Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Global Governance

The program information below is valid for the spring 2021 term (May 1, 2021 - August 31, 2021).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Graduate research fields

  • Conflict and Security
  • Global Environment
  • Global Justice and Human Rights
  • Global Political Economy
  • Global Social Governance
  • Multilateral Institutions and Diplomacy
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • The expected time to completion is four years.
  • Program type 
    • Doctoral
    • Joint
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Additional program information 
    • The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Global Governance is a joint program between the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU).
    • Applicants to this program apply to either the University of Waterloo or Wilfrid Laurier University, but admissions decisions to the program are made jointly by the Inter-University Program Committee. Successful applicants are assigned a “home” university at which they enrol.
  • Minimum requirements 
    • Students must hold a Master’s degree with a minimum 80% average or equivalent in political science, history, economics, international development studies, international peace studies, globalization studies, environmental studies, or a related field.
    • Experienced professionals in the private or public sectors will be considered for admission, but additional course work may be required.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
    • Writing sample
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete 6 (0.50 unit weight) courses, including the following 4 mandatory courses: the “core” course component, the “economics” component, the “history” component, and the “research methods” component.
      • Core course component (must be completed in the first term of registration in the program).
        • 1 of the following courses:
          • GGOV 700 Global Governance
          • GV 710 (at WLU)
      • Economics component
        • ECON 637 Economic Analysis and Global Governance
      • History component
        • 1 of the following courses:
          • HIST 605 Global Governance in Historical Perspective
          • GV 720 (at WLU) The History of Global Governance
      • Research Methods component
        • GGOV 701 Research Methods
        • GV 701 (at WLU)
    • Specializing
      • Students must choose to specialize in one of the six fields of the program. To prepare for the comprehensive exam in that field, they must select at least 2 courses from their chosen field. Of these 2, at least 1 course must be a course identified as “core” for that field (marked with an asterisk in the lists below). The 6th course is an elective course.
      • Not all courses are offered each year and more courses may be available. Consult the respective departments at both institutions for information on available courses in any given year. Consult the respective graduate calendars for full course descriptions.
    • If selecting the field of Conflict and Security, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • GGOV 630/PSCI 678/PACS 634 (GV 733 at WLU)*
        • GGOV 631/PSCI 679/PACS 635*
        • GGOV 632/ PSCI 654/PACS 632
        • GGOV 633
        • GGOV 634
        • GGOV 638
        • GGOV 639
        • HIST 604
        • HIST 610
        • HIST 611
        • HIST 632
        • PSCI 636
        • PSCI 681
        • PSCI 687
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • HI 610A
        • HI 615A
        • HI 616A
        • HI 696I
        • HI 715
        • IP 631
        • PO 648
    • If selecting the field of Global Environment, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • ERS 675
        • GGOV 620/ERS 604/PSCI 604*
        • GGOV 621/ERS 606/PSCI 606
        • GGOV 622
        • GGOV 628
        • GGOV 629
        • GG 665/PLAN 665
        • GG 668/PLAN 668
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • BU 615
        • GG 635
        • GG 660
        • GG 665
        • GG 668
        • GG 673*
        • IP 611
        • IP 612
        • IP 613/GG 664
    • If selecting the field of Global Justice and Human Rights, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • GGOV 640/PSCI 658/PACS 633*
        • GGOV 641* (GV 760 at WLU)
        • GGOV 642/PSCI 639
        • GGOV 643/PSCI 616
        • GGOV 644/SOC 784
        • GGOV 648
        • GGOV 649
        • HIST 603
        • HIST 626
        • HIST 627
        • HIST 635
        • HIST 636
        • PSCI 624
        • PSCI 651
        • PSCI 760
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • GV 760*
        • HI 715
        • IP 632
        • PO 644
        • PO 652
        • PO 671
        • PO 692D
    • If selecting the field of Global Political Economy, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • ECON 631
        • ECON 632
        • ECON 635
        • ECON 661
        • ECON 665
        • ERS 606/PSCI 606
        • GGOV 610/PSCI 688/PACS 630*
        • GGOV 611/PSCI 686
        • GGOV 612/PSCI 612/PACS 631
        • GGOV 613/PSCI 613
        • GGOV 614/PSCI 614
        • GGOV 615/PSCI 615
        • GGOV 618
        • GGOV 619
        • HIST 606
        • PSCI 631
        • PSCI 683
        • PSCI 685
        • PSCI 689
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • BU 633
        • BU 643
        • BU 701
        • BU 733
        • EC 649
        • IP 622*
        • IP 641
        • PO 640
    • If selecting the field of Global Social Governance, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • GGOV 642*
        • GGOV 614
        • GGOV 615
        • GGOV 621
        • GGOV 643
        • GGOV 661
        • GGOV 662/SOC 781
        • GGOV 663
        • GGOV 668
        • GGOV 669
        • HIST 606
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • PO670
        • IP631
    • If selecting the field of Multilateral Institutions and Diplomacy, students must choose at least 2 courses from among the following offerings at the partner universities:
      • University of Waterloo
        • GGOV 650/PSCI 657*
        • GGOV 651/PSCI 617
        • GGOV 652/PSCI 618
        • GGOV 653
        • GGOV 658
        • GGOV 659
        • HIST 632
        • HIST 633
        • HIST 651
        • PSCI 634
        • PSCI 664
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
        • BU 808
        • HI 768
        • PO 641
        • PO 642
        • PO 649
        • PO 670
    • Students entering the PhD program from the University of Waterloo’s Master of Arts (MA) program in Global Governance will have already completed PSCI 610, ECON 637, HIST 605 as well as 3 other courses.
