Doctorate in International Relations Degrees | International Relations PhD Programs

A Doctorate in International Relations allows individuals who are interested in exploring and researching ideologies, policies, and statistics related to international security, economy, politics and law. Most doctorate degree programs require students to complete a dissertation or publish original research, as well as pass a comprehensive examination in order to graduate. Some programs may necessitate learning a foreign language.

Doctorate in International Relations

International Relations PhD Programs | Doctorate in International Relations Degrees Program Overview

International Relations is the academic field that studies how countries, governments, leaders and international organizations interact with one another. It also examines how these relationships affect global systems such as the economy or foreign affairs. Typically, International Relations PhD programs offer learners a combination of training in theory and methodology relating to international relations and issues. Students may be exposed to political theories, philosophies, social inquiries, international organization and law. Some programs allow students to personalize their degree by choosing their own curriculum.

Choosing the Right PhD Program in International Relations

Students seeking an International Relations PhD program might want to begin with a location search on GradSchools.com to determine where accredited schools are found. You are also able to search by program format. If you aspire to a career in academia, such as at the postsecondary level, it might be a good fit to learn on campus, as some teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants. Others, especially currently working professionals might review distance-learning options. You might find an online PhD in International Relations, or a combination program, called Hybrid, that is low residency and incorporates online classes as well.

Some of your choices might include PhD in International Studies, PhD Program in Cultural Diplomacy & International Relations, or Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and International Relations. What you can do when you have generated a list is request information from the school. Programs and curriculums vary as do admissions requirements and deadlines for entry.

International Relations PhD Programs Potential Courses & Specializations

Aside from conducting research, students in International Relations PhD programs may explore courses in:

  • Current societies and construction of societies
  • Epistemology
  • International trade
  • International trade
  • International relations dynamics
  • Statistics

As students approach their dissertation, specialization becomes even more important, both to help them fine-tune a dissertation proposal as well as potentially help focus a future career search. Some of these options might include:

  • Political communication
  • International political economy
  • Foreign Policy analysis
  • Comparative politics
  • Global institutions
  • International security
  • Diplomacy

Potential Career Trends For PhD International Relations Graduates

Since a PhD is generally required for academia and research, earning a Doctorate in International Relations prepares graduates for these roles as well as potential positions as:

  • Policy-makers
  • Policy analysts
  • Working for government and non-profit
  • International Economists
  • Political Scientists
  • International Affairs VP
  • State-Federal Relations Deputy Director
  • Technical Director

FUN FACT: Political scientists usually conduct research within one of four primary subfields: national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.

Ready To Pursue a Doctorate in International Relations?

The International Relations PhD, as the highest academic distinction in the field, may prepare students for a variety of potential roles in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. If a career with an International focus appeals to you, a Doctorate degree may help you qualify. Why not look into your options on GradSchools.com today!


Sources: bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists. | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/economists | onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3094.00 | bls.gov/careeroutlook/2007/spring/art03.pdf

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