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Government, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #13 (ARWU) Ithaca, NY, United States
Students are expected to acquire a thorough knowledge of the discipline, including substantial theoretical, conceptual, and substantive competence in a major subject; to provide a clear demonstration of the methodological, linguistic, and other skills needed to conduct original scholarly research; and to acquire at least one semester's experience as a teaching assistant. 
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  • Numerous interdisciplinary programs are available, and include the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Peace Studies Program, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and various area programs.
  • Early in their first semester, doctoral students meet with the director of graduate studies and several faculty members to discuss the first year's program. At the end of the first year, students form their Special Committee, which guides and supervises subsequent academic preparation and dissertation research.
  • By the end of the third year of residence, or sooner if possible, students are expected to have taken the Admission to Candidacy examination. The exam is given in three parts: a written exam in the student's major and minor subjects; an extended research paper in the student's specialized field of interest; and an oral exam conducted by the Special Committee. 
  • The written exam is normally taken before the end of the second year; the oral exam, at the beginning of the third. At the oral exam, the student presents a thesis proposal outlining the hypothesis, data, methods, and resources needed to carry out the dissertation research.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Graduate Courses include:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Methodology (Minor)
  • Political Thought
  • Public Policy (Minor)

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test
  • writing sample

Tuition Fee

  • International

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Ithaca

  • 1128 - 2460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Under normal circumstances, and contingent on satisfactory academic progress, we provide full financial support for five years of graduate study. Regularly admitted students typically receive a full fellowship for their first year and last year. The remaining financial support usually takes the form of teaching assistantships. Students who do field research for their dissertation typically require support from external sources. Several of the area studies programs at Cornell provide fellowships for this purpose on a competitive basis. We encourage and help our students pursue these and other opportunities for outside support.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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