The PhD programme is designed to prepare students for a career in international relations involving research, whether as a producer or consumer. Students admitted to the program must have a solid master's level grounding in international relations and, if possible, in political ccience more generally.
Students can complete the PhD degree in two structured programs – a stand-alone four-year PhD program (8 semesters); or a fast-track doctoral program (7 semesters), designed for advanced master’s students at the Graduate Institute who are transitioned to doctoral research after three semesters of master’s studies. The fast-track master’s/doctoral program allows students to complete a master’s and PhD within five years (10 semesters).
Students with a bachelor’s degree interested in a PhD are encouraged to apply to the fast-track master’s program. The first year of the stand-alone PhD program is divided between advanced course work in qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as in substantive subfields. The third semester is dedicated to developing a dissertation prospectus that will be the basis of the student’s research for the next few years.