The challenges currently facing our world are numerous and varied. Successfully
handling these issues requires the brightest and best-trained minds. The School of
Law and International Relations (SLIR) PhD in International Relations provides
qualified and dedicated students with the training, knowledge, and experience
necessary to pursue careers in the scholarly and policy worlds and to contribute
game-changing solutions in international affairs as emerging thought leaders.
With its large and diverse faculty, SLIR offers a broad, interdisciplinary, and policy-
relevant approach to the study of international affairs. We value theoretical diversity,
intellectual breadth, analytical rigor, and scholarly excellence. SLIR is committed to
maintaining, both among its faculty and within its doctoral program, the expertise
needed for the rigorous analysis of critical issues in international affairs.
The PhD program requires 39 credit hours of approved graduate coursework, plus
the successful defense of a dissertation. The first year is devoted to core courses
and methods training. In the second year, students complete one of the
concentrations offered by SLIR, or construct one of their own.
Students must also successfully complete two comprehensive exams - a qualifying
exam at the end of their first year and a concentration comp at the end of the second
year. Students are also asked to demonstrate competency in a modern foreign
The dissertation must advance knowledge in the field of international relations,
broadly defined. Students select and design their own research project in
consultation with a committee of at least three experts in their chosen field of study.
Students advance to candidacy upon the successful defense of a dissertation
prospectus, usually in their third year. A public defense of the dissertation is required