Student Testimonials

Rod Albuyeh

For me, choosing POIR was a great decision. We have excellent mentors who hold us to a high standard, unique opportunities for professional development, and ample resources to enhance research. The faculty in charge of the program are committed to providing outstanding graduate training, and in addition there is a sense of community here that contributes to the fulfillment of pursuing a PhD.

Rod Albuyeh USC Alumni

David Fuentes

I chose to be a part of the POIR program because of the great courses the program offers that best match my interests in politics and international relations. I’ve had so many interesting and invigorating classes that deal with topics like foreign policy, SCOTUS, interest groups, and political ideologies, all further driving my interest and knowledge of the vast world of politics and international relations. My professors and faculty that I’ve encountered and met with have all been extremely helpful and thoughtful with any questions comments or concerns I’ve had.

David Fuentes USC Undergraduate Student, Class of 2024

Eduard Ghazaryan

I chose to be a part of USC’s POIR program because of my interest in IR, the vast resources available for students and the world class expertise the department offers through its faculty and research institutes. Being one of the oldest IR departments in the world, it is truly an enriching experience to be a part of the POIR department and learn from world-leading scholars on a daily basis.

Eduard Ghazaryan USC Undergraduate Student, Class of 2025

Zachary Ho

I chose to be part of USC’s Political Science and International Relations program because I have always had a keen interest in understanding the intricacies of nation politics and how they interact on a global scale. As a student of the program, I have been able to delve deep into the intricacies of the political systems and how they operate, both domestically and internationally. The program has provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge on various political ideologies, international relations, and how the two intersect.

In particular, I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Shrum, one of the department heads in Political Science. His extensive knowledge and passion for the subject matter have been evident in every class I have taken with him. He has a unique ability to break down complex topics and make them easily understandable, which has been incredibly beneficial to my academic growth. He has challenged me to think critically and analyze political issues from multiple perspectives, which has helped me to develop a more well-rounded understanding of political issues.

Furthermore, the department overall has been incredibly supportive and responsive to my academic needs. The faculty and staff are always willing to help and provide guidance whenever I need it. The program has also provided me with numerous opportunities to explore my interests outside of the classroom, such as internships, study abroad programs, and research opportunities.

In short, I am grateful to be a part of the program at USC. It has provided me with a valuable education, and the experience has been both enriching and enjoyable. I look forward to continuing my studies in the program and am excited to see what the future holds.

Zachary Ho Undergraduate Student, Class of 2023

Mohammed Zain Shafi Khan

When I came to USC I was very excited to become a part of the POIR program because of the amazing faculty and the incredible TA’s. An incredible experience where they helped me find my potential, guided me in tasks and built genuine relationships that would last outside USC. Through POIR, I was exposed to amazing opportunities such as the paymaster to Central Asia Kyrgyzstan where we meet high ranking members of the government, activities and journalists. Aside from this I appeared on a podcast called “A Song called Life” alongside Professor Steve Swerdlow as well as other POIR students to discuss the events unfolding in Ukraine. Above all, the one thing I feel makes the POIR department stand out is the support and guidance offered by professor outside classroom which opens up different avenues and opportunities in the real world.

Mohammed Zain Shafi Khan Undergraduate Student, Class of 2025

Daniel Recinos

USC’s POIR department is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their interests which in turn allows me to be excited to learn from distinguished individuals.

Daniel Recinos Undergraduate Student, Class of 2023

Bijean Ghafouri

I enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Political Science at USC due to its exceptional reputation in producing leading scholars and spearheading advanced research endeavors in the field. USC’s Department of Political Science and International Relations has a distinguished faculty, renowned for their active engagement in extensive research on a plethora of topics. In addition, the program’s location in Los Angeles presents a great advantage for students, as the city represents a hub of political and social activism, as well as cutting-edge technological advancements. Such an environment provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in hands-on research and practical experiences. USC’s campus is further equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including multidisciplinary research centers, which increase research opportunities and enhance the educational experience for students.

Bijean Ghafouri Graduate Student, Class of 2025

Justin Cheng

I chose USC’s Political Science and International Relations (POIR) program because of the world class faculty and cutting edge research. Aside from the many opportunities to engage in research, weekly workshops are held to engage students with scholars from other institutions. I get plenty of attention with my mentors and faculty actively encourage discussions of research topics and latest methods. Most importantly, I feel supported here. Whether its though my cohort, professors, or administrative staff, this program supports me and makes me feel confident I can succeed here.

Justin Cheng Graduate Student, Class of 2027