The Department of International Studies offers interdisciplinary social science programs leading to the Ph.D. and MA degrees. Ph.D. and MA programs offer advanced students the opportunity to study issues such as globalization, democratic governance, comparative and international political economy, post-Cold War conflicts and security threats, and new forms of civil society mobilization in world politics. To organize the study of these debates in the social sciences, the Department offers three fields of specialization:

• International Relations: international relations theory; globalization; social movements beyond the nation-state; security studies; peace and conflict studies; international law and organization; international political economy; foreign policy analysis, global public health, and related fields.

• Comparative Politics: theory and methods of comparative analysis; authoritarian and democratic political regimes; democratic governance and citizenship, comparative political economy; contentious politics and social movements; civil-military relations; and appropriate courses on selected regions, such as the European Union, Latin America, or the Post-Soviet countries.

• International and Comparative Political Economy: the politics and institutions regulating the global trade, investment, and financial regimes; comparative international development; the politics and economics of international environmental regimes; democracy, partisan politics, and global governance, the domestic and international distributive impacts of globalization; and international economic theory.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

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. The requirements include:

• Complete a total of 66 degree credits (12 semester courses) to obtain the Ph.D. degree (i.e., 36 credits 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 Department’s three major fields of study: International Relations; Comparative Politics; and International and Comparative Political Economy.

• Pass written and oral examinations in two of the Department’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 credits.

• 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.

MA Degree Requirements

The Department’s MA program prepares students for careers in international diplomacy, business, trade and finance, for service in government and non-governmental organizations and international institutions, and with the necessary degree and academic training to enter a doctoral program. The requirements include:

• Complete ten semester courses (30 credits).

• Complete a seminar on social science methodology.

• Complete two of the core seminars in one of the Department’s fields of study, and at least one of the core seminars in either of the other two fields. These fields include: International Relations; Comparative Politics; International and Comparative Political Economy.

• Pass a written qualifying (comprehensive) examination in one of the three fields of specialization.

• Pass a foreign language examination.

• MA candidates with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 may, with the permission, substitute the qualifying examination with a written MA thesis.

• See the INS Graduate Student Handbook (insert link) for a complete description of the requirements for the MA degree.