The Global Studies Ph.D. Program offers an advanced interdisciplinary education, the opportunity to work with diverse faculty conducting cutting edge research, and a supportive and multinational community committed to understanding and solving the world's most pressing issues.

The Ph.D. in Global Studies is an interdisciplinary program offered through the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, administered by the Department of Political Science, with an interdisciplinary faculty group representing a range of disciplines, including Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. 

The Ph.D. program in Global Studies at UMass Lowell offers three areas of concentration to meet the specific research interests of students.

  1. Theory in Global Studies: understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and rapidly emerging new paradigms of global studies
  2. Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights: understanding of political regime legitimacy, criminal justice systems and the rule of law in order to understand how governments and multinational organizations respond to security threats.
  3. International Political Economy, Trade and Development: understanding of economic, political and social development around the globe.

For the latest course information, including degree pathways, please consult the UMass Lowell Graduate Academic Catalog.

  • Priority deadline for all applications is Feb. 1. Applications received after this date will be considered as space allows.

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    Admissions Requirements:

    1. Applicants must show official evidence of having earned a baccalaureate degree or its U.S. equivalent from an accredited college or university. Complete and official undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) academic transcripts from all previously attended institutions must be provided. A master's degree is not required.
    2. If an international transcript does not adequately demonstrate that an applicant has the equivalent to an American bachelor's, the applicant must obtain such verification by an independent service such as the Center for Educational Documentation, Boston, MA (617-338-7171).
    3. All prior degrees must have been earned with a satisfactory scholastic average to demonstrate that the applicant has adequate preparation for the field in which doctoral studies are undertaken.
    4. Applicants must have achieved satisfactory Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). In some instances, GMAT or LSAT scores may be substituted. The official score report must be submitted; a photocopy of the examiner's report is acceptable.
    5. Three (3) letters of reference must be provided from individuals familiar with the educational [two letters minimum] and/or professional performance [maximum of one letter] of the applicant.
    6. Applicants must submit a personal statement which indicates why the applicant wishes to pursue a doctoral degree in Global Studies. An interview may also be requested by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

    Your personal Statement should address the following:

    • Describe your personal, professional and academic background, and what has led you to apply for admission to the UMass Lowell doctoral program in Global Studies at this point in your personal and professional journey.
    • Describe a global problem or challenge that is of particular interest to you, and why?
    • Indicate which 2 of the 3 tracks you are most interested in, and why?
    • Indicate in your statement (and on the application form) whether you intend to enroll full-time or part-time in this program.
    • A current CV/resume is required.

    International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not earned a university degree where English was the primary language of instruction, must also provide official test score of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A waiver may be given to candidates who have completed at least two semesters of full-time college/university work in the United States by the date of submission of this application.

    Application Materials:

    Please see the graduate admissions website for details about application materials.

    Optional, but applicants are strongly encouraged to also submit:

    1. Evidence of bilingual or multilingual skills and level of proficiency (oral and written)
    2. Evidence of research and reasoning skills
    3. Each application will be carefully evaluated by an admissions committee comprised of faculty participating in the Global Studies program. All of the items mentioned above will inform their deliberations - thus, an incomplete application will not be considered.
  • Graduates of this Ph.D. program will be able to:

    • Utilize qualitative and/or quantitative methods to conduct research on major issues related to globalization.
    • Assess the effectiveness of organizations and programs.
    • Publicize best practices and innovative findings through teaching, presentations, and publications in various formats.

    Graduates of the Ph.D. program will also demonstrate the following knowledge competencies:

    • Knowledge in globally shared political, social, economic and security issues.
    • Current academic research in the fields covered by two of the program areas of study (Conflict, Cooperation, Security and Human Rights; International Political Economy, Trade and Development; or Theory in Global Studies) as well as a broad familiarity with key topics in all three areas.
    • An understanding of the key concepts, theories, and methodology in the new and emerging field of Global Studies.
    • An understanding of the diverse aspects of global civil society--such as political economy, security, human rights, religion, ethical and historical perspectives--that affect our contemporary world in significant ways.
    • A working knowledge of the organizations, institutions and global systems having important roles in the development and maintenance of global civil society, human rights and social justice and economic growth and stability.
    • Advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Research and Teaching Positions

    The Global Studies program offers funding packages to all full time students. This funding includes a combination of Teaching/Research Assistantships and tuition waivers.

    Graduate assistants work 18 hours per week and are assigned to faculty members within a department of FAHSS to assist in research, instruction, and other professional duties. GTAs and GRAs are assigned as instructors or researchers within departments that match their competencies and research interests, as well as satisfy the needs of the departments.

Why study global studies at UMass Lowell?

Flags of many nations

Diverse Faculty

Our faculty are from a wide range of disciplines and research interests.

Happy students

Interdisciplinary Focus

Our innovative interdisciplinary program trains students in social scientific methods and inquiry, while offering a strong foundation in humanities-based theory and knowledge.

girls at a computer Image by Adrien Bisson

Funding Opportunities

All accepted full-time students will receive funding opportunities through Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant positions.