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

Congratulations to Jessica Liao (Ph.D. 13') for her recent book publication! 

Developmental States and Business Activism: East Asia's Trade


Congratulations to 5th year Scott Wilbur. Scott and POIR Associate Professor Saori Katada recently published a book chapter in Japan Decides 2014: The Japanese General Election entitled "Japan’s Stealth Decision 2014: The Trans-Pacific Partnership." Read more here

Congratulations to Deniz Cakirer (Ph.D. 12') who just
started her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University. 

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.

 Click here for more POIR News.

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