Welcome to POIR
The faculty of the Department of Political Science and the School of International Relations welcome talented candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds. Although a prior degree in political science or international relations is not necessary, it is strongly recommended that applicants have completed at least some course work in related fields, including political theory, statistics and social science research methods.
Admission decisions are based on consideration of applicants' prior academic performance, as reflected in course grades, the results of the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, and a statement of intent that demonstrates a seriousness of purpose, a high level of motivation and a desire to benefit from our faculty's areas of expertise or interest. Applicants are also required to submit a sample of their written work in English, preferably a research-oriented paper. Business, government and other practical experiences may also be taken into account. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL examination.
The Program has recently finished streamlining its requirements. These guidelines present degree requirements copied from the USC catalogue and supplementary information to help students and faculty navigate through the program. The catalogue should be consulted first; the supplementary sections do not repeat those provisions. Finally a simple check-list summarizes key steps and deadlines.
A Message from the Director
Welcome to the POIR program website. The Political Science and International Relations (POIR) Program is a community of young and not-so-young scholars committed to inspire and support doctoral studies in political science and international relations. In an increasingly globalized world where local politics is closely connected to world affairs, and global governance can directly affect our daily lives, can you find a better subject to focus your energy and passion on than politics and international relations? Located in the heart of Los Angeles, where the people, cultures and businesses of the Pacific Rim all meet, the POIR Program at University of Southern California provides an exciting setting for such discipline. This PhD program is supported by over thirty premier scholars in various fields of political science and international relations, whose academic work influence the UN election monitoring around the world to California education policy. Our students are a great cohort who are building their careers in academia, research institutions, government and foreign services, and international or non-governmental organizations. Join us in our exciting journey by first checking out our new website!
Saori N. Katada
Director, POIR Program
School of International Relations