Ph.D. Program Overview

Overview of the Ph.D. in Global Studies

The Ph.D. in Global Studies is designed for the advanced study of a specific area or locales in the context of global processes and transnational connections. While the questions and lines of inquiry in global studies are interdisciplinary, research and writing agendas use methods and concepts from the disciplines of history, political science, and sociology. The degree is intended to prepare persons for teaching and research positions in area, international, and global studies programs, or for research positions in foundations, NGOs, and companies that need advanced analyses of countries and regions in a global context.

The Ph.D. program, which requires a three-year residency, focuses on the writing of a doctoral dissertation. While no course work is required, candidates participate in workshops and other program activities and may, in consultation with their dissertation advisor, attend courses. A candidate first passes qualifying exams and then, upon successful defense of a dissertation prospectus, proceeds to research and write a dissertation. To ensure close guidance of the dissertation, only a few candidates are admitted each year.

A doctoral student begins working towards the degree upon matriculation in the GPGS. With the successful defense of the dissertation prospectus, typically in the third semester, the graduate student is considered a doctoral candidate.

The general requirements for completing the Ph.D. are a period of enrollment, and the writing of a satisfactory dissertation that is defended and accepted by the dissertation committee. No specified number of courses completed or credits earned will assure attainment of the doctorate. A doctoral program consists of a combination of course seminars and individual study and research that meets the minimum requirements of the GPGS and is approved by the doctoral committee for each individual student.

A student is expected to be enrolled for a minimum of three years in the GPGS, with a possible two years extension of enrollment. Therefore, the total amount of time that a student can be enrolled in the Ph.D. program is 5 years in order to complete the dissertation. A student who has completed all requirements except the dissertation can also request Withdrawal by Completion. The "Request for Leave of Absence" and "Request for Withdrawal by Completion" forms are available at the Academic Records Section, Center for Academic Affairs. Students should carefully discuss these options with their advisors.


Step 1: Candidacy Qualifying Exams
A doctoral student is examined for knowledge and training to research and write a dissertation. There are three kinds of qualifying exams – global studies, disciplinary, and language. The timing of the exams depends on the student's background and advisor's judgment but they are usually taken in the second or third semester.

Step 2: Dissertation Prospectus

Upon passing the qualifying exams, students develop a dissertation prospectus under the guidance of thier advisor. The prospectus is then defended before the faculty.

Step 3: Research and Writing
Upon successful defense of the dissertation prospectus, the candidate is considered a doctoral candidate and embarks on researching and writing the dissertation. Candidates may choose, upon consultation with thier advisors, to leave for extended fieldwork. (Candidates must continue to pay full tuition until satisfying the three-year minimum enrollment requirement).

Step 4: Dissertation Defense

The dissertation is submitted by the end of the semester prior to the semester in which the candidate intends to defend the dissertation, at least four months prior to the intended defense date. A candidate who is on leave of absence must first re-enroll in the program before submitting his/her dissertation.