Graduate Study

Photo of UChicago Political Science students engaged in a course
Photo of UChicago Political Science students engaged in a course

The University of Chicago leads the world in the study of political science. Its faculty and students are engaged in critical inquiry on a wide range of topics, from American elections to the origins of the modern state. Chicago values this breadth of scholarship. You will also find emphasis on the profound questions of political life, from the sources of war, to the meaning of justice, to the development of representative democracy. It is this commitment to understanding fundamental issues that distinguishes the University of Chicago and its graduate program.

To foster such scholarship, the department has developed a sophisticated and flexible program of graduate training, built around seminars with leading scholars. Students can select courses of considerable diversity, supplemented by guest lecturers and special seminars throughout the year.

Students distribute their coursework among at least two of the five fields of the discipline. They may choose from political theory, American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and methodology. In the process, all students can sample a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and develop essential research skills.

Doctoral research is the culmination of graduate study. This marks the transition from taking courses to becoming an independent scholar who conducts original and significant work. As scholars, they join faculty and fellow graduate students in advanced workshops, which meet throughout the year to consider new research. Active participation in workshops is one of the University of Chicago’s greatest strengths. Such involvement shapes their own research programs and grants opportunities to discuss and present their ideas.