Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program

Resources for GGHS PhD community members

What to Expect in Your First Year

The GGHS Program follows a cohort model.  Students who come in together take the Program’s core courses together during the first year.  As a general rule, all the first-year courses are required and are taken with the cohort. You will register for these courses yourself through WISER and the course schedule is available through WISER as well. Details on GGHS Program requirements can be found here. Check out the department course schedule for course numbers.  

 In the Fall semester register for:  

  • Global Governance 
  • Human Security 
  • Theories of International Relations 
  • Doctoral Colloquium 

In the spring semester register for: 

  • Conflict Resolution Theory 
  • International Organization 
  • Elective 
  • Doctoral Colloquium 

If you are a Graduate Assistant, you will work with (usually) two faculty as a Research Assistant. The Graduate Program Director will address questions or concerns that arise in navigating your first year in the GGHS Program (of course, you should also feel free to talk to any of the Program faculty). By the end of the first year, you will select a faculty to serve as your Dissertation Committee Chair. Your Committee Chair will become your primary academic advisor. We recommend you schedule a meeting with any of the faculty whose research is of interest during the first semester. 

Your Assistantship Supervisor is the person to whom you report in your capacity as a Graduate Assistant. This is not an advisory relationship per se, although your supervisor can also be your Committee Chair, and will be your primary advisor in that capacity. See the Graduate Assistant section below for more details. 

 Advanced Standing 

“Advanced Standing” is the credit you can receive toward the requirements of the PhD program if you have a Master’s degree in a cognate field.  With advanced standing you can have up to 12 credits of the required 68 waived.  This does not waive any required courses – you still need to take the core, focus areas, and methods courses.  In practice, this means that you do not need to take the 4 courses of non-focus areas electives listed in the graduation criteria. Students have to have a grade of B or above for a course to be counted toward Advanced Standing.

You can apply for advanced standing by filling out this form. 

Taking the Qualifying Exam 

The purpose of the exam is to assess: 1) your grasp of some of the core concepts, themes, theories, and critical issues associated with Global Governance and Human Security, and 2) your ability to apply them to issues of the day and to make a coherent and cogent argument. The exam takes place over 5 days and is take-home and open-book.  

Your goal in this examination is to demonstrate a thorough, critical understanding of the fields covered in the core courses in the Global Governance and Human Security doctoral program. Both a thorough understanding (the ability to discuss research and theorizing relevant to a particular question) and a critical understanding (the ability to identify and weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and of specific research studies) are essential. Demonstrating only one or the other – for example, by providing only an extensive, accurate, but uncritical bibliographic essay or by providing only an insightful commentary on some of the main arguments in the field without relating them to the work of specific authors or to the details of actual research – is insufficient. 

Please see Qualifying Exam Guidance Document for instructions and assessment rubric 

Please note: Students must have submitted GGHS Dissertation Tracking Form A (Dissertation Committee Form) listing committee chair prior to writing the examination.   

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