Doctoral Program

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The Nunn School International Affair's PhD program provides an unparalleled opportunity for students with backgrounds in either politics or science and technology to deepen their understanding of international affairs through the advanced study of sub-fields such as international relations theory, international security, international political economy, comparative politics, and methods for social scientific research.

The Nunn School's exceptional faculty conduct research on a range of topics in the fields of international political economy, comparative politics, and international security policy. In addition, faculty members possess strong regional expertise in East Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The level of experience and diversity of interests among the faculty offer an extensive and enriching educational experience. The Nunn School also hosts a variety of programs that allow close interaction with scholars and practitioners of international affairs.

Admissions Overview

All qualified persons are equally welcome to seek admission to the PhD in International Affairs, Science and Technology (IAST) Program at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. The School admits approximately three to five doctoral students each year. Since the number of eligible applicants generally far exceeds the number of admission spots available, satisfying minimum admissions standards does not guarantee admission. Many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. The Graduate Review Committee will examine each applicant and determine the admissions decision. Notification of admission will be sent to all applicants via e-mail. Please include a functional e-mail address on your admission application. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin. The criteria used in determining each applicant’s eligibility for consideration shall include:

Pre-Master’s level:

  • Completion of a BA or BS degree in any discipline from an accredited institution

  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores (GRE test scores are valid for five years)

  • Completion of introductory courses in general economics, political science, and science or engineering

  • Demonstrated capability with information technology through coursework in computer programming, web design, human-computer interaction, Geographic Information Systems, or other acceptable coursework or work experience

  • Demonstrated proficiency in foreign language through two years study in a single language or, if English is not the applicant’s native language, a paper-TOEFL score of 550, computer score of 213, or Internet-based score of 100

  • A twenty- to thirty-page writing sample (solo authorship) that demonstrates research and writing ability on an advanced level

Post-Master's level:

  • Completion of a MA or MS degree in any discipline from an accredited institution

  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores (GRE test scores are valid for five years)

  • Completion of introductory courses in general economics, political science, and science or engineering

  • Demonstrated capability with information technology through coursework in computer programming, web design, human-computer interaction, Geographic Information Systems, or other acceptable coursework or work experience

  • Demonstrated proficiency in foreign language through two years study in a single language or, if English is not the applicant’s native language, a paper-TOEFL score of 550, computer score of 213, or Internet based score of 100

  • A twenty- to thirty-page writing sample (solo authorship) that demonstrates research and writing ability on an advanced level

The Graduate Review Committee makes its final admission decisions based on a combination of factors, including academic degrees and records, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, and relevant work experience.

Additional information about tuition, GRE and TOEFL scores, the application process, financial aid, and international student information is available via the graduate admissions website.