Ph.D. Student Handbook (Students admitted before 2023)

General Information

The Jackson School Ph.D. Program seeks to integrate the renowned area-based capabilities of its existing graduate programs, with next-generation scholarship and practice in the field of international studies. Its objective is to create scholars combining a deep knowledge of areas and regions in the context of contemporary global themes, policy challenges, and real-world problems.

The Jackson School Ph.D. in International Studies prepares students for academic work in university and research institute settings, particularly departments, programs, and institutes in international studies, international affairs, and area-studies. It also prepares professional country and region specialists for positions in government agencies, the media, the non-profit sector, and the private sector in the United States and abroad.

An accelerated program, the Jackson School Ph.D. is designed to be completed in three to five years.


Admittance into the Ph.D. Program requires a Master’s degree (or an equivalent professional degree) from an accredited institution in the United States or abroad.

Applicants without a Master’s degree (or an equivalent professional degree) who are interested in the Ph.D. Program in particular may apply to one of the MAIS or MAAIS programs in JSIS.  In the terminal year of that degree, such a student would apply for admission to the Ph.D. Program.


Admission information on the Ph.D. Program is available at the official website. The application materials include the statement of purpose, writing sample, curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts and TOEFL test scores sent directly by the Educational Testing Service.  The deadline for receipt of all application materials is January 15 for the year in which admission is sought.

Potential applicants with specific queries can also contact the Ph.D. Program at Applicants must apply through the UW Graduate School’s MyGrad Portal.


The Jackson School Ph.D. Program is designed as an accelerated program that can be completed in  a three to five-year timeline. It is the Jackson School’s goal that all of its Ph.D. students are funded to the fullest possible extent during the first three years of the program. However, all departmental funding is dependent on funding allocation by the UW, which changes on a yearly basis. In some years we are able to fund fourth- and fifth-year students, and other years we can only fund up to the third year.

Jackson School funding includes fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. Teaching and research assistantships provide tuition, living stipend, and health benefits during the nine-month academic year. Some JSIS fellowships provide support for tuition, stipend, and health benefits and others support research travel.

All students are also expected to apply for external funding, such as scholarships and fellowships, from other UW and external agencies. Awards of external funds can provide support for tuition, stipends, health benefits, and research travel, allowing the awardee to concentrate on their dissertation research without having to spend time on teaching or working on other projects. Such external funding is particularly important for those in their third, fourth, or later years in the program, who often travel to other countries for their research. JSIS faculty advisors can provide support for external funding applications and our Ph.D. students have been extremely successful in achieving external funding.