For current students and faculty of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance 

Department Course Schedules

Internship Opportunities

Internships can provide excellent learning opportunities, sources for professional networking, and possibilities for employment. This page provides a sampling of opportunities available to ConRes students, in Boston and abroad. The list below is not exhaustive, so you are encouraged to reach out to organizations on this list or other groups in which you are interested. You should also consult with UMass Boston's Office of Career Service & Internships, Beacon Careers Online, UMass Boston faculty members, staff, fellow students, and others who may point you to interesting opportunities.

When searching for an internship, consider the following:

  • What industries or career fields interest you?
  • Do you need a paid internship, or can you accommodate an unpaid opportunity?
  • What are your transportation needs? Is driving possible or do you require easy access to public transportation?
  • Are you willing (and able) to relocate temporarily (i.e. for summer internships)?

Below is a sampling of what’s available to Conflict Resolution MA students: 






Massachusetts Peace Action Legislation (MPAL)

Boston Area

Description: MPAL is seeking students, recent graduates, or young activists who want to help and want experience building political power for peace. Choose from 1 of 4 specialties: Communications, Political/Legislative, Organizing or Fundraising.

Requirements: Flexible Schedule, Commitment to grassroots organizing for progressive social change; Strong writing, analytical and interpersonal skills; Desire to work as part of a small grassroots team

Duration of internship: At least 10 hours a week for at least 10 weeks.

Fall term: Sept - Dec; Spring term: Feb - May; Summer term: May - Aug each year.

Start and end dates are flexible as long as the time commitment is met.

Compensation: Unpaid, but a $300 stipend is awarded on completion

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Cole Harrison, Executive Director

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) Internships (3)Massachusetts AreaMOPC is pleased to welcome students from our department to work on their exciting conflict resolution projects and their partnerships with community mediation centers across Massachusetts. All MOPC internships are unpaid, and have a rolling application deadline. To apply, email cover letter and resume to the appropriate contact person. Check out their website for more information:     

Description: Research Study Interns conduct photographic evaluations of four youth conflict resolution programs in urban and rural settings, resulting in the development of digital stories that document the lives of a diverse group of at-risk/vulnerable youth populations. The students will gain practical knowledge in youth conflict resolution programming and effective program evaluation on conflict resolution projects. 

Requirements: N/A

Duration: 8 - 10 hours per week

Contact info: Mads Palihapitiya, Associate Director of Research


Description: Grant Program Interns can work in a variety of areas depending on interests including analysis of data collected from grant-funded centers, program design and development, fundraising activities, developing outreach/education/marketing materials, contributing to public collaboration facilitation/training/engagements as arise during internship

Requirements:  Interest/Experience in community mediation and dispute resolution program design/administration. Excellent research, writing, editing and communication skills required, graphic design/social media skills preferred for projects related to outreach .

Duration of internship: 8 - 10 hours per week for 12 -14 weeks

Contact info: Rosalind A. Cresswell, Community Mediation Program Manager


Description: Community Mediation Interns engage in case intake and coordination, training and outreach and case observation/co-mediation. Students without mediation training may work on general nonprofit management, fundraising, social media outreach and data entry.

Duration of internship: 4 - 40 hours per week, for one semester or more depending on interest

Location: Centers are located in Pittsfield, Cambridge, Brockton, Lowell, Vineyard Haven, Framingham, Beverly, Greenfield. Some opportunities to work remotely exist.

Contact info: Rosalind A. Cresswell, Community Mediation Program Manager


Restorative Justice Internship: Repairing Harm Course


MCI Concord, MCI Shirly & the Northeastern Correctional Center

Description: Part of the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development (CPDD). Focusing on implementing restorative justice practices, education and programs in the Massachusetts juvenile justice and prison systems.  Restorative justice practices encourage offenders to identify the underlying needs in their own lives that become the root causes for criminal behavior, take responsibility for the harm they cause, encourage empathy through humanizing victims, and desist from further criminal behavior.   The Repairing Harm curriculum is a journey from self-exploration and the identification of root causes of criminal behavior, to taking responsibility for harm, feeling compassion for victims and families, making amends where possible and finally finding meaning in the time of incarceration. The Repairing Harm internship is really an apprenticeship in restorative justice practices in a prison context.  Interns will gain facilitation experience, deepen their knowledge of restorative practices, and learn about the prison system.   Internship responsibilities include some administrative responsibilities and research.

