Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and International Relations/Juris Doctor (PhD/JD)


The Political Science and International Relations program and the USC Gould School of Law jointly offer a dual degree program leading to the PhD/JD degree. Applicants must apply to the Political Science and International Relations program and the law school and meet the requirements for admission to both.


In the first year students take 30 units of course work in the law school exclusively. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 37 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The second and third years include a total of 40 units of courses in political science and international relations and 46 units of law. Students must complete a five-course core theory and methodology sequence. They must include a classics-oriented, two-semester political, social, comparative and international theory sequence (currently POIR 600), a multivariate statistics course (such as POIR 611) and a philosophies/methodologies in social inquiry course (POIR 610). Finally in their second, third or fourth year, they must take an approved advanced research methods course.


To obtain a PhD in Political Science and International Relations, students must pass the screening process. After the completion of required field course work with a grade of B or better, a substantive paper or USC MA thesis relevant to the program, students must take a PhD qualifying examination in two of their three fields of concentration. The third field will be completed by taking at least three courses and passing each with a grade of B or better. The final requirement, following successful completion of the qualifying examination, is a doctoral dissertation.


This is an excerpt from the 2023-2024 USC Catalogue. The USC Catalogue is the document of authority for all students. The program requirements listed in the USC Catalogue supersede any information which may be contained in any bulletin of any school or department. The university reserves the right to change its policies, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this catalogue at any time.