    • To meet formal course requirements for the PhD degree, these students must complete 6 new term courses that meet the following requirements.
      • In preparation for their comprehensive exam in Global Governance, 3 of these courses must be chosen from the following list of key courses.
        • University of Waterloo
          • GGOV 610/PSCI 688
          • GGOV 620/ERS 604/PSCI 604
          • GGOV 621/ERS 606/PSCI 606
          • GGOV 630/PSCI 678
          • GGOV 631/PSCI 679
          • GGOV 640/PSCI 658
          • GGOV 641
          • GGOV 650/PSCI 657
        • Wilfrid Laurier University
          • GG 673
          • GV 750
          • GV 760
          • IP 622
      • Students must include courses from at least two disciplines.
      • Students must choose to specialize in one of the six fields of the program. To prepare for the comprehensive exam in that field, they must select at least 2 of their 6 courses from their chosen field (courses taken to fulfil the requirement above can be counted towards this requirement). Of these 2, at least 1 course must be a course identified as “core” for that field. The courses for each field, and the “core” courses, are listed above. The core course requirements can be waived only if students have already taken all of the core courses for their chosen field during their MA studies.
      • After students have met these various requirements, any additional courses required to meet the total of 6 new courses are elective options that can be selected from any of the program’s courses.
    • Students entering the PhD program from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) program can count the following parts of the MIPP
      program toward their course requirements in the PhD:
    • If a MIPP graduate has done the Global Governance field, they will be exempt from the program’s core course.
    • If a MIPP graduate has done the International Economic Relations field, they will be exempt from the Economics core component.
    • If a MIPP graduate has completed equivalent courses, they will be exempt from some PhD program requirements, as decided in consultation with the Program Director. To meet their formal course requirements for the PhD degree, these students must complete 6 new term courses that meet the following requirements.
      • At least 3 of the 6 courses must be from the following list:
        • University of Waterloo
          • GGOV 610/PSCI 688
          • GGOV 620/ERS 604/PSCI 604
          • GGOV 621/ERS 606/PSCI 606
          • GGOV 630/PSCI 678
          • GGOV 631/PSCI 679
          • GGOV 640/PSCI 658
          • GGOV 641
          • GGOV 650/PSCI 657
        • Wilfrid Laurier University
          • GG 673
          • GV 750
          • GV 760
          • IP 622
      • Students must include courses from at least two disciplines.
      • Students must choose to specialize in one of the six fields of the program. To prepare for the comprehensive exam in that field, they must select at least 2 of their 6 courses from their chosen field (courses taken to fulfil the requirement above can be counted towards this requirement). Of these 2, at least 1 course must be a course identified as “core” for that field. The courses for each field, and the “core” courses, are listed above. The core course requirements can be waived only if students have already taken all of the core courses for their chosen field during their MA studies.
      • After students have met these various requirements, any additional courses required to meet the total of 6 new courses are elective options that can be selected from any of the program’s courses.
    • Students are required to maintain an overall average of 83% in the course phase.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • PhD Seminar
    • The PhD Seminar requires attendance year long at departmental colloquia, seminars and related presentations, including public lectures at The Centre for International Governance Innovation, and area universities. Credit for the PhD Seminar will be assigned by the Program Director/Associate Director (equivalent to University of Waterloo Graduate Chair) on a credit/non-credit basis. The Seminar is designed to provide structured opportunities for meaningful interaction among students, with faculty and with outside researchers and policymakers, as well as to expose incoming PhD students to the range of opportunities for learning in the area of global governance within the Waterloo community.
