PhD Admissions

As a PhD student at the Schar School, you can study with eminent scholars in a wide variety of fields and conduct groundbreaking research to help you become a subject matter expert in your field and a key authority who influences public debate. Whether you desire to teach and do research at a university, lead a government or nonprofit organization, or craft innovative public policies and programs, we will prepare you to be the leader and academic you want to be.

The Schar School offers three doctoral programs (each available on a part-time or full-time basis):

  • PhD in Biodefense
  • PhD in Political Science
  • PhD in Public Policy

On-Campus Programs

At the Schar School, our hope is to graduate a class of PhD students and who are ready to produce scholarly contributions to the field by way of advancing research, training and think tanks, or teaching. There are enormous opportunities for this PhD community and involvement at the Schar School, so it is the expectation that our PhD students will be fully involved in all the aforementioned opportunities and the community provided to them. Because of these reasons, this program is fully on campus.

Fall 2024 applications are now open!


Biodefense Doctoral Program

Application Deadlines

Final Application and Funding Deadline: December 1, 2023

All materials must be received by January 12, 2024 to be reviewed for this deadline.

Application Requirements

  • Valid GRE scores (taken within the past 5 years of the date of application). GRE scores must be official and sent directly from ETS using school code 5827. The GRE is mandatory for this program.
  • Graduate application and fee.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the U.S. Additional requirements for students who have attended schools outside of the U.S. can be found here.
  • A current resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional or academic contacts. (It is strongly recommended that at least one letter is from academia.)
  • A 750-1,000 word written statement of your academic and professional goals. Please state your purpose in undertaking graduate study with this program. This statement should address your intellectual interests, academic objectives, career goals, and proposed topic(s) of graduate study. You should also explain how this program will help you fulfill your academic and professional objectives. The statement is a critical component of the application.
  • Writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.

Political Science Doctoral Program

Application Deadlines

Priority Funding Application Deadline: December 1, 2023

All materials must be received by January 12, 2024 to be reviewed for this deadline.

Final Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

All materials must be received by February 26, 2024 to be reviewed for this deadline.

Application Requirements

  • Graduate application and fee.
  • Valid GRE scores (taken within the past 5 years of the date of application). GRE scores must be official and sent directly from ETS using school code 5827. The GRE is mandatory for this program.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the U.S. Additional requirements for students who have attended schools outside of the U.S. can be found here.
  • A current resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional or academic contacts. (It is strongly recommended that at least one letter is from academia.)
  • A 750-1,000 word written statement of your academic and professional goals. Please state your purpose in undertaking graduate study with this program. This statement should address your intellectual interests, academic objectives, career goals, and proposed topic(s) of graduate study. You should also explain how this program will help you fulfill your academic and professional objectives. The statement is a critical component of the application.
  • Writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.

Public Policy Doctoral Program

Application Deadlines

Priority Funding Application DeadlineDecember 1, 2023

All materials must be received by January 12, 2024 to be reviewed for this deadline.

Final Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

All materials must be received by February 26, 2024 to be reviewed for this deadline.

Application Requirements

  • Graduate application and fee.
  • Valid GRE scores (taken within the past 5 years of the date of application). GRE scores must be official and sent directly from ETS using school code 5827. The GRE is mandatory for this program.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the U.S. Additional requirements for students who have attended schools outside of the U.S. can be found here.
  • A current resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic contacts. (It is strongly recommended that at least one letter is from academia.)
  • A 750-1,000 word written statement of your academic and professional goals. Please state your purpose in undertaking graduate study with this program. This statement should address your intellectual interests, academic objectives, career goals, and proposed topic(s) of graduate study. You should also explain how this program will help you fulfill your academic and professional objectives. The statement is a critical component of the application.
  • Writing sample (approximately 10-25 pages in length) such as a technical report, professional publication, or term or seminar paper.

Where to submit your materials for all PhD programs

Application materials should be uploaded directly to the application portal in the online application system. Test scores must be official and come directly from the testing center using school code 5827.

For documents that need to be mailed to the university, please use the following address:
Office of Graduate Admissions
4400 University Drive
MSN 4C8 
Fairfax, VA 22030

Request information


To stay informed about the programs you’re interested in, complete our Graduate Program Interest Form.
(please do not use shared email addresses)


 
Students walking in front of the Van Metre building in Arlington

Office Location:

Mason Square, Van Metre Hall, Fifth Floor
3351 Fairfax Drive, 5th Floor, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201

Contact Information:

Phone: 703-993-8099
Fax: 703-993-4876
Email: schar@gmu.edu

Location