Skip to Main Content

Doctoral Program

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program in Global Studies offers three areas of concentration to meet the specific research interests of students - Theory in Global Studies; Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights and International Political Economy, Trade and Development.

All students are required to take 12 credits of core coursework, 12 credits of research methods courses, 39 credits of elective courses (a maximum of 21 credits of which can be transferred from a MA/MS degree program with program director approval) and a minimum of 15 dissertation credits.

Core Courses (12 credits) - REQUIRED

  • GLST.7010 Contemporary Global Studies (3 credits)
  • GLST.7011 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Education & Research (3 credits)
  • GLST.7012 Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights (3 credits)
  • GLST.7017 International Political Economy, Trade and Development (3 credits)

Research Methods and Data Analysis Courses (12 credits)

  • GLST.7030 Comparative and International Research (3 credits) 
  • GLST.7031 Quantitative Approaches to Research in Global Studies (3 credits)

Plus two additional 3-credit research methods and data analysis electives (6 credits)

The selection of the additional required 2 advanced research methods courses is based on identified interest and needs of the student in consultation with the student’s advisor. A list of available research methods course will be made available to students by the Program Director. Currently, the following courses are offered by departments in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:

Elective Courses (27 credits)

A minimum of 30 credits of elective coursework is required.

To meet the requirement for the remaining electives, courses (3 credits each) are chosen from the list provided below. Please note these courses are subject to change and all courses may not be offered every semester. A student’s selection of electives is based on consultation with their faculty advisors. The Global Studies Program offers 3 areas of study:

  1. Theory in Global Studies
  2. Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights and
  3. International Political Economy, Trade and Development
Though students are encouraged to take courses in all three areas, students must select 2 of these 3 areas in which to focus, and take 2 (3 credit) electives in each focus area. After meeting the methodology course requirement (described above), students can take additional advanced research methods courses as electives.

Areas of Concentration:

Theory of Global Studies

This area of study will provide students a deep understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and rapidly emerging new paradigms of global studies. Globalization has exposed some of the shortcomings of traditional theories of international relations, economic development and political and social philosophy. By promoting a critical approach to traditional theory in this field and by embracing theoretical contribution from feminism, ecology, anthropology, cultural studies and international political economy, students will be able to comprehend the intellectual contribution of a wide range of disciplines to understanding the impact of globalization on citizens and societies. This area of study provides a thorough background in traditional theoretical approaches to understanding global society while exposing students to innovative new approaches and arenas of study. The area of study is designed to move students from theory to practice and to encourage examination of current events through the lens of theories both traditional and new, and by assessing their explanatory power and implication for domestic and international policy.

Courses include:

  • GLST.7020 Theoretical Paradigms in Global Studies
  • GLST.7140 Globalization, Feminism, & Liberalism
  • GLST.7160 Advanced Seminar in Global History, Politics and Theory
  • GLST.7100 Directed Study

Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights

Drawing primarily from the departments of Political Science, Economics, Sociology and Criminal Justice, topics for research and study in this area include major transnational security threats such as terrorism, criminal networks, human trafficking, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, energy security, maritime security, environmental security, and the global trafficking of drugs, small arms and light weapons and other contraband. Study includes the critical importance of political regime legitimacy, criminal justice systems and the rule of law in order to understand how governments and multinational organizations respond to these and other kinds of security threats.

Courses include:

  • GLST.6600 International Perspectives on Crime and Justice
  • GLST.6610 Comparative Criminal Justice
  • GLST.6620 Global Issues and Human Rights and Justice
  • GLST.6630 Prisons: A Global Perspective on Punishment and Rehabilitation
  • GLST.6640 Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • GLST.6650 Seminar on Global Trafficking and Criminal Networks
  • GLST.6660 Terrorist Networks: Al Qaeda and Affiliated Groups
  • GLST.6670 Seminar on Security Studies
  • GLST.6680 Scientific and Technological Dimensions of National Security
  • GLST.7100 Directed Study
  • GLST.7280 Organizational Theory

International Political Economy, Trade and Development

This area is designed to enhance understanding of economic, political and social development around the globe. Globalization is enhanced by international trade, foreign investments, world financial markets, migration movements, and technological transfers. All of these factors affect country's growth potential as well as their income distribution. This leads to changes in their citizens’ health, education, poverty, literacy, environment, and sustainability.

Courses include:

Doctoral Qualifying Paper or Qualifying Exam

Following the accumulation of at least 27 credits at the doctoral level (i.e., credits transferred from a Master’s program do not count), students will submit a qualifying paper demonstrating their ability to research and publish, In this paper, the student must demonstrate engagement in the field and the ability to make a scholarly contribution. The expectation is that papers deemed acceptable will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. The paper should be accompanied by a 3-4 page statement outlining the student's research agenda and how it fits into the broader field of global studies and builds on existing scholarship. The paper and research statement will be reviewed by a committee comprised of at least three core members of the Global Studies Faculty. If the committee comprised decides the paper does not meet the minimum standards, the student will have one opportunity to resubmit within one semester. 

Alternatively, students may opt to take a comprehensive doctoral exam, which must be passed prior to students’ enrollment in dissertation credits. Students will test in their two areas of study and each section of the test will incorporate a methods component. Students will be given access to a computer (with no internet connection, notes, etc.) and will have three hours to answer each part of the exam. A two-hour break will be provided between part 1 and part 2. Altogether, the exam and breaks will last 8 hours.

The qualifying exam will be offered in November and May of each year. Students wishing to take the qualifying exam must announce their intent to sit by the deadline set in the semester prior to the examination on the form provided by the Program.


Upon successfully passing the Comprehensive Qualifying Exam, a student can begin his/her dissertation research. The major requirements remaining at this stage are: (1) successful oral defense of a dissertation proposal; and (2) successful oral defense of a complete dissertation and submission of the final written document.

Doctoral Dissertation (minimum 9 credits)

The minimum number of dissertation credits is 9. During each semester of the dissertation stage, students will register for 1, 3, 6, or 9 credits of direct supervision (GLST.7530/7560/7590 Dissertation Supervision) with their dissertation advisor. Students must successfully pass oral defenses of both the dissertation proposal and of the completed dissertation.