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

Ph.D. Curriculum


The Jackson School Ph.D. program’s curriculum is organized around four foundational fields into which it integrates a solid grounding in research methodologies and area studies specialization. The four foundational fields are Religions, Cultures & Civilizations (RCC); States, Markets & Societies (SMS); Peace, Violence & Security (PVS) and Law, Rights & Governance (LRG).

To qualify for the doctoral degree, students must meet the requirements of both the Jackson School Ph.D. Program and the Graduate School. The Graduate School doctoral degree requirements can be found online.

The program requires students complete a minimum of 100 credits to earn their degree. These credits are comprised of up to 30 credits transferred from prior work in a Master’s program, 45 credits of required and elective Ph.D. courses, and 27 dissertation credits.

The Ph.D. Program recognizes that incoming doctoral students might have previously taken courses that align closely with the JSIS Ph.D. In this case, the student can petition the Ph.D. Committee to request a waiver for specific requirements. Such a petition should be undertaken in consultation with the student’s FA and the GPA. All final determinations and approval of individual student petitions regarding appropriate program coursework and/or course credits rests with the Graduate School.

**PLEASE NOTE: General Exams cannot be scheduled if all course requirements have not been met in the quarters before or the quarter during the scheduled General Exam. Plan on completing your requirements early.

Course Number Course Title Total Credits
JSIS 594 Introduction to International and Area Studies  2
JSIS 595 Research Tutorial: Research Design 5
JSIS 595 Research Tutorial: Introduction to Qualitative Methods 5
JSIS 595 Research Tutorial: Introduction to Quantitative Methods 5
JSIS 596-599



TWO Foundational Field Seminars of Choice

JSIS 596 Seminar for Religions, Cultures & Civilizations (RCC)

JSIS 597 Seminar for States, Markets & Societies (SMS)

JSIS 598 Seminar for Peace, Violence & Security (PVS)

JSIS 599 Seminar for Law, Rights & Governance (LRG)






As relevant THREE Specialization Courses OR Independent Study Courses of Choice

(as guided by FA/Chair; minimum required to reinforce either disciplinary or area-based competence related to dissertation)

As relevant TWO Courses in Research Design and Methods of at least three credits each 6-10
JSIS 800 Dissertation Credits

(required minimum spread over 3 quarters by the Graduate School)

As relevant

(Credits waivers)


Area-based/Specialization Courses from MA Degrees in JSIS

China Studies; Comparative Religion; Japan Studies; Korean Studies; Middle East Studies; Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS); South Asian Studies; Southeast Asian Studies; and Others (Americas, Africa etc.);

AND/OR Approved courses from other UW Graduate Degrees;

AND/OR Approved courses from non-UW Graduate Degrees



                                                                                      Total Minimum Credits 100+