Duration: A  minimum of fifteen weeks (fall semester start) with the option of doing the second semester (spring), but not required.  One day a week held in all three prisons.  Hours vary by institution but range from two to three hours a session plus processing time.

Compensation: Unpaid

Application Deadline - September 15

Contact Info: If you are interested in applying, please contact to schedule an interview. 617-875-0266

The Center for Mediation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC)Ecuador

Description: CEMPROC is a nonprofit organization based in Georgia and Quito, Ecuador with the purpose of reducing conflict in Latin America. The intern will assist with the operations and programs of CEMPROC in Ecuador; the intern’s responsibilities will be based on what the priorities are at the given time.

Requirements: BA in relevant subject, conversant in Spanish, willingness to travel

Duration of internship: Full-time, three months (duration set by mutual agreement)

Compensation: Unpaid

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Jeffrey Pugh, Assistant Professor

Institute for Cultural Diplomacy


Pelham, Mass &

Berlin, Germany

Description: ICD's goal is to empower young people through the application of cultural diplomacy initiatives at the local, national and international levels. Responsibilities include: marketing and acquiring speakers for international conferences, documenting events, conducting interviews and writing articles.
Requirements: Currently enrolled students, flexibility of schedule
Duration of internship: Full time, 3 months
Compensation: Unpaid
Application Deadline: Rolling
Website: Internship Opportunities at the ICD
Contact info:

ConRes 697: Intergroup Dialogue and Facilitation with Karen RossUMass Boston & Online component

Description: Students will facilitate dialogue with participants from all over the world through Soliya's 7 week Connect Program. The online cultural exchange program is the facilitation training & practicum component of the 6 credit Dialogue & Facilitation course. Soliya is an international nonprofit preparing the next generation with the skills, attitudes, and commitment to engage with difference constructively.

Requirements: Enrolled in dialogue/facilitation course

Duration of internship: 3 months (a semester)

Compensation: Unpaid

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Karen Ross, Assistant Professor

Community Catalysts                     Boston Area                    

Description: Community Catalyst's mission is to organize and sustain a powerful consumer voice to ensure that all individuals and communities can influence the decisions that affect their health. The Communications Intern responsibilities include daily news monitoring and preparation of a daily email with top health care news articles that goes out more than 2k subscribers. Monitoring and creating content for Twitter and Facebook; producing and editing posts for Community Catalyst’s newsletter and blog; and providing editing support for the organization’s publications.

Requirements: Flexible schedule, strong writing and communications skills, commitment to social justice

Duration of internship: 16 weeks, part-time, negotiable start and end dates

Compensation: Paid

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: 617.287.5550,



Organizations with    Internship Programs                                       



Mediation Works Inc. MWIBostonDescription: MWI provides interns with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of mediation and negotiation in a dynamic ADR firm. Although MWI internships are unpaid, interns are provided with opportunities to participate in MWI mediation and negotiation trainings, network with ADR professionals, and where appropriate, mediate cases. Click here for more information.
Red Cross   Cambridge, MA

Description: Red Cross interns are involved in projects critical to the day-to-day work of our nonprofit organization, gaining an insider’s perspective on the Red Cross humanitarian mission as well as service delivery at the local and national levels

Requirements: Must be enrolled in a graduate degree program

Duration: 10-week duration

Compensation: Offers Paid and Unpaid internships

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: 617.274-5325

International Labor Organization


Geneva, Switzerland; regional offices all over world

Description: The UN's specialized agency (ILO) aims to promote decent employment opportunities and enhance social protection & work conditions. Interns will support the ILO team, accompany senior management, participate in meetings and contribute to analytical work.

Requirements: Must be enrolled in final year of graduate program

Duration: 3 to 6 months, starts on the 1st or 15th of each month

Compensation: Yes, if intern isn't supported by university

Application Deadline: Rolling (Positions posted only during January and June)


Contact info:

United Nations University


Varies: Tokyo, Bonn, Accra, New York, etc.

Description: The United Nations University (UNU) is a postgraduate teaching organization in Japan that aims to resolve global problems of human survival, development and welfare through collaborative research and education. Responsibilities may include: research and writing for institutional development, event and meeting coordination, copy-editing, disseminating newsletters.  

Requirements: Current graduate student, under 32 years, no more than 5 years of experience in their field

Duration: Mid-Jan to June, 40 hour week

Compensation: Paid

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Mr. Rachad Nassar;

Learning Inside Out Network (LION)

Easton, MA



Description: The LION (Learning Inside Out Network) program is a semester-long international internship and research opportunity for students interested in the theory and practice of global security. Interns will conduct independent research in Armenia or Serbia, participate in Armenia's two-week Summer Institute and have their research published/presented at an international security conference in Armenia.

Requirements: All social science majors w/ 3.0 GPA or above, strong writing skills. Prior research experience is desirable and a course in research methods is recommended

Duration: 3 week summer institute & 4 week internship w/ an NGO, think-tank or media organization.

Compensation: Limited Funds Available

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Anna Ohanyan and Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal

U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program                  Washington D.C. and Abroad

Description: The U.S. State Dept. Internship Program is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to gain practical & professional experience in foreign affairs environment in D.C. and abroad. Responsibilities may include: participating in meetings with senior gov't officials, draft, edit or contribute to materials used by policy makers; support international meetings and conferences

Requirements: US Citizenship, Background check, Random Drug Testing, Enrolled Graduate Student or has been out of school not more than 5 months & plans to return, Minimum 2.5 GPA

Duration: 40 hours per week, Spring:Jan - April; Summer:May - Aug; Fall:Sept. - Dec

Compensation: Unpaid and Paid Opportunities for Pathway Internship Programs

Application Deadline: March 1, 2017


Superior Court of the District of ColumbiaWashington D.C.

Description: The Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division within D.C.'s Superior Court is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to be involved in the development and completion of two mediation based projects.
Requirements: U.S. Citizens or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residency, at least 18 years old, who is a student. Applicant enrollment for the current/upcoming semester in an law or graduate degree program taking at least a half-time course load is a requirement.
Duration: 40 hours per week, for 10 weeks during May, June, July and August time period.
Compensation: Unpaid
Application Deadline: April 21, 2017

World Values Survey Association    Remote

Description: Volunteership open to students of different specialties in Social Sciences and Humanities. Tasks would include literature search and review, working with design plans, translate information materials, etc. Completion results in Certification of Internship with WVSA and a Letter of Recommendation for WVSA President.

Requirements: 2-7 hours per week, optional  1 month or 3 month duration

Compensation: unpaid

Application Deadline: no deadline

Website: WVSA


Fellowship Programs         



Coro Fellows Program in Public Policy

Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh,

San Francisco, &

St. Louis

Description: Coro Fellows participate in a series of full-time projects across a variety of sectors in public affairs, including a final independent project of the Fellow’s choosing. You can apply based on your preferred location.

Requirements: Demonstrated some leadership either academically, or within a community and have an interest in public affair; ability to work within a diverse group, commitment to public service, flexibility and intellectual curiosity.

Duration: Varies by location

Compensation: Varies by location

Application Deadline: January 18, 2017


Contact info: Varies by location

Harvard University: PON Summer FellowshipBoston Area

Description: PON Summer Fellowship Program offers fellowship grants to students in Boston area schools, doing internships or undertaking summer research projects in negotiation and dispute resolution in partnership with public, nonprofit or academic organizations.

Requirements: All returning graduate students enrolled at schools in the Boston area. Eligible internships and research projects must be unpaid, undertaken in partnership with a public, nonprofit or academic organization,

Duration: Eligible internships must be minimum of four weeks in duration.

Compensation: The maximum grant is $3500. Applicants are encouraged to seek supplementary financial assistance from other sources.

Application Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2016


Contact info: Julie Barrett

Join for JusticeBoston Area

Description: The Fellowship trains Jewish young adults (ages 21-30) to organize with both privileged and oppressed communities to effectively fight against structural injustice and inequality. If not already employed, Fellows apply for pre-approved full-time paid jobs as community organizers.

Requirements: Jewish young adults, ages 21-30

Duration: Year-long

Compensation: Paid

Application Deadline: Rolling


Contact info: Tali Smookler, 617.350.9994 ext. 208

Global Health Fellowship Programs                                                      Washington D.C.                 

Description: The Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II is the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) premier health fellowship program that identifies and supports diverse, technically excellent professionals.

Requirements: Current Students, US citizenship or permanent residency required

Duration: Three months to one-year

Compensation: Paid

Application Deadline: February 1, 2017



Internship Networks



Internship InternHub                      


Boston Area

Description: Intern Hub is a unique, centralized website where employers and students in the Greater Boston area can turn for internship resources and support. It offers a variety of helpful tools and resources,student questionnaires, etc.


Third Sector New EnglandBoston Area

Description: Third Sector New England provides management and leadership resources to help nonprofits support healthy, just communities.


Contact info: or 617.523.6565

The Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN)Africa, Asia, the Americas

Description: The PCDN Network is one of the premier sites in the world focused on international development, peacebuilding, humanitarian relief, social entrepreneurship, international affairs and more. We are a one-stop-shop to inspire, connect, inform and provide the tools and resources to scale social change. In addition, PCDN gives members the tools, resources and jobs to lead successful lives and careers in the social change sector.


Fellowship, Grants and Funding

Student Funding

Students of Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance.  Funding for conferences and seed grants for research.  Link to policy and how to apply. 


Matz Fellowship 

Conflict Resolution MA and Certificate Students who have completed at least 9 credits and have secured an experiential learning opportunity are eligible to apply for this award for up to $6000. Link to more information and application. 

History of the Matz Fellowship

Donate to the Matz Fellowship 

Capstone and Master's Project Library

Capstone and Master's Project Library

GGHS PhD Student Handbook

What To Expect in Your First Year

You will be assigned a Faculty Advisor and, if you are a Graduate Assistant, an Assistantship Supervisor. Your Faculty Advisor is there as someone for you to talk to about questions or concerns that arise in navigating your first year in the GGHS Program (of course, you should also feel free to talk to the Program Director, or any of the Program faculty).  There is no presumption that your assigned first-year Faculty Advisor will become your Dissertation Committee Chair. Your Committee Chair will become your primary academic advisor as soon as you choose one. We recommend you schedule a meeting with your Faculty Advisor early in 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 for more details.

Your course schedule is available through WISER.   

The GGHS Program is designed on a cohort model.  Students who come in together spend their first year taking the Program’s core courses together, and learning together.  This means that as a general rule, all your first-year courses are required, and will be taken with your cohort.  You will register for these courses yourself through wiser.  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.

Details on GGHS Program requirements can be found here.

Advanced Standing

“Advanced Standing” is the credit you can receive toward the requirements of the PhD program if you have a Masters 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, track, and methods courses.  In practice, this means that you do not need to take the 4 courses of non-track electives listed in the program requirements.

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

Taking the Qualifying Exam

In the summer following your first year, you will take your Qualifying Examinations. The purpose of the exam is to demonstrate your grasp of the concepts associated with Global Governance and Human Security and apply them to issues of the day and to make a coherent and cogent argument. Qualifying Exams take place over 5 days and are ‘take home’ and ‘open book.’ For an explanation of ‘best practices’ please see attachment.

The Qualifying Examination will normally be given at or just before the beginning of students’ third semester in the program. Students will be expected to answer two questions from a set of five questions asked. Answers must be no more than 2,500 words, not including list of references.

The exam will normally be distributed to students at 9 am on a Monday morning, and are due by 11:59 pm on the Friday of the same week. Exams questions will each be read by at least two members of the core GGHS faculty. Exams as a whole will be graded as high pass, pass, or fail. Once the exam is graded, the student will be informed by the GPD, and a hard copy of Dissertation Tracking Form #2 will be put into the student’s file.

Students who are assessed a Pass on their first sitting for the exam will be allowed to retake the exam once. Students who fail the exam a second time may not continue in the GGHS program. Students may not take the second qualifying exam until they pass the first.

Qualifying exams must be evaluated/assessed by a committee of at least 5 faculty members. The committee will be composed of the GGHS GPD and at least 3 faculty members of have experience teaching at least one of the 6 core classes in the curriculum. 

  • All evaluation committee members read all submitted essay responses.
  • All committee members prepare comments and help to assist the GPD to compile a set of feedback for each student taking qualifying exams.
  •  Members of the faculty committee will all be listed when results and feedback are communicated to students.
  •  Ideally, faculty members on sabbatical or other types of leave will not have to serve on the Quals evaluation committee while they are on leave.  But numerical necessities might require they be asked to do so occasionally.
  • When committee members differ in their assessments of students’ satisfactory performance, the committee should vote. A majority of votes determines the assessment outcome.

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

Qualifying Exam Advice

Dissertation Tracking Forms and Instructions

What To Expect in Your Second Year

In your second year you will take a mix of required and elective courses. You are expected to register for courses yourself, and should contact staff only for courses that require registration permission, or if particular obstacles to registration arise. Of the five electives you are expected to take over the course of the year one is a methods course and four are “track” courses (see below).

