Training to Solve Challenges

USC POIR offers graduate and doctoral students rigorous training in the core of both political science and international relations. Our graduates leave with critical skills and new knowledge to advance both their careers and their field.

POIR Ph.D. Program

Our doctoral program offers students specialized research training and specialization in fields adjacent to Political Science and International Relations.

Joint Professional Degrees

POIR is proud to offer a dual professional degree that combines a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations with a Juris Doctor from the USC Gould School of Law. This program is designed to give students an advantage in specialization while saving them time earning their advanced degrees.

Fellowships & Graduate Assistantships

Students can expect two fellowship years and teaching and research assistantships with generous annual stipends. Graduate and doctoral students can also seek extra research funding – both internally and externally – and travel grants for conference presentations.

Faculty-Led Research Opportunities

Our faculty members have contributed to a variety of innovations in the study of political choice and behavior and political institutions. You’ll have no shortage of access and opportunity to assist in research while in the program.


Students can attend conferences, job talks, and speaker series sponsored by POIR, the Center for International Studies (CIS), and the Political Institutions and Political Economy (PIPE) Collaborative, among others.


The department helps with job placement and provides a specialized support group for graduating students. Additionally, students can explore postdoctoral opportunities at USC.