Graduate Study in Political Science

Berkeley's Department of Political Science is consistently ranked among the top departments of political science in the United States, and its esteemed faculty have trained some of the world's finest scholars and teachers in the field. Our graduates consistently find rewarding jobs at leading colleges and universities, as well as in research, industry, government, and public policy.

The Department does not embrace or promote any particular school of theory or method of analysis, valuing instead theoretical diversity, intellectual breadth, analytical rigor, and scholarly excellence. It is committed to maintaining among its faculty, and in its graduate training, the full range of expertise contained within the subfields of contemporary political science, and the varied methodological approaches appropriate to the rigorous analysis of political phenomena are integral parts of the research environment. Another important aspect of the department's pedagogical philosophy is a commitment to collegial, collaborative, and informal relations within the community.

Berkeley brings the benefits of a large research university—libraries, research centers, a wide variety of perspectives—but graduate courses in political science are small enough for intensive dialogue among participants. Most seminars have fewer than ten students, and there are many other opportunities for close contact between faculty and students including special reading courses, research and teaching assistantships, informal seminars, and joint research endeavors. Research collaboration between faculty and graduate students often lead to joint presentations at professional conferences and co-authored publications in leading academic journals.

The department's strengths are augmented by the campus' intellectual and disciplinary richness. The distinction across all disciplines of Berkeley's academic departments and professional schools create an environment of unequaled opportunity for individualized specialization and intellectual involvement with other fields of study. Students take courses in other departments, and the campus commitment to interdisciplinary study is codified in the requirement that all students have a faculty member from another department on their qualifying exam and dissertation committees. It is precisely the confluence of so many highly-ranked departments and so much exciting research that crosses discipline boundaries that makes Berkeley one of the highest-ranked graduate institutions in the United States, and one of the leading intellectual centers of the world.