You are responsible for finding elective courses on your own. These courses should be designed to develop the knowledge and skills you will need for your dissertation proposal and writing. For example, if you are interested in conducting onsite interviews but have no experience doing so, you should consider taking a class in field research methods; if you are hoping to have an environmental scientist on your dissertation committee, the second year is the time to take courses in the School of Environmental Science. Some courses students have taken in the past can be found here: List of Second Year Courses Options

Required Courses

You will take Doctoral Research Group both semesters, Gender and Human Security (usually in the Fall semester) and Doctoral Research Design (in the Spring semester). Doctoral Research Groups (both semesters) and Doctoral Research Design are oriented toward designing your dissertation research project and drafting your dissertation proposal. 

GGHS Tracks 

The degree is designed around tracks, and you should consult with your Dissertation Chair about the appropriate mix of courses within one of the following tracks:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Environment
  • Gender, Human Rights, and Human Development
  • Global Political Economy
  • Global Health

Self-designed tracks are also possible.

Elective Courses Outside UMass Boston

There are a number of options available to you. If you would like to take a course at another university, please contact the Graduate Program Director the semester prior to the course start. The course must provide unique content NOT available through UMass Boston coursework and be approved in advance. The Graduate Program Director will provide guidance on the process. Note that courses taken outside of UMass Boston are not covered by Graduate Assistantship tuition and fee waivers.

Choosing a Dissertation Committee

Dissertation committees normally consist of a Chair and three additional members (a fifth member may be added if there is a specific need for the extra member). All members of the committee must hold terminal degrees (normally a PhD), and must be active researchers in a field relevant to the dissertation topic. All additions and changes to committees must be accompanied by a new or adjusted Dissertation Tracking Form A, and kept on file in the CRHSGG Department office. Form A should be filled out as soon as you have chosen a chair, even if you have not chosen any other members of your committee. 

Students should choose a dissertation committee chair in their second semester in the program, and must have chosen one prior to taking the first qualifying exam.  The committee chair is the person you will be working most closely with in preparing your dissertation, and should be a person who can provide substantive and methodological assistance to your dissertation project, and one with whom you work well.

Of the other members of the committee, at least one must be affiliated with the GGHS program, and at least one must be from outside UMass Boston.  For members of the committee from outside UMass Boston, a current CV must be included with Form A.  In all cases prospective committee members must explicitly indicate their willingness to serve, either by signing Form A or by sending an email in lieu of signing.

Taking Your Second Qualifying Exam with Dissertation Committee

A student’s committee for the second qualifying examination shall consist of the Chair and at least two other members of the Dissertation Committee as identified on GGHS Dissertation Tracking Form A. If possible, all four members should be included.

The examination will normally be given no earlier than the student’s fourth semester in the program. Students are expected to prepare a 20-25 page dissertation proposal, including abstract, that identifies the substantive focus and analytic approach of the dissertation, and relevant existing literatures.

The oral examination shall be scheduled for two hours, and shall include the student, the committee members, and any other observers agreed to by both the student and the committee chair. Only committee members shall have a vote. During the oral examination, the Committee may examine the student on both the content of the proposal specifically, and on the relationship between the proposed research and the fields of global governance and human security more generally. All members of the examination committee must tentatively approve the proposal before the oral examination is scheduled, and agree that it is time for this examination to be held.

All members of the Committee must approve the proposal for the student to pass the examination and proceed to Candidacy. The concerns of committee members who vote “Approve with reservations” must be addressed prior to the student proceeding to candidacy. One or more votes “do not approve” constitute a failure of the second qualifying examination. Students may retake the examination once, after substantially revising the proposal. Students who fail the exam a second time may not continue in the GGHS program.

Your Third Year and Beyond

In your third year you must/should register for the required 10 required Dissertation Research credits (GGHS 899). These 10 credits can be distributed across the fall and spring semester as you choose. If you are on a Graduate Assistantship it is imperative that you register for these credits in your third year. If you do not, you will have to pay for them out of pocket. 

Most third year students have completed all necessary course credits. However students on an assistantship can choose to take a small number of additional courses, using their tuition remission.  

Beyond Your Third Year

When you have completed all the required credits for the PhD, but are still writing your dissertation, you must remain in “full-time status” at UMass Boston by registering for, and paying, the “Program Fee.” You will not be allowed to graduate without paying it for the semester between you candidacy and your graduation.

Doctoral students must complete and defend their dissertation within 8 years of entering the program. (Student may petition for an extension in extenuating circumstances, but extensions cannot be guaranteed.)