  • PhD Internship
    • Students may complete a four-to-eight month internship working on global governance issues in the public or private sector, at a research institute, or for a non-governmental organization. The “work-term,” for which no formal credit will be offered, would normally take place during the student’s second year in the PhD program.
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination I and PhD Comprehensive Examination II
    • Students are required to meet the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements outlined in the “Minimum requirements for the PhD degree” section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (GSAC), with certain noted exceptions that are specific to the Faculty of Arts Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements:
      • Comprehensive examination purpose: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Timing: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements. 
      • Committee: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements. Note: in Global Governance, the committee composition may include faculty from Wilfrid Laurier University due to the joint nature of the PhD program.
      • Who Chairs an examination: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Format / Content: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Academic integrity: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
    • In addition to the University-level and Faculty-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements, students in the PhD in Global Governance program are also required to meet the following requirements:
      • Students write the core Global Governance exam based on a reading list of fifty (50) works set by the core Examination Committee which is normally comprised of three faculty members, at least one of whom would have taught the Global Governance, Methods, History or Economics courses (faculty may be from either the University of Waterloo or Wilfrid Laurier University due to the joint nature of the PhD program). The list of readings will be agreed upon by all committee members and sent to the students by May 1. The students will write the Global Governance exam in the beginning of September of Year Two.
      • Students then write a field exam related to the field of their proposed thesis topic. The field exam is set by a committee comprised normally of the student’s supervisor, the faculty member who taught the field course, and a third faculty member (faculty may be from either the University of Waterloo or Wilfrid Laurier University due to the joint nature of the PhD program). The field exam reading list will be finalized by the field committee in consultation with the student by May 1. The students will write their field exam two weeks after their core Global Governance exam.
      • Outcomes of the comprehensive exam:
        • Students will receive one of three evaluations of their comprehensive exam: Passed, Passed Conditionally, and Reexamination. The Examination Committee’s evaluation will be determined by majority vote, with the one exception that a student will receive an evaluation of “Passed Conditionally” where the committee returns one vote for “Passed Conditionally” and two votes for “Reexamination.” When a student receives an evaluation of “Passed Conditionally,” the Program Director/Associate Director (equivalent to University of Waterloo Graduate Chair) will provide the student within ten (10) business days with a written report from the Examination Committee that outlines specifically those parts of the student’s examination that the student will need to elaborate upon and/or clarify. The student will then have thirty (30) days to submit a written response of no more than 1,000 words in which they will outline clarifications and/or revisions. The committee will then evaluate the response and determine by majority if the student has met the requirements for a “Pass.” If a student fails the first sitting of their examination, either after the initial written attempt or after the Passed Conditionally stage, they have the option to sit the examination a second time. When a student is re-examined, the outcomes are limited to: Passed, and Exam Unsuccessful. A result of Exam Unsuccessful will normally lead to expulsion from the doctoral program.
  • PhD Thesis Proposal
    • Successful completion of the comprehensive examinations allows students to progress to the thesis proposal stage. Normally, students will defend their thesis proposal before a formal thesis supervisory committee at the midway point of year two in the program. This defence can take place no later than 18 months after a student’s entry into the program. A thesis supervisory committee, normally composed of a supervisor and two core faculty of the Global Governance program, will be formed by the student with the agreement of the Program Director/Associate Director (equivalent to University of Waterloo Graduate Chair). The student will be required to submit a thesis proposal to the committee. The committee will meet with the student to discuss the proposal. Upon formal approval, the student proceeds to the research and writing of the thesis. Students who fail to satisfy this requirement within the established time frame may be required to withdraw from the program.
  • PhD Thesis
    • Normally, students should complete and defend the thesis within four years of starting the program. When a thesis is completed to the satisfaction of the supervisor, the thesis will be referred to the other members of the supervisory committee. After all committee members are satisfied with the thesis, including completion of revisions recommended by the committee, an oral defence will be scheduled. The regulations and procedures at the university where the student is registered will govern both the thesis and the examination formats and the composition of the thesis examining committee.
  • Other requirements 
    • Language Requirement: prior to completion of the third year, students whose doctoral thesis is concerned with a non-English speaking country or region will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the language of that country. To fulfill the requirement, students will need to demonstrate proficiency in the second language, and may do so by completing designated language courses at either the University of Waterloo or Wilfrid Laurier University. Where there are no courses available, the Program Director/Associate Director (equivalent to University of Waterloo Graduate Chair) will determine the time and method of language assessment, in consultation with the student. The language requirement must be met before the doctoral student proceeds to the thesis stage.