Ph.D. On Campus

Political Science - International Relations Track

Central European University (CEU)

36 months
15000 EUR/year
15000 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The PhD program in Political Science - International Relations Track at Central European University (CEU) is one of the largest, most international and most competitive doctoral programs in Europe, providing aspiring scholars with the theoretical and methodological skills needed to challenge and shape what we know about politics, public policy and governance.


The PhD program in Political Science - International Relations Track at Central European University (CEU) prepares students for careers in research and university-level teaching. Students explore areas such as comparative politics, political and international relations theory, international security and international political economy. 

Run by CEU’s Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations, the International Relations track provides students with a variety of methodological tools and a deep grounding in disciplinary concepts and theories in order to enable them to both explain and understand the material and textual, social and technical factors that account for continuity and change in world politics.

Research Opportunity

In the first year of the program, students on the track are required to take both mandatory and elective courses. The courses are designed to provide students with the necessary disciplinary and sub-disciplinary foundations together with extensive training in Social Science methods. On the International Relations track, a concentration on International Relations Theory is supplemented by specific concentrations on the two major sub-fields of Security Studies and International Political Economy. The aim of the track is to enable students to both understand and explain material (economic and military) as well as ideational factors that account for continuity and change in the international political system. 

At the end of the first year, following the passing of the Comprehensive Examination and the successful defense of the PhD Prospectus, students progress into the research stage of their work. During this period of time, students are supported by a primary supervisor together with a supervision panel. The supervisor and the panel guide and oversee the work of the student right through to the defense of their thesis. In addition, institutional funds are available for both conference travel and required elements of fieldwork.

Career path

Students graduating from the International Relations track are extremely well placed to successfully pursue academic careers both inside and outside of the Central and East European region. Not only can graduates in this way expect to be sought for research and teaching opportunities at leading academic institutions, but are also expected to progress to advanced academic and policy-oriented management positions in international, national, governmental and non-governmental institutions and initiatives.


  • Program approved and registered by the New York State Education Department
  • Program registered as a non-degree post-graduate specialization program by the Hungarian Educational Authority (HEA)
  • Program accredited by the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ-Austria)

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • International Relations Theory
  • International Security
  • International Political Economy
  • Constituent Power
  • Democratic Theory
  • Domestic Politics in the Global Economy
  • Globalization and Inequality
  • Methods and Research Design
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Political Institutions
  • Political Sociology and Political Economy
  • Research in Regional Integration and Global Governance

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details
  • Feb. 1: financial aid
  • March 15: self-financing candidates requiring a study visa
  • Aug. 15: self-financing candidates not requiring a study visa


24 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Completed online application form:
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Letters of recommendation
  • CV
  • Master’s degree
  • Academic records
  • Research proposal
  • Statement of purpose
  • Outline of master’s thesis or other substantial academic work

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    15000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 15000 EUR per year during 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    15000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 15000 EUR per year during 36 months.
  • All PhD students are eligible to apply for full tuition waivers and full stipends from CEU. 
  • Doctoral programs (year 1): 15,000 EUR
  • Doctoral programs after comprehensive examination (year 2 and 3): 7,500 EUR

Living costs for Vienna

861 - 1331 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


In pursuit of its mission, CEU strives to attract world-class graduate talent from all over the world, offering generous scholarships available to students from any country. Doctoral scholarships include a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend for living expenses. Learn more at

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Political Science - International Relations Track
Central European University (CEU)


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