Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in International Affairs, Science and Technology

The Nunn School International Affair's Ph.D. program provides an unparalleled opportunity for students with backgrounds in either politics or science and technology to deepen their understanding of international affairs through the advanced study of sub-fields such as international relations theory, international security, international political economy, comparative politics, and methods for social scientific research.

The Ph.D. program is a four to six-year program designed to adapt to the interests and needs of students who intend to enter professional careers requiring or who plan to work in academia. The program emphasizes both traditional theoretical knowledge of international relations and strategic planning and analysis.

As part of the coursework, students are required to demonstrate foreign language familiarity through two years of coursework during undergraduate or graduate studies and passing a translation exercise. Students can either opt to have a third year of language or take a year of advanced methods. Students are required to pass two qualification exams and successfully defend a paper related to a science and technology topic before they can advance to candidacy.

All PhD programs must incorporate a standard set of Requirements for the Doctoral Degree.

The PhD program is founded upon a broad, rigorous, and student-centered curriculum. All students must complete INTA 6102 and INTA 6003. Because students come from a wide range of backgrounds, they may petition to substitute or pass-out of certain core requirements based upon previous experiences and coursework and under the guidance and approval of the dissertation committee. However, reduction in credit is limited to a total of nine credit hours.

Required Courses
INTA 6102International Relations Theory3
INTA 6003Empirical Research Methods3
INTA 9000Doctoral Thesis18
Core Courses
INTA 8010International Affairs, Science and Technology Ph.D. Proseminar1
INTA 8000Seminar in Science, Technology and International Affairs I3
INTA 8001Seminar in Science, Technology and International Affairs II3
Concentation Tracks
Each of the predesigned tracks includes a core class and two electives. These tracks are considered core classes and must be completed before examinations.
Select two of four concentration tracks from the following:18
International Affairs and Security
Globalization and Development
Comparative and Regional Studies
Student-created (Unique Track): Graduate Program Director- and Faculty-approved Track
Select three related INTA 6000/8000-level courses. 19
Advanced Methods or Language Requirement
Advanced Methods or Language Requirement 20-18
Total Credit Hours58-76

Students must complete a minor concentration that focuses on an approved topic in the field of science, technology, and international affairs. This may be satisfied by completing three related INTA courses at the 6000 and 8000 levels in international innovation or security or three courses in other Schools of the Ivan Allen College, or in colleges or interdisciplinary fields of the Institute or elsewhere. 


Students must also satisfy either the language or advanced methods requirement. The language requirement is satisfied through demonstrated competency (reading proficiency only) in one language other than English (equivalent of four semesters of college-level coursework or an equivalent exam). The advanced methods requirement may be satisfied through completion of two semesters of coursework (in addition to core requirements) of advanced statistics, methods, and/or computer science taken either within the School or in other colleges of the Institute. 

Breakdown of Hours Required for Degree

INTA 9000Doctoral Thesis18
INTA 6102International Relations Theory3
INTA 6003Empirical Research Methods3
INTA 8010International Affairs, Science and Technology Ph.D. Proseminar1
INTA 8000/8001Seminar in Science, Technology and International Affairs I6
Track courses18
Minor concentration9
Advanced Methods or Language Requirement0-18
Total Credit Hours58-76

Other requirements for the PhD include admission to candidacy for the degree through a qualification process that includes successful completion of two comprehensive examinations in specified fields of international affairs; submission and oral defense of a Science, Technology, and International Affairs Field Exam Paper on an approved topic; and submission and defense of a dissertation prospectus that must be approved and supervised by the dissertation committee composed of relevant experts in the fields and a member external to the school. Finally, students must complete and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation.