Global Studies is a fast-growing field of inquiry dedicated to understanding pressing global issues such as rising authoritarianism, climate change, human rights, ethnic conflict, genocide, inequality, immigration, global health, global governance, and more. Global scholars analyze the social, cultural, political, environmental, legal and economic consequences of these issues, understanding them as multidimensional, multi-level and historical processes. The program interrogates taken-for-granted concepts and relations of power while foregrounding the deep historical legacies of colonialism and imperialism.

Our PhD program leads the emerging field of Global Studies with its cutting-edge curriculum, faculty, and embracing of scholarship from across the social sciences and humanities. Our transdisciplinary curriculum engages multiple theoretical perspectives and critical methodologies. We emphasize the importance of engaging global south scholarship and non-western epistemologies that broaden the base of knowledge production and bring new perspectives to bear on the pressing global issues impacting us all. With close mentorship from our outstanding faculty, graduate students are prepared to develop sophisticated interdisciplinary research on global issues that are relevant in today's world. Our goal is to produce excellent scholars that are professional, productive, innovative, insightful, and ready to compete in today's job market.

Successful applicants to our program will have excelled in their undergraduate work. They should also demonstrate strong intellectual capabilities and creativity in pursuit of their scholarly goals. While high GPAs and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are helpful, we give primary consideration to the applicant's statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and writing sample.

Admitted graduate students have the opportunity to work with faculty from across the social sciences and humanities, as well as faculty in UCI's outstanding School of Law, the Paul Merage School of Business, and College of Health Sciences. Admitted graduate students also have the opportunity to participate in many research units across campus including:

  • Critical Theory Institute
  • Center for Ethnography
  • Center for the Study of Democracy,
  • Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality
  • Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation


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