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Top 5 International Development PhDs Around the World

With the globalization of the world economy, organizations and businesses are looking for employees with an international perspective. A PhD in International Development can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in this field.

We have compiled a list of International Development PhDs for your consideration.

PhD International Development Studies, Ruhr University of Bochum

This PhD program in International Development Studies is offered through the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach, teaching students courses on research methods, statistical analysis, and various international development theories and methods. Students can choose from a wide range of teaching modules. Additionally, students must develop their own research project, which they can present and discuss to peer groups. The program also includes a semester of field research and courses on general skills needed to perform and present research.

This tuition-free program is a 3-year, full-time, on-campus study taught in English. Registration fees equal €267.66 per semester, which includes free public transportation to students. Costs to and from the field study in Germany are also not included. Applicants must have a master’s degree, preferably in a relevant field, and an overall grad equivalent to 1.3 in the German grading system.

PhD Transnational Studies, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies

This PhD program brings together