The Department’s Ph.D. program’s primary objective is to prepare a select group of highly qualified doctoral students for careers in academic teaching and research.

Curriculum Requirements

The requirements include:

  • Complete a total of 66 degree credit hours (12 semester courses) to obtain the Ph.D. degree (i.e., 36 credit hours at the doctoral level beyond the MA degree).
  • Complete one seminar on quantitative methods and one seminar on qualitative methods in the social sciences.
  • Complete a sequence of two core seminars in two of the Program’s three major fields of study:
    • International Relations;
    • Comparative Politics; and
    • International and Comparative Political Economy.
  • Pass
    1. written MA exam in one of the Program’s three fields of study and
    2. written and oral examinations in two of the Program’s three fields of study.
  • Complete at least one of the basic core seminars in the third (non-examination) field.
  • Complete the Doctoral Workshop.
  • Successfully defend a dissertation proposal/prospectus.
  • Pass a foreign language examination.
  • Complete 12 dissertation credit hours.
  • Research, write and orally defend a dissertation that makes an original contribution to knowledge.

See the INS Graduate Student Handbook for a complete description of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree.


The Department of International Studies provides a comprehensive curriculum that allows students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to study contemporary international issues. INS courses include globalization, democratization, transnationalism, international political economy, global trade, conflicts and national security threats, human rights, new forms of civil society mobilization, cultural diversity in world politics, global environmental challenges, global public health, and world poverty. The curriculum revolves around the study of the accelerating processes of globalization and their far-reaching impacts on individual states, societies, economies and cultures.


The INS Program promotes, through its interdisciplinary reach, the exploration of various theoretical and analytical approaches and methodological techniques intended to offer students a broad program of study focused on the interaction between the local and the global, from the historical to the contemporary, while tracking possible alternative future scenarios and developments in the international system.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will select and use theories and methods to measure and assess, the interrelationships between foreign relations and governments, social movements and/or organizations.
  • Students will demonstrate the capacity to integrate and apply concepts and theories to ask coherent and original questions about international studies.
  • Students will demonstrate effective written, presentation and to integrate data with sound analysis and meaningful interpretation.