Ph.D. International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris, France, Europe | International Affairs

Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Program overview     |     Degree requirements     |     Stages of the program

Program overview

The Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy at AGS is modeled on the American doctoral system, and based in Paris. It allows you to develop in-depth expertise in a specific domain of international affairs while gaining the recognition that is instrumental to pursue advanced careers in academia, think tanks, international organizations, government research, or other domains of international relations.

A small, elite program

AGS welcomes doctoral candidates from around the world, and admits very few selected candidates every year. Admissions are based on your academic credentials as well as your research project.

AGS has specialized in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy since the school was founded in 1994. The school's faculty features reputed scholars conducting research at the forefront of their discipline, alongside former diplomats and other practitioners of international relations who help to bridge the scholarly work with the international arena. This specific expertise has allowed AGS to maintain the highest standards of academic excellence in an intimate setting.

A unique aspect of the Ph.D. program at AGS is the very close guidance provided to you throughout the doctoral process, from the formulation of your topic to your research methodology, to the writing and defense of your dissertation.

Strategically located in Paris

Paris is an ideal location for conducting doctoral research in International Relations. As an international hub, it is a strategic venue for doing research not only on French or European topics, but also on issues related to the rest of the world, especially Africa and the Middle East.

Paris forms a privileged platform to connect and conduct interviews with diplomats, government officials, members of intergovernment organizations, and NGO leaders. It also offers access to major libraries, archives, and special collections.

AGS integrates these resources in its programs and educational process through guest talks, site visits, and networking events giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the international scene of Paris.

You may opt for doing an internship in order to complement your scholarly research with field experience while develoing a network of useful contacts. AGS students typically intern with diplomatic/consular missions, intergovernmental organizations headquartered in Paris, NGOs, or news media outlets.

More information on internships here

A tailor-made curriculum

The Ph.D. program at AGS includes three semesters of coursework, taking place in Paris.

The curriculum features a majority of elective courses, allowing you to tailor the program around your research interests and careeer objectives. These elective courses cover such topics as conflict resolution, environmental policy, gender issues, geopolitics, and area studies: Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. They complement the required courses, which cover the disciplines of international relations theory, economics, international public law, diplomacy, and research methodology.

International Relations and Diplomacy Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete:

  • Five required courses

  • Seven elective courses, including two area courses

Note: Required as well as elective courses can be transferred from another university if they meet the standards of AGS.

More information on the curriculum

A closely guided research process

AGS will offer you the framework to pursue the research topic in which you are interested, helping you to structure it into a rigorous academic form and providing you with close guidance throughout the doctoral process.

After conducting a literature review to produce a synthesis of the existing material on the subject, you will work closely with an academic committee to develop a research design, including the formulation of your thesis and the choice of an appropriate methodology (comparative or case study, content analysis, historical analogy, etc.)

You then embark on a guided writing phase, receving counseling and editing from your advisor, resulting in a comprehensive dissertation to be defended before a jury of specialists.

Degree requirements

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

  • As early as during the admissions, identify a potential dissertation advisor. You may choose your doctoral advisor from the school's faculty or from a pool of accomplished international scholars working with AGS, according to your intended domain of research. External advisors may also be permitted upon approval by AGS.

  • Complete the graduate coursework (18 months to two years on a full-time basis, or less in the case of transferred credits).

  • Pass a pre-dissertation comprehensive examination. At this stage, the choice of dissertation advisor becomes definitive.

  • 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.

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