The Political Science and International Relations (POIR) Ph.D. program began in 2003 and is part of the POIR Department. POIR is a medium-size Ph.D. program with approximately 60 students currently enrolled across all years. The POIR faculty have expertise in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and research methods. Ph.D. students train in three of these areas, with most students emphasizing American politics, comparative politics, or international relations as their first field. Each incoming POIR cohort is approximately 8-12 students in size. Students take courses their first two-three years; take their qualifying exams in their third year; and write and complete their dissertations in years three, four, and five.
The Political Science and International Relations Ph.D. program provides a well-structured and suitable education and training that reflects the current state of the disciplines and offers a breadth and flexibility rarely found in separate political science and international relations programs. Through effective and student-centered mentoring, research and teaching assistantships, professionalization workshops, and collaborative support for conference participation and publishing, POIR students train to be leading scholars who are competitive in both the academic and non-academic job markets.
Students will demonstrate mastery in critically applying knowledge and methodologies to address fundamental questions in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and/or methods, as evidenced by their academic performance in the programs curricular requirements and the qualifying examinations.
Students will gain, practice and evaluate their skills in various quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to conduct scholarly research consistent with the highest standards of the discipline as evidenced by their academic performance in the core and advanced methodology courses, the acceptance of their dissertation proposal, participation in the POIR Math Bootcamp, and/or completion of the POIR Methods field.
Students will be able to demonstrate mastery in recognizing, assessing and synthesizing the existing literature and research in the fields of political science and international relations as evidenced by students’ academic performance in the program’s core courses and the comprehensive examinations.
Research & Dissertation
Students will gain the intellectual independence and skills to conduct research that results in an original contribution to knowledge as evidenced by the extent of students participating at major conferences, the degree of students with peer-reviewed publications and grant applications, and the completion of their dissertations.
Students will demonstrate a mastery of pedagogical skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university undergraduate teaching in their discipline as evidenced by their academic performance in the teaching practicum seminar, the quality of students’ teaching evaluations, and student participation in POIR and campus wide teaching workshops and trainings.
Students will gain and demonstrate scholarly communication skills adequate to publish, prepare grant proposals and present work not only in the fields of political science and/or international relations, but also across disciplines and diverse audiences as evidenced by the quality of their course papers and presentations, their participation at professional conferences and other research colloquia in various disciplines.
Students will develop the professional skills needed in their intended career placement as evidenced by their level of professionalism in the program, their participation in professionalization activities and training, the quality of their faculty mentorships, and the completion of the placement support group requirements.
Pursue your specialized area of study and research within Political Science and International Relations
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Program Administrator and Advisor
Danielle De Rosa Ballard
Graduate Program Assistant
Graduate Student Association
Miguel Hijar Chiapa, Co-President
Melissa Watanabe, Co-President
José Alcocer, Treasurer
José Múzquiz, Senator
Stephen Schick, Communications Director