Welcome to the University of Southern California's Ph.D. program in political science and international relations (POIR). We are a community of scholars who study American politics; comparative politics; international security and foreign policy; and international political economy.  USC's POIR was recently ranked in the top 20 Ph.D. programs in the field in the National Research Council R-rankings.

Our students, faculty, and alumni contribute to our understanding of the political, economic, and societal dynamics of the U.S. and the world. Our goal is to produce scholars, researchers and educators grappling with questions examining the challenges of the 21st century. 

We emphasize theoretical and methodological training. Graduate students work with and learn from world-renowned faculty to produce specialized research in political science and international relations. In addition to specialized research, our students are exposed to multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Many of our students also receive extensive methods training, both quantitative and qualitative.


Christian Grose
Director, POIR Program

Recent POIR News

Research on how legislators engage in  constituency service with undocumented  immigrants in their districts by Matthew  Mendez (Ph.D. '15) was cited in an Amici  Curiae brief before the Supreme Court in the  case Evenwel v. Abbott. Read the brief here.

Ph.D. student Peter Knaack's article "Innovation and Deadlock in Global Financial Governance: Transatlantic Coordination Failure in OTC Derivatives Regulation" has been accepted for publication and is forthcoming in Review of International  Political Economy.

The New York Times features Ph.D. student Adam Feldman's    research on the influence of parties' briefs in Supreme Court decisions. 

 Click here for more POIR News.

POIR Events

CIS: Ben Graham, Topic TBA
Practice Job Talk
CLASS Workshop: Shari Diamond

Click here for more POIR events

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  • 3518 Trousdale Pkwy
  • VKC 327
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089