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Engage in problem-driven research with a truly global focus

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in International Relations trains scholars to conduct cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research across key areas of international affairs and political science. A combination of in depth, hands-on fieldwork and comprehensive theoretical study helps our Ph.D. students to uncover the meaningful questions that ultimately shape both their future research and their careers.

Developing tomorrow's thought leaders

With approximately 60 students engaged in coursework or research at any given time, the Ph.D. program is an integral and vibrant component of the Fletcher community. Working alongside our world-renowned faculty, Fletcher doctoral candidates acquire the theoretical and practical skills needed to produce research that will help shape future discourse on international relations. After completing their degrees, our graduates go on to successful high-level careers in academia, research, non-profit organizations, government, and the private sector.

Shaping your Ph.D.

Fletcher Ph.D. students shape their studies through a primary field of study, which allows them to pursue a program unique to their interests while also developing a breadth of foundational knowledge in a second field of study. Primary fields of study include:

Students seeking additional opportunities to individualize their studies and advance their research often complete coursework and conduct research at our various partner universities. Students may also cross-register for up to a quarter of their classes at a Tufts or Harvard graduate school.

Ph.D. Features

Our Ph.D. candidates come from all over the world, bringing perspectives and experiences that inform their research and goals. Get to know their stories and learn how they plan to help shape the future of international affairs.