The Dissertation

GGHS Dissertation Guidelines

The completion and defense of a dissertation is the culmination of a doctoral degree. Dissertation formats vary across disciplines and countries. Typically, GGHS dissertations follow one of two formats common in North American and many international universities:

  • A single authored monograph (sometimes called “book-style”) dissertation project: This format often consists of a 5-8 chapter, single authored manuscript of 50,000 to 80,000 words. This is the most common format in the GGHS program. The chapters typically include an introduction, research objectives, a critical literature review, discussion of theoretical and conceptual foundations and frameworks used, methods, results/findings, interpretation, discussion and conclusions.
  • A “Trio of published and publishable articles” dissertation project. In this case, two articles must have received final acceptance for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly venue. The third paper must be judged by the dissertation committee to be ready for submission to a peer reviewed journal. While individual papers should be stand alone publications, taken together they should also embody a recognizable, unifying theme and research project.
    • Doctoral students must consult with their doctoral advisor and doctoral committee members about venues before submission. Such publication venues should be included in the Web of Science Journal Citation Reports. All three published and publishable papers must make original empirical, theoretical, and/or methodological contributions.
    • Typically, the “full dissertation” for defense should include the three published and publishable papers, as well as an introductory paper/chapter and a conclusion which explicitly discuss the overall research project and its contributions to knowledge and research. A critical review of the literature must also be included. This might be an additional stand alone paper/chapter, or it might be included within the other parts of the dissertation.
    • Typically, papers in the dissertation are single authored. If any portion is to be co-authored (typically first authored), this would require specific authorization and agreement from all members of the dissertation committee.

In either format, the dissertation should constitute a coherent, explicitly related set of chapters and papers. Further, consistent with UMass Boston rules and widely shared professional norms, a dissertation is deemed to complete the requirements for a doctorate only by members of the candidate’s dissertation committee and following a public defense and an oral examination (see below). The judgment/assessment of external article or book publishers or peer reviewers do not and cannot replace the assessment of the doctoral committee.

These dissertation format guidelines are program requirements, applying to all GGHS doctoral candidates who defend their dissertation proposals after 1 December, 2017.

Finally, doctoral students should understand that the choice of dissertation format has very significant implications for post-doctoral job, career and publishing opportunities.  As such, the choice of format must be stipulated in the dissertation proposal and approved when the proposal is defended by the candidate and approved by the doctoral committee.

Completing the Dissertation, Scheduling a Defense & Graduating

Completing the Dissertation: Doctoral students should be working closely with their committee chair and members of their committee as they draft and complete the dissertation.  In cooperation with their committee chair, students should plan their dissertation completion and defense about 3-4 months in advance.  They should not expect to be able to defend immediately upon finishing a complete draft of the dissertation.

According to UMass Boston procedures and expectations, doctoral committee members should review a full draft of the dissertation prior to a defense being scheduled. All committee members should have read the complete dissertation and agreed that the student is ready to schedule a defense prior to the defense being scheduled.

  • Committee members should have at least one month to review a full draft of the dissertation, in order to give feedback to doctoral students and in order to be able to assess whether a student is ready to move toward a defense.
  • Committee members may or may not want to review a revised draft before agreeing to schedule a defense. If they want to see revisions, they should have at least 3 weeks to review a revised draft of the dissertation before the defense.

Once all committee members agree that a defense date should be scheduled, Doctoral students should coordinate scheduling with their committee chair, all members of their committee, and the GGHS departmental staff (Kelly Ward) to schedule a time that works for all, in a room that can accommodate the defense. All members of the committee must participate in the defense, but some members may participate virtually (via Skype or other options).

The Defense:  Doctoral defenses are usually scheduled to take 2.5 hours. The dissertation defense consists of two components, a public lecture and an oral examination. The oral examination will normally be scheduled immediately after the public lecture. 

  • The lecture is open to the university community and the broader public. The candidate should expect to present the dissertation research in a talk of roughly half an hour, with another half hour reserved for questions from the audience and answers from the candidate. Committee members may ask questions at this stage, but they will likely reserve their questions for the subsequent oral examination.
  • The oral examination will include only the candidate and the committee members, as well as any other participants that both the candidate and all the committee members agree to invite. The audience attending the public lecture is asked to leave before the oral examination begins.

At the end of the oral examination, the candidate is asked to leave the room to allow the committee members some time to deliberate and discuss the oral examination and the dissertation.  The candidate and any remaining audience members are then asked to return to the room for the committee’s decision. 

