Environmentally Focused

Our Ph.D. program offers a unique combination of specialized instruction in environmental politics and policy from our experienced faculty. Graduates from the program will gain extensive knowledge about the environmental specialization as well as broad knowledge in two subfields of political science:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Political Theory
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All Ph.D. students must write a dissertation with an environmental focus.



In addition to the wide variety of graduate seminars in political science, the department offers seven seminars in environmental politics and policy taught by faculty who have an active interest in the field.

  • POLS 670 Politics of Environment and Sustainability
  • POLS 692 Seminar in Environmental Policy
  • POLS 709 Environmental Politics in the U.S.
  • POLS 729 Political Theory and the Environment
  • POLS 739 International Environmental Politics
  • POLS 749 Comparative Environmental Politics
  • POLS 759 Environmental Policy and Administration

For more information on courses for this program, visit the course catalog.

Ph.D. Career Preparation

Our Ph.D. program prepares doctoral students for academic positions in political science, interdisciplinary environmental studies programs, and a variety of public and private sector careers related to environmental politics.

The department has an exceptional placement record in academic institutions including but not limited to:

  • Brown University
  • California State University
  • Auburn University
  • Elon University
  • Lund University
  • Wageningen University, The Netherlands
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Our graduates also find careers in public service and private companies including but not limited to:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • City of Fort Collins
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • USDA

Application Information

Confirm Program Qualifications

  • Students must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or better.
  • Must also have a particular interest in environmental politics and policy.
  • Review CSU’s Graduate Admissions Requirements for  citizens and permanent residents or international students.
  • Review the Political Science Graduate Handbook
  • Students may be required to make up deficiencies in their backgrounds as part of admission to the program.

Contact the department

  • Check out our faculty page to determine faculty members who have similar areas of study to you.

Apply by February 15

  • Complete the Online Graduate Application through Graduate Admissions. Doctoral students are normally admitted in the fall semester.
  • A one-time non-refundable application fee is due.
    • $60 U.S. citizen/permanent resident
    • $70 International student
    • Military veterans and service members may quality for an application fee waiver.

Collect the required supporting documents

  • The department is requiring GRE scores. Test scores should be submitted with institution code 4075.
  • A written paper submitted in English. The paper must be an appropriate writing sample that reflects the student’s abilities to conduct independent research and communicate effectively. Requirements include a minimum of 15 pages and maximum of 40 pages.
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of interest (300 - 500 words)
  • Three letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters of recommendation from academic instructors. Letters should be on original letterhead paper with original signatures.
  • Original transcripts from all colleges and universities that applicants have attended.

Admission and Funding Decisions

  • Applicants must submit completed application by February 15 to be considered for funding.
  • The department makes funding decisions immediately after the February 15 deadline. There is no separate process for applying for departmental funding.
  • Applicants are automatically considered for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs).
  • The department reserves the right to review promising applications earlier or later than the formal deadlines and will continue to review applications after these deadlines on a space available basis.
  • The department will not review any incomplete applications.

Financial Awards

Graduate teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Assistantship stipends vary between approximately $13,086 and $17,532 per nine-month academic year. Normally, part of the compensation that assistants receive includes tuition payments on their behalf. Applicants who submit an admissions application by February 15 for the following fall semester will automatically be considered for an assistantship. Initial assistantship award determinations will be made shortly after the February 15 deadline. Late applicants will be considered for assistantships on a funding available basis.

Contact Information

For additional information about the Political Science Ph.D. program or to set up a virtual appointment, please email Graduate Coordinator, David McIvor

David W. McIvor

  • Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator