A US-accredited Ph.D. in France
The Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy at AGS combines the wide recognition of an American degree with the unique experience of a Paris-based program. It is accredited in the US as an affiliated program of Arcadia University (Pennsylvania) and taught at the American Graduate School in Paris, a private nonprofit institution of higher education recognized by the French Ministry of Higher Education.
Classes are taught in the heart of Paris. The French capital – which is also one of Europe’s capitals and an international hub – is an ideal location for doctoral research in international relations as it offers access to countless research libraries, archives and special collections. It also provides internship opportunities with government institutions, inter-govermental organizations and NGOs.
The language of instruction and for the writing of the dissertation is English; no knowledge of French is required to enroll.
The program consists of 1.5 to 2 years of graduate coursework and four years dedicated to the research and wriring of the doctoral dissertation. Candidates have the ability to tailor the program around their interests and career objectives through elective courses and through the choice of their research topic. The highest academic standards are sought in the coursework as well as in the methodology, research, and writing of the dissertation. A unique aspect of the Ph.D. program at AGS is the very close guidance provided to students throughout the dissertation process.
The International Relations and Diplomacy curriculum has a multi-disciplinary scope. Required courses cover the disciplines of international relations, political science, economics, international law, international organizations, and diplomacy. The choice of electives is made in accordance with the domain in which the candidate wishes to pursue his or her research.
International Relations and Diplomacy Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete:
Five required courses
Seven elective courses, including two area courses
See the list of courses below
Note: Required as well as elective courses can be transferred from another university if they meet the standards of AGS.
IRD-R-580 : Factors and Theories of Analysis in International Relations and Diplomacy
IRD-R-581 : Research Methodology and Design
IRD-R-682 : Foreign Policy Formulation and Diplomacy
IRD-R-583 : International Public Law
IRD-R-684 : Current Economic Problems and Policies
IRD-E-621 : Current Issues in International Relations and Diplomacy
IRD-E-622 : International Organizations
IRD-E-601 : Theory and Origins of Global Conflict
IRD-E-602 : Strategy and Conflict Resolution
IRD-E-603 : Cultural Development and Awareness
IRD-E-502: Geopolitics of Religion
IRD-E-504 : Global Communications, Media and International Affairs
IRD-E-605 : International Trade, Banking and Finance
IRD-E-507 : Principles of Economics
IRD-E-508 : Beginnings of the Contemporary Political Order
IRD-E-509 : Anthropology and Politics
IRD-E-610 : Post-Modernity and International Relations and Diplomacy
IRD-E-611 : Comparative Politics
IRD-E-514 : International Environmental Politics
IRD-E-616 : Extreme Crisis Situations: Terrorism, Government and Media
IRD-E-617: Gender, Militarization and War
IRD-E-618 : NGOs: An International Perspective
IRD-E-619 : NGOs: Principles and Management
IRD-E-620 : Diplomacy and International Law
Elective Area Courses
IRD-EA-613 : Issues in U.S. Foreign Policy
IRD-EA-630: A History of the Modern Middle-East
IRD-EA-631: Conflict in the Modern Middle-East
IRD-EA-640 : Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa
IRD-EA-641: The Scramble for African Resources
IRD-EA-650 : Central and South America
IRD-EA-660 : South Asia: Geopolitical Developments Since WWII
IRD-EA-661 : East Asia: Geopolitical Developments Since WWII
IRD-EA-670 : European Foreign Policies
IRD-EA-671 : The European Union and the World
IRD-EA-672 : Russian Politics
In order to be awarded the AGS's Ph.D. degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, students must meet the following requirements:
Having successfully completed the coursework (including possible transfers from other universities) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
Having passed a pre-dissertation comprehensive examination
Having achieved the writing and defense of a doctoral dissertation of at least 75,000 words of research, analysis, and corroborating data.
All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be met within six years of admission to Ph.D. candidacy, with a minimum of two years for the research and writing of the dissertation.
Stages of the program
Depending on the number of transfer credits, the coursework can be completed in 12 to 18 months on a full-time basis.
Once the coursework is satisfactorily completed, Ph.D. candidates must pass a pre-dissertation comprehensive examination.
At this stage Ph.D. candidates must identify a dissertation advisor. The candidates may choose their doctoral advisor from the school's faculty or from a pool of accomplished international scholars working with AGS, according to the domain in which they wish to pursue their doctoral research. External advisors are also permitted upon approval of the Academic Committee.
Note: Ph.D. candidates are responsible for finding their own advisors. AGS assists them in this process by putting them in contact with potential advisors when needed.
Ph.D. candidates must submit a research proposal which has to be approved by the methodology counsellor, the dissertation advisor and the Academic Committee. Please note that students must have the ability to use primary sources in any foreign language(s) necessary for the doctoral dissertation.
The methodology, research and writing of the dissertation are conducted by the candidate under the close guidance and supervision of the Ph.D. advisor.
The Ph.D. dissertation defense involves a five-member jury including the advisor, AGS professors, and external specialists when helpful.
Combined M.A.-Ph.D. program
AGS offers a combined M.A.-Ph.D. program per the American model. The combined M.A.-Ph.D. program allows students to take the five required courses for both degrees simultaneously. Ph.D. candidates having done their M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy at AGS would therefore not have to take the required courses again, but would only have to take seven elective courses.
Note: Passage from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program is not automatic. It is subject to approval by the Academic Committee.