- Close, collaborative relationships with faculty engaged in exciting and productive research programs: Graduate training hinges on a student's access to and engagement with faculty. The small size of our program guarantees that seminar classes are small and students have unparalleled one-on-one faculty mentoring with respect to research, training and professional development. The success of a graduate program also depends upon the quality of the faculty. A recent study of political science in the University of California system found that UC Merced's political science faculty have the highest average rate of research productivity in the entire UC system. Our faculty regularly publish their cutting-edge research in the very best journals and book presses in the discipline.
- Hands-on, research-intensive training: At UC Merced your graduate education will not be limited to the traditional classroom setting. After your first year, you will begin to apply and sharpen your research skills by directly working with faculty and their projects. With guidance, you will then develop your own research agenda while continuing collaborative projects with the faculty.
- A uniquely interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary setting for graduate education: PhD students in the Political Science Program will interact with a mix of Cognitive Scientists, Economists, Psychologists and Sociologists during their training. Our program will be a particularly good fit for students with research interests that span traditional disciplinary boundaries, such as political psychology or political economy.
- The affordability and opportunities provided by Merced: Graduate student funding stretches further in Merced as it is a more affordable community than, for example those in which the other UC campuses are located. Located halfway between the beautiful California coast and the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada, Merced provides access to terrific recreational activities in places such as Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and the Gold Country, Monterey and San Francisco.