The PhD program at American University's School of International Service (SIS) trains students to produce new knowledge of the highest scholarly caliber. The program prepares students for careers as teachers and scholars at universities and research institutes in both the private and public sectors.
The School of International Service is committed to a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of international relations. The School of International Service does not embrace or promote any particular theoretical school or method of analysis. Its tradition is one that values theoretical diversity, intellectual breadth, analytical rigor, and scholarly excellence. SIS is committed to maintaining among its faculty and within its doctoral program the expertise needed for the full range of rigorous analysis of cross-national phenomena.
Our curriculum offers excellent preparation in the foundational fields of transnational study: Comparative and Regional Studies, International Relations and Social Theory. Our students also take a two-course multiple-methodology sequence that trains them in theories of knowledge and in the breadth of qualitative and quantitative research techniques used in the social sciences today. To ensure the highest quality, these core seminars are limited to PhD students only. Once students acquire a firm foundation, they have considerable opportunities for pursuing further study with depth and focus. SIS offers programs in Comparative and Regional Studies, International Communication, International Development, International Economic Policy, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Politics, Global Environmental Policy and United States Foreign Policy. Students are also welcome to develop their own field of specialization. Students plan their programs with the Director of Doctoral Studies, the Doctoral Program Academic Adviser and individual faculty. Our emphasis is on tailoring the program to fit each student's needs.
The School of International Service values diversity among its student population, drawing qualified applicants from all over the United States and beyond. Our program promotes a cooperative and congenial environment among students and between students and faculty.
Our students are encouraged to submit articles to academic journals and to engage in collaborative work with faculty members. They also receive financial support to present conference papers. SIS PhD students have recently published journal articles in Alternatives, International Studies Quarterly, Middle East Insight, PS: Political Science and Politics, Security Studies, and Third World Quarterly.
Students interested in entering the academic job-market have the opportunity to participate in a mentored teaching program that provides classroom teaching experience.