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.
Director, POIR Program
POIR student Ellen Kim's article titled Between a Rock and a Hard Place: South Korea’s Strategic Dilemmas with China and the United States has recently been published in the Asia Policy Journal. This article was co-authored with Victor Cha.
Congratulations to 4th year Ronan Fu for his co-authored correspondence article titled Looking for Asia's Security Dilemma is forthcoming in International Security.
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