Graduate Application Requirements and Procedures

Application Requirements and Procedures

This page includes information on deadlines, the required materials for your application, and the procedures and standards by which we review your application.


  • Applications for admission to the International Affairs or Political Science M.A. programs may be submitted at any time but should be submitted at least one month before the start of the semester in which you hope to begin the program.
  • Applications for financial aid received after February 15th cannot be guaranteed of receiving full consideration for aid during the following academic year. This is a firm deadline.
  • Applications for the five year B.A.-M.A. Accelerated Degree Program should be submitted during the applicant's junior year.

Application Requirements

Application Requirements

Applications for admission to the International Affairs or Political Science M.A. programs must include the following items: 

  1. an application form; 
  2. a $50 processing fee (waived for alumni of other Marquette University graduate programs overseen by the Graduate School);
  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation, though it is strongly recommended that you provide three (3) letters;
  4. Transcripts of your previous education,
  5. A statement of purpose;
  6. GRE scores (Applicants for the Joint M.A.-J.D. may submit LSAT scores in lieu of GRE scores, applicants to the M.A.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program may submit GMAT scores instead of GRE scores, and applicants for the five year B.A.-M.A. Accelerated Degree Program are not required to submit test scores.). Note: GRE scores are waived for domestic students with a GPA of 3.5 or above.   All international students must submit GRE scores. 
  7. TOEFL Scores, if you are an international student (see below). 

Applications may be strengthened by a writing sample.


All materials except those submitted online should be sent to the Marquette University Graduate School at:


Office of Graduate Admissions
Holthusen Hall, 305
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

Application Form

Application forms must be completed online.

$50 Processing Fee

Applications cannot be processed without this non-refundable fee. Facilities for paying this by credit card are included in the online application. You may also submit this fee by check or money order.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are usually written by your current or former professors, but may also be written by your employer or other qualified individual. Your recommenders should be submit their letters online if at all possible. When you use the online application system, you can have your recommenders notified by email about the process for submitting their recommendation letter. The content of the letter is at the discretion of the writer, but topics may include your academic abilities and achievements, your intellectual capacity and creativity, your capacity for demanding work, and so forth.


We require official transcripts, which are usually obtained from the Registrar at the institution you have attended. (Applicants for the five year B.A.-M.A. program may authorize the Department to obtain them through University channels.)

GRE Scores

As noted above, GRE scores are waived for domestic students with a GPA of 3.5 or above.  All international students must submit GRE scores.  

Applicants should make arrangements with ETS to sit for the GRE exam and request that ETS forward their scores to Marquette. The institution code for Marquette University is R1448 and the relevant GRE Department codes are 1901 for International Relations and 1902 for Political Science and Government. Note that applicants to the Joint M.A.-J.D. Program may submit LSAT scores in lieu of GRE scores, applicants to the M.A.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program program may submit GMAT scores instead of GRE scores, and that applicants to the five year B.A.-M.A. Accelerated Degree Program are not required to submit GRE scores.

TOEFL Scores

International students are required to submit TOEFL scores. Due to the heavy reading, writing, and discussion expectations in our program, successful international applicants typically have a minimum score of 100 on the iBT TOEFL exam.

Personal Statement

The best personal statements summarize your academic interests and achievements and your career goals. We are interested in which political science and international affairs topics you wish to study. You may also want to emphasize strengths that may not otherwise be obvious from your application file and address any weaknesses in your credentials. In short, why should we admit you? What do you bring to the table as a prospective graduate student that a "typical" applicant to our program might not?

Writing Sample

(Optional) This could be any political science or international affairs paper that you have written.

Application Evaluation Procedures

Be assured that our admissions committee will give your application the careful consideration that it deserves. We examine each application to see if we can find evidence that the applicant can succeed in our program. Graduate school is a great deal of work and a considerable financial investment. It is in everyone's best interest to avoid failure. We consider each application as a whole. We do not have arbitrary cut-off points for your test scores or GPA. Strengths in one area may compensate for weaknesses in another. For example, if your GRE scores are below average for our admitted students, but you have a strong GPA from a credible institution and good letters of recommendation, you may still be admitted to our program. If you would like more information about your prospects for being admitted to our program, you may wish to speak or correspond with our Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. Susan Giaimo. The more information you can supply, the more accurate his estimate will be, but no final determination is possible without viewing all of your application materials and the final decision will be made by the entire admissions committee. We do pay close attention to international students' TOEFL scores. While there is some room for flexibility, we would prefer TOEFL scores of 100 or better (Internet-based total).

Many of our students have been out of school and working for some time at the time they apply to our program. The longer that you have been out of school, the more attention we will pay to your work record and the less we will pay to your grades. Some applicants who have been out of school for several years or more apply for temporary status. We consider applications for admission as soon as they arrive. We encourage you to notify us directly when you submit your application by sending email to our Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. Susan Giaimo. You may then expect to learn of our decision within four weeks. We begin considering applications for financial aid each February 15. Initial offers may be made in about a month. In most years, a smaller number of additional offers are made at later dates.

Temporary Status

In special circumstances, applicants may apply for temporary admission status. Temporary status may be granted without submission of all of the normally required application materials. Temporary status is only valid for one semester. For more information, contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. Susan Giaimo.

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