International Relations Online Ph.D

Online Ph.D. in International Relations


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At Salve Regina University, our Ph.D. in international relations is offered online, connecting students around the world to our exceptional faculty and research opportunities. Decades of success with our master’s program led us to develop the nation’s first online doctoral program in international relations, providing flexible learning options for seasoned professionals.

Our program’s unique approach provides a rigorous doctoral education examining the complex questions of international affairs in the 21st century. Our students are empowered to consider cultures around the world and value the wisdom gained through adventurous research in the field of international relations.

Ph.D. in International Relations Program and Curriculum

Our Ph.D. in international relations encourages students to think outside the box when studying the details of geopolitics, while also inspiring them to embrace a singular global lens. With decades of scholarship and expertise in foreign policy, the military and academia, our renowned faculty are committed to mentoring international relations scholars. Collectively, their research specialties include political philosophy, history and technology, nationalism, ethics in international affairs, Latin American politics, American foreign policy, Russian foreign affairs, the political economy of development and East Asian security issues.

Through their doctoral studies, our students foster their understanding of geopolitical analysis through courses that explore all of the world’s regions, then choose a single area of focus for their dissertation. In addition to the required coursework, Ph.D. students fulfill a language proficiency requirement and pass a comprehensive examination before beginning the dissertation phase. With collaborative support from dissertation readers, students contribute original research to the field of international relations.

Learn more about the Ph.D. in international relations program requirements.

Discover the Difference at Salve Regina

Advance Your Career

Suitable for mid- to high-ranking government officials, international business professionals and educators working in academia without a doctoral degree, Salve Regina’s Ph.D. program in international relations is designed to help established practitioners advance in their careers.

Dedicated Faculty

Our faculty deliver an essential curriculum that prepares graduates to be constructively critical of their immediate and broader political environment. As tenured professors with considerable academic experience, they provide a top-notch education along with care and concern for the well-being of each student.

Learn on Your Terms

Our Ph.D. in international relations allows working professionals the flexibility to acquire a terminal degree while maintaining full-time employment. We give practitioners the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and become more sophisticated decision-makers without taking time off work.

Centering International Studies and Justice

Typically completed in four years, our online doctoral program enhances the professional experiences of those working in international affairs, especially in an analytical research capacity. Consistent with Salve Regina’s mission to work for a world that is harmonious, just and merciful, our program’s mission promotes common humanity and the elimination of prejudice. Across the curriculum, inclusive discussions emphasize the complex reality that different regions are also overlapping circles in an international community. Through comparative study that exposes differences and reveals similarities in a respectful and considered way, our students challenge myths and misconceptions that cultures have about themselves and their neighbors around the world.

Online Ph.D. in International Relations Course Requirements

Required courses:

  • INR675: Quantitative Methods (offered May-June and October-December)
  • INR690: Dissertation Proposal and Research (offered September-October and January-March)
  • INR695: Dissertation Research and Writing
  • INR698: Dissertation I
  • INR699: Dissertation II

Students also choose 10 courses from the following list based on their area of interest:

  • INR602: American Foreign Policy (offered May-June)
  • INR603: American Foreign Policy Decision Making (offered July-August)
  • INR612: Chinese Foreign Policy (offered March-May)
  • INR613: The Korean Peninsula and Japan (offered January-March)
  • INR622: Russian Foreign Policy (offered March-May)
  • INR623: Chinese Politics (offered September-October)
  • INR633: Comparative Politics of Russia (offered May-June)
  • INR643: The Middle East in World Affairs (offered July-August)
  • INR652: South Asia in World Affairs (offered September-October)
  • INR653: Latin America in World Affairs (offered January-March)
  • INR662: Europe in World Affairs (offered October-December)
  • INR672: Africa in World Affairs (offered October-December)
  • INR685: Culture, Society and Global Condition (offered September-October)

Time to Complete


4 years

Program Format



Application Deadline


March 1, July 1 or Nov. 1

Consider Salve Regina’s Online Ph.D. in International Relations

Offering an enriching view into international relations, Salve Regina’s online Ph.D. program elevates students’ careers. The thoughtful coursework builds a solid foundation in comparative international studies and helps students become inquisitive scholars under the advisement of supportive faculty.

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Ready to apply? Our international relations program has rolling admissions.

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Program Spotlight: Innovative Understanding

 Salve Regina is thrilled to be the first university in the United States to offer an online Ph.D. in international relations. The mission of the degree is to provide an innovative understanding of area studies through comparative analysis. 

Dr. Symeon Giannakos, professor