Ph.D. in International Studies
The Ph.D. is the highest degree attainable. It is a research degree that qualifies its holder for teaching at the college level or for high level research and policy analysis.
The Ph.D. program incorporates a coursework component and a book-length independent research project that makes a significant and original contribution to the field of international studies.
The Ph.D. requires 48 credit hours beyond the M.A. At least 30 credit hours have to be in regular coursework. Ph.D. dissertation work can count for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 credit hours. Ph.D. students can take up to three courses (9 credits) on the 600-700 level. All the rest must be 800 level seminars. There are five required core courses that are a prerequisite for the Ph.D. program. Ph.D. students who have not taken these courses as part of their M.A. work will need to take them in addition to the 48 Ph.D. credit hours.
Ph.D. students select a primary and secondary field of concentration. Students must take five seminars (15 credit hours) in their primary field. This will usually include the field core seminar plus four additional seminars applicable to the field. Students must take three seminars (9 credit hours) in their secondary field. This will usually include the field core seminar plus two additional seminars. A normal Ph.D. program will include two additional seminars beyond the five primary field seminars and the three secondary field seminars. These electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor to complement and fill-out a coherent program of doctoral coursework. Students may not count more than six credit hours of independent studies or internships towards their 30 credit hours of coursework.
Foreign language requirement
All Ph.D. students have to satisfy the foreign language requirement. The foreign language requirement can be satisfied either by having passed two 300 level courses with a grade B or better or by passing a translation examination. Foreign language classes do not count towards the coursework requirement. The foreign language requirement is waved for native speakers of a foreign language.
Comprehensive exams and dissertation defense
Ph.D. students must pass the Ph.D. comprehensive examination and defend their dissertation. The Ph.D. comprehensive examination cannot be taken until all the course requirements and the language requirement are completed. The exam is offered in August and January.
The Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS) also offers a M.A. in International Studies.
Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Guide
PhD Advising Form