Visiting Scholars Information

The Political Science Department at UCLA hosts Visiting Scholars with a serious interest in the study of Political Science. Visiting Scholars are senior scholars and distinguished visitors who hold a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent and who have an appointment comparable to those of UCLA faculty, and are usually on temporary leave from their universities or research centers. Visiting Scholar appointments last for periods of one year or less.

Visiting Scholars serve as senior researchers, collaborate on research projects and publications with faculty members, and pursue independent research. They are considered peers of the faculty, unlike postdoctoral scholars who enroll with the Graduate Division for an approved postdoctoral research and training objective under faculty supervision (see below).

Visiting Scholar Support

Ordinarily, Visiting Scholars are self-supported, or have adequate support funds from sources outside the University. There is no direct financial support provided by the department. Visitors must secure their own support from research or study grants obtained from a foundation, university, or other agency. Visiting Scholars are entitled to:

  • a library card and can check books out of the campus' libraries,

  • an email account and access to online research resources available to UCLA Faculty and students,

  • access to the athletic facilities for fees that vary depending on the duration of use.

Office space for visiting scholars is very limited and the department may or may not be able to provide visiting researchers with office space, depending on availability.

How to apply

To become a Visiting Scholar, an applicant must submit in an email addressed to (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a detailed outline of proposed study or research at UCLA, (3) copies of one or two papers, published or unpublished, and (4) a letter of support from a UCLA faculty sponsor. Applicants should contact potential faculty sponsors directly to request sponsorship. Applications for the following academic year must be received by January 7th of the academic year preceding the academic year of the planned visit.

Living in Los Angeles

Visiting Scholars are not eligible with parking on campus. Three different community bus lines provide excellent public transportation to and from campus from the areas surrounding it. Fares vary between the different lines, but all are inexpensive.

Housing around UCLA is typically very expensive. The department has no means to locate or subsidize housing for Visiting Scholars. Visiting Scholars are not eligible for the Faculty Apartments. However, UCLA does maintain a Community Housing Internet Website, and the Department will give all Visiting Scholars access to its subscription to this site.

International Visitors

The Department will sponsor J-1 visas to those individuals needing permission to enter the country. The United States requires that certain specific conditions be met before a J-1 visa will be issued to an individual, and the department can provide information regarding those conditions upon request. Assuming you are able to meet the requirements, the department will obtain and send to you the documents you will need to obtain the J-1 visa from the American Consulate in your country of residence, but again, you would be responsible for the fees associated with the visa costs.

Visiting Graduate Students

A Visiting Graduate Researcher (VGR) is an individual, domestic or international, who is: (1) enrolled as a degree-seeking graduate student at his/her home institution and maintaining satisfactory advancement towards the completion of an academic degree, and (2) invited to conduct short-term doctoral research or participate in a “prescribed course of study” such as mentored or independent research project of master’s research collaborations with a UCLA faculty member.

For more information on the fees and the financial support requirements to become a Visiting Graduate Researcher, please review the Graduate Division website at


Questions regarding the Political Science department’s Visiting Scholar's program should be directed by email to