Graduate Programs

Our faculty and students profit from the many outstanding institutes, centers and programs at Brown that relate to the study of politics.

The Department of Political Science covers the four main subfields in the discipline:

  • American politics focuses on the behavior of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government; state and local politics; the influence of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties on decision-making; and issues of race and gender.
  • Comparative politics focuses on the comparative study of the behavior of governments and political institutions, non-governmental actors across the world, and on the relationships between political and economic factors in different cultures and societies.
  • International politics considers how political decisions are made in a world without a central authority above the nation-state. Recent emphases include a significant role for international law, norms, and organizations.
  • Political theory seeks to analyze both historically and philosophically the origins and underpinnings of political values.

Additional Resources

Our faculty and students profit from the many outstanding institutes, centers, and programs at Brown that relate to the study of politics. These include the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Master of Public Affairs program, the Urban Studies Program, the Saxena Center for Contemporary South Asia, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for Philosophy, Politics and Economics, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in AmericaMiddle East StudiesDevelopment Studies, the Population Studies and Training Center, and Africana Studies.

Application Information

In addition to the GRE and writing sample, applicants are required to submit a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, transcript(s), and, if applicable, proof of language proficiency. For further application information, please also see the Political Science admission guidance and the Graduate School's admission guidance.

Application Requirements

GRE Subject:

Not required

GRE General:


Official Transcripts:


Letters of Recommendations:

Required (3)

Writing Sample:


Personal Statement:



Application Deadline

Completion Requirements

The Ph.D. requires passing thirteen graduate level courses with a minimum grade of B or better, though A grades are expected, including methods, field proseminars, course(s) in political theory, and Prospectus Writing. Students must also pass written and oral preliminary examinations in two subfields; written and oral presentation of a dissertation proposal; and written and oral presentation of a dissertation. A minimum of two semesters as a teaching assistant is also required.  


Alumni Careers

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Department Chair
Eric Patashnik
Director of Graduate Studies
Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Contact and Location

Department of Political Science

Mailing Address

Brown University
Box 1844
Visit the Department of Political Science