The student can pass the final oral examination only with the unanimous approval of the members of the committee. If, at the final examination, two members cast negative votes, the candidate will be informed that he or she has not passed the examination. If there is only one negative vote, the degree will be held up pending satisfactory resolution of the objections by the student and the dissenting member of the committee. Final program approval is represented by the signature of the graduate program director.

The dissertation committee generally requires some revision of the dissertation following the oral examination. Required revisions can range from minor changes to the substantial. The candidate must complete these revisions to the committee’s satisfaction before depositing the dissertation with the Office of Graduate Studies (OSG).

The OGS format editor will then review the dissertation for format and will indicate any necessary further revisions. Once these are made and the format editor has approved them, the final submission of the dissertation to OGS can take place. University rules about the formatting of the dissertation, and dates and deadlines for submission, can be found here.

Graduation:  All doctoral students MUST meet UMass Boston deadlines for applying to graduate, listed here:

Doctoral degrees are awarded only in May and December.  Note that for May graduation the dissertation must be defended, revised, had the revisions approved by the committee chair, and be deposited with the Office of Graduate Studies by April 10 for format editing review. For December graduation the equivalent date is December 1 (this is what the Graduate School means by “initial submission’).

Dissertations must follow a required format. There are OGS format editors who review your dissertation and guide you through the process of meeting the standards. Details of the requirements and deadlines for each step are described here:  

Note that these requirements include a hard deadline for submission of the final version.

Working as a Graduate Assistant

Students on Graduate Assistantships will normally be funded through the assistantship for three years, subject to satisfactory progress toward the PhD degree. Graduate assistantships pay stipends over a nine-month period beginning in September; they do not pay stipends over the summer. They include a waiver of tuition costs up to a maximum of 12 credits per semester.*  Students on regular graduate assistantships should therefore be able to complete their required coursework without having to pay any tuition out-of-pocket.

Graduate assistantships formally require 18 hours of work per week during the semester for the assistantship supervisor to whom the student is assigned (note that the assistantship supervisor is a different role from a dissertation committee chair; they may be the same person, but often will not be).  Students are assigned to be either research assistants (RAs) or teaching assistants (TAs).

Graduate assistants will normally be assigned as an RA in their first year in the doctoral program.  In the second year they will normally be assigned half as a TA (for 9 hours per week) and half as an RA.  TA assignments will generally be for undergraduate courses in cognate fields to GGHS, such as political science, women’s and gender studies, communication, etc., and orientation will be provided before TA duties begin.

In the third year graduate assistants will normally be assigned as RAs unless they request an assignment as a TA (adding to your teaching portfolio and experience can be useful if you are considering a career in academia), subject to Department and University needs.  Students on assistantship are expected to remain in residence in the Boston area for at least one semester of their third year even if they are assigned as an RA, and performing RA duties when not in residence the other semester is subject to agreement by the RA supervisor (TAs, of course, need to be in residence in the Boston area).

PhD students in their third year of assistantship funding who seek to be non-resident at UMass Boston for less than half of the academic year should discuss options with their doctoral advisor, the GGHS graduate program director and the CRHSGG department chair.  Students will need to submit a written request, describing their plans for the third year to their advisor, the GPD and the department chair.  Importantly, such students should either have defended their dissertation research proposal before being non-resident or outline a credible plan for the defense of their proposal in the early fall semester of their third year.

* The tuition waiver may not be applied to undergraduate courses, online courses or other courses offered by the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS), or off-campus courses. 

Applying for Departmental Conference and Research Funding

The department funds graduate student travel through two mechanisms.

  1. Funding travel to present papers at conferences. 
  2. Funding seed grants for research

Click here for department funding policy and instructions.

Professional Development Grants through the GSA found here.

List of helpful forms

Degree Requirement Tracking Form

Qualifying Exam Advice

List of Second Year Courses Options

Advanced Standing Form

PhD progression and dissertation stages/forms  

You can use this useful Degree Requirement Tracking Form to help you through the process.

  • Students are responsible for their own progress toward the PhD degree.  While faculty, particularly a student’s committee chair and the GPD, will assist when possible in administering the required paperwork, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand the sequence of requirements toward the degree, and to ensure that the various forms are filled out in that sequence.
  • It is the students responsibility to fill out these forms and obtain the proper signatures for each stage
  • There are 7 sequential dissertation tracking forms, covering the process from identification of a Committee Chair in the student’s first year to the final dissertation defense.  Forms A & B require action at the Department level only, while stage 1 - 5  require signature by the Dean of Graduate Studies
  • The form for each step must be signed by the GPD (and, where necessary, the Dean of Graduate Studies) before student/candidate can proceed to the next step.
  • Hard copies of all forms must be kept in the student dissertation files housed in department main office. .  This will provide both the student and the program faculty with a concrete record of progress through the program.


