UMass Boston

Global Governance & Human Security PhD

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Prepare to provide intellectual leadership as an academic or practitioners in nongovernment agencies, media, national governments, think tanks, and the private sector.

UMass Boston's Global Governance & Human Security (GGHS) PhD program combines interdisciplinary knowledge with hands-on research experience to prepare you to become a creative global problem solver. Focus on solutions that matter most to individuals, communities, and nations: economic welfare and human development, ecological sustainability, peace, public health, education, human rights and political freedom, and the interrelationships among them.

Careers & Skills

Develop transdisciplinary skills in research design and methods and utilize creative, interdisciplinary approaches to understanding complicated issues facing humanity.

The interdisciplinary PhD Program prepares scholars and analysts to provide intellectual leadership as academics, researchers, or practitioners in nongovernment agencies, media, national governments, think tanks, and the private sector.

Program Strengths

Learn the structures of international governance and build management expertise for global policy challenges such as human security, environmental policies including climate change, health policies, and gender equity.

Housed within the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance.

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Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • Résumé/cv
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts (completed Bachelor’s degree required)
  • Statement of purpose: In 1,500 words, provide a statement of your research and career interests and goals, your motivation for pursuing a PhD, why you are interested in an interdisciplinary PhD program, and member(s) of the faculty with whom you are interested in working.
  • Writing sample: A writing sample is required (5-10 pages of original, single-authored work).

Please visit the International Graduate Applicants if applicable.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadline: February 1 for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Core Courses (18 Credits)

  • CONRES 623 - Introductory Theory 3 Credit(s)
  • GGHS 710 - Human Security 3 Credit(s)
  • GGHS 711 - Global Governance 3 Credit(s)
  • GGHS 712 - Gender and Human Security 3 Credit(s)
  • GGHS 713 - International Relations Theory 3 Credit(s)
  • GGHS 715 - International Organization 3 Credit(s)

Research Methods Courses (6 credits)
GGHS 780 3 credit (s)
Methods elective 3 credits (s)

Track Courses (12 Credits)

Complete four courses from one of the following tracks or a self-designed concentration.

Courses for the track are chosen in collaboration with the faculty advisor.

Conflict Resolution
Gender, Human Rights, and Human Development
Global Political Economy

Electives (12 Credits)

Complete four additional courses drawn from any track or methods courses.

Up to six credits of field internship may be applied toward this requirement.

Colloquium Courses (4 Credits)

  • GGHS 714 - Doctoral Colloquium in Global Governance and Human Security 2 Credit(s) - complete two semesters

Doctoral Research Courses (6 Credits)

  • GGHS 781 - Doctoral Research Group 3 Credit(s) - complete two semesters

Dissertation (10 Credits)

  • GGHS 899 - Dissertation Research 1-10 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 68 credits from 21 courses including six core courses, two research methods courses, four track courses, four electives, two colloquium courses, two doctoral research courses, and ten credits of dissertation research.

Tracks: Students select a track in conflict resolution; environment; gender, human rights, and human development; global political economy; or a self-defined concentration.
Doctoral candidacy: Pass two qualifying exams in core subjects and the area of concentration.
Dissertation: Compose and defend a dissertation based on original research.
Language: Students must demonstrate competency in second-language research.

En Route Master’s Degree: Students may, with the approval of the program director, apply to receive an MA degree en route to the PhD. To qualify, students must complete the requirements outlined in the Global Governance and Human Security (MA) program.

Statute of limitations: Seven years.

Learning Outcomes

  • a solid theoretical foundation in the concepts of global governance and human security, and in the range of actors, systems, and patterns that compose our increasingly dynamic global system
  • the ability to identify, assess, and address current and emerging human security issues in their geopolitical and governance contexts
  • advanced academic skills in interdisciplinary research methods and design, across a variety of methodologies

Related Programs


Graduate Program Director Darren Kew
darren.kew [at]
(617) 287-7489

Global Governance Programs Department
conresglobal [at]

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