PhD Curriculum


The PhD is designed to take approximately 5-6 years. During the first year a student will be required to take mandatory graduate seminars within the department, and in the second year can take elective graduate seminars in the department as well as from across the campus.

The first year core course requirements include the following:

  • Global 210 Racial Justice
  • Global 220 History and Theory of Globalization
  • Global 221 Political Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment
  • Global 222 Global Culture, Ideology, and Religion
  • Global 223 Global Governance, Human Rights and Civil Society
  • Global 224 Research Methods
  • Global 229 Logics of Inquiry

The PhD in Global Studies requires 60 units over five years. Students admitted with an MA in Global Studies or a related discipline earned at a comparable Research I institution may be awarded subject credit for previously completed coursework. Students’ prior work will be evaluated during the fall quarter upon admission to the program. Directed reading courses cannot be taken during the first two quarters of coursework. 

All courses for the PhD should be at the 200-level or above, although exceptions will, upon petition, be granted on a case-by-case basis to allow an upper-division undergraduate course to count as part of the doctoral program. Students must receive a grade of B or better in all core courses required for the program. A grade of C, S, or higher is required in all upper-division or graduate-level courses to be counted for the degree award.

PhD students must acquire both a primary and a secondary area of specialization upon completion of the core courses. The purpose of the primary specialization is to ensure that Global Studies doctoral students are thoroughly trained in one of the department’s three concentrations. The purpose of the secondary field of specialization is to insure that Global Studies doctoral students possess some expertise in a field associated with, but not encompassed within, Global Studies.

  1. Primary Specialization: With respect to the first area of specialization, students must take a minimum of 2 courses (8 units) in one of the three concentrations that comprise the Global Studies graduate program:
  • global culture, ideology, and religion
  • global political economy, development, and environment
  • global governance, civil society, and human rights
  1. Secondary Specialization: With respect to the second area of specialization, students must take an additional 3 courses (12 units) in an outside disciplinary or interdisciplinary field that complements their work in Global Studies, such as global sociology, the history of globalizations, transnationalism and the state system, globalization and the environment, global literatures, globalization and women’s issues, globalization and race, global diasporas, global media, global social conflict, etc. These 12 units do not have to be taken from a single department and can be fulfilled through directed reading and independent study as well as through graduate seminars but must eventuate in a research paper of 30-40 pages focusing on some problem, topic, or issue associated with this secondary field of specialization. Students requiring still more training in methods specific to their dissertation project will also be encouraged, in consultation with their PhD Committee, to take further appropriate courses.