Courses & Degree Requirements

The Global Governance and Human Security PhD program requirements include:

  • 68 credits
  • Two (2) qualifying exams (core subjects, area of concentration)
  • Second language research competency

The Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program curriculum focuses on the outcomes that matter most to individuals: secure forms of economic welfare and human development; environmental stewardship and sustainability; public health; human rights; human security; political freedom; and the interrelationships among them.

Each newly admitted cohort completes a set of core courses during their first year in the program, after which they pursue their area of specialization. 

The program’s primary tracks mirror the interconnected strands of a set of global issues:

  • conflict resolution
  • the environment
  • gender
  • human rights and human security
  • global political economy
  • human development
  • global public health

Students who wish to explore a new area of inquiry can develop their own track and course of study.


Credit Requirements:  68 credits total

For course descriptions please click on the course

6 Core Courses (3 credits each - 18 credits total)

ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits

GGHS 711 Global Governance 3 credits

GGHS 713 International Relations Theory 3 credits

GGHS 715 - International Organizations 3 credits

GGHS 710  Human Security 3 credits

GGHS 712  Gender and Human Security 3 credits 

2 Research Methods courses (3 credits each)6 credits 4 courses from one of the following tracks: [3 credits each]         

Conflict Resolution
Gender, Human Rights, and Human Development
Global Political Economy
Self-designed concentration

12 credits Four (4) Elective courses [3 credits each]            

May be drawn from any concentration or methods course
May include up to 6 credits for field internship

12 credits Two (2) semesters of Colloquium attendance (2 credits each)
 4 credits Participation in two (2) sequential Doctoral Research Groups
 6 credits Dissertation, including successful oral defense
 10 credits TOTAL CREDITS

68 credits

The normal progress expectation for students will be to complete core courses by the end of the first year, complete all courses in their concentration and their qualifying exams by the end of the second year, and to complete all requirements for the degree within five years, although many students will be encouraged to complete their work in four years.

Sample Dissertation Topics

"Environment, states and international organizations: The role of global environmental conventions in protecting the environment"

"The Emergence of Private Governance in a Nonwestern Context: The case of South Korea"

"Transformations in Conservation Governance and Implications for Human Security: The Case of Kenya's Northern Rangelands"