Students have to pass at least 7 courses to complete the program:


  • 2 required courses
  • 2 elective courses on an Area (Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Middle East or Latin and North America)
  • 2 elective courses on a Social Science Discipline (History, Sociology, Political Science, International Relations or Economics)
  • 1 free elective

After the completion of all the courses, students take the PhD Proficiency Exam in three fields:

(1) Area Studies

(2) Selected Area of Specialisation

(3) Selected Social Science Discipline

Required Courses

ARS 601 Area Studies

This PhD course is designed to introduce the key themes in Area Studies as well as a variety of disciplinary theoretical approaches used to study areas in the world. The course will also explore how regional dynamics interact with local, national and global forces. The course will begin with a discussion of the scope, development and interdisciplinary nature of Area Studies. Next, the course will examine the relevance and limitations of the main disciplinary approaches that anthropology, history, sociology, economics, political science and international relations use in studying areas. The final part of this course will be devoted to students’ individual research projects on the key debates in African, the Middle Eastern, Asian, Eurasian, European and American Studies.

ARS 602 Designing Research in Area Studies

This course aims to provide students a general assessment of qualitative research methodology. It will present various qualitative methods involved in social scientific research as well as offer awareness as to how these methods are related to broader social scientific issues. By presenting a variety of methods, the course will encourage students to reflect upon these methods and their appropriateness in different research contexts. It will proceed with assignments asking students to analyze different methods used in the prominent works of area studies. It will also include assignments that will demand from students a review of the use of several research methods for an original topic of their own choosing. The course will, hence, encourage reflective thinking both on methodology in area studies as well as on the practice of some of the methods.

Suggested Electives on an Area

*Please note that not all of the courses listed here are offered every semester. Before every registration period, the list of offered courses should be checked at the following link:




• IR 605 Eurasia in World Affairs

• EAS 501 Society and Culture in Eurasia


East Asia


• ASN 501 Asia in World Affairs 

• ASN 502 The Asia Pacific Region in the Global World


Middle East


• IR 603 Middle East in World Affairs

• MES 501 History of the Modern the Middle East 



• IR 604 Europe in World Affairs

• EUS 504 Theories of European Integration


Latin and North America


• LNA 501 Latin America: Past, Present and Future Trends

• LNA 502 North America: Past, Present and Future Trends



Elective Courses on a Social Science Discipline 




• HIST 501 Historical Methodology I

• HIST 502 Historical Methodology II




• SOC 501 Sociological Theory I

• SOC 631 Current Issues in Sociology and Social Theory


Political Science


• ADM 6150 Advanced Studies in Political Theory

• ADM 5144 Contemporary Theories of Political Science


International Relations


• IR 601 Advanced Topics in Theory and Methodology in International Relations

• IR 503 Theories of International Relations