Skip to Main Content
Maxwell School
Maxwell / Social Science PhD Program


Admissions & Financial Aid

Lincoln Face

To go to the online application page, click here.

Successful applicants to the Program come with an accredited masters degree and reasonably well defined research interests that would be better served by an interdisciplinary program than within a traditional disciplinary department. In consultation with the Program Chair and their faculty advisors, students design their own programs of study within a general framework of methodology, theory and topical seminars. This greater freedom to pursue individual scholarly interests in a largely self-directed way means, however, that students must assume greater personal responsibility for clarifying their academic goals and organizing their program of study in a way that moves them toward these goals in a coherent and efficient manner. Admissions9

The Ph.D. in social science prepares students to undertake a broad range of careers, principally college and university research and teaching, but also in nonacademic research, consulting, and public service, as well as organizational administration and institutional leadership. Regardless of career goals, training for rigorous social science research and scholarship is the main purpose and requirement of the program for all students.

Decisions on admissions and financial aid are competitive and are governed by three criteria: evidence of superior academic ability, evidence of reasonably focused interdisciplinary research interests, and availability of Maxwell School faculty with interest and scholarly expertise in the areas of inquiry the applicant wishes to pursue. Students planning to apply to the Social Science program should first contact the Program Administrator, Tammy Salisbury ( ) for advice on how to proceed and may also contact the Program Chair, Vernon Greene ( ) to discuss academic issues.

The Social Science Program each year awards financial support in the form of  graduate assistantships, fellowships and tuition scholarships to its students, based entirely on considerations of merit. Graduate assistantships and fellowships are offered to all admitted students, and are for at least three years of support, and cover full tuition, stipend and benefits. Where needed and merited, a fourth year of support can usually be provided, but is not guaranteed. Students with Social Science graduate assistantships are typically assigned to work with individual Maxwell faculty as research or teaching assistants. Matches are always made in consultation with students and are intended to be consistent with their own teaching and research interests to the extent possible. In general, students on fellowship are not required to teach or perform other services during their fellowship years. Prospective students should indicate their interest in financial support on their applications. While admission and financial aid decisions are made by the admitting departments and programs, the admission process for graduate study at the University is managed through the Graduate School, and is done entirely online.

To go to the online application page, click here.