PROPOSAL DEFENSE FORMS: (GGHS doctoral students must complete all three of these forms (Stage 1, 2 and 3) in conjunction with their dissertation proposal defense)


DIY Expense Reports

For Faculty

For Students

DIY expense reports to be used when seeking reimbursement for department awarded grants or travel funds.  

Commencement Awards

Department Awards:

  • Roni Lipton Student Mentor Award- Announced in 2018, this award has been established in honor of longtime Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Associate Director Roni Lipton, an exceptional mentor to our students for many years, recognizes extraordinary peer mentorship and community building by a student in the department.

    • Sarah Beth Fascitelli (2018)

  • Ambassador John W. McDonald Award for Leadership and Innovation in Global Governance and Conflict Resolution This award is given to a graduating student in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance for showing leadership and innovation in global governance and conflict resolution.

    This award is inspired by the life and work of Ambassador McDonald—a lawyer, diplomat, international civil servant, development expert and peacebuilder. His career has been dedicated to the integration of thought and action in solving global challenges through innovative means at all levels of governance.

    • JinSeop (Jay) Jang (2018)

    • Saadia Ahmad (2017)

    • Samiullah Mahdi (2016)

Conflict Resolution Program Awards: 

  • Academic Excellence in Conflict Resolution - This award recognizes excellence in academic work in the field of conflict resolution.  It is given in recognition of outstanding academic performance in research, written work, and/or classroom discussion.

    • Daniel Green Certificate Program (2016)   

    • Emily Schkeryantz and Savannah Williams(Master's program (2016)

    • Teresa Yeh (2017)

    • Nancy Ramer (2018)

  • Conflict Resolution Book Award -This award is given in recognition of extraordinary work in the conflict resolution program. It recognizes excellence across both coursework and the capstone project.

    • Enrico Manalo (2018)

  • Donald Paulson Service Award in Conflict Resolution - This award recognizes outstanding service in to the field of conflict resolution, both within the program at UMass Boston, and to the wider conflict resolution field.

    • Josie Patterson (2018)

    • Kweta Henry (2017)

    • Richard Barbieri (2016)

Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program Awards:

  • GGHS Excellence in Dissertation Research Award -This award recognizes extraordinary excellence in doctoral research by a GGHS doctoral student who has either successfully defended a doctoral dissertation, or published a portion of doctoral research as an article in a high impact peer-reviewed venue, in the previous 12 months

    • Natalia Escobar Pemberthy & Yuliya Rashchupkina (2018)

  • GGHS Excellence in Community Engagement and Leadership Award -This award recognizes extraordinary excellence by a GGHS graduate student or recent alum in the areas of community engagement, community service, political/policymaking leadership and/or applied policy or political action. Such leadership and engagement may be achieved at UMass Boston, or within other local, state, national or international communities.

    • Charla Burnett (2018)

International Relations Master's Program Awards 

  • Outstanding Achievement in International Relations This award recognizes outstanding scholarly achievements in the field of international relations.  It is given to a student whose performance in courses and also in other scholarly endeavors deserves special recognition.

    • Ira Kassiel (2018)

    • Jacey Taft  (2017)

    • George Fakhry (2016)

  • Academic Excellence in International Relations - This award recognizes excellence in academic work in the field of international relations.  It is given in recognition of outstanding scholarly performance and overall academic record.

    • William Foster-Nolan (2018)

    • Ugonna Ishionwu  (2017)

    • Stephen Norris (2016)

  • MAIR Capstone/Thesis Award - This award recognizes recognizes exceptional work in a capstone or MA thesis project.

    • ​Shaheen Brandon Merhej (2018)

Event Archive
  • Check out some of the exciting things we have done!

Virtual Info Session

Conflict Resolution Virtual Info Session 

International Relations Virtual Info Sessions


Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Spring 2018


Fall 2017

Summer 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013



Course Substitution/Waiver From for Grad Students

Please visit the Registrar's website for a variety of forms including:

  • Graduate Transfer Credit Approval Form
  • Certificate Program Application (Graduate Student Add a Certificate)
  • Leave of Absence Request

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