaboration and help graduate students take a break. 

Interested in learning more about student life at the University of Utah? Contact a member of the Political Science GSAC.

Last Updated: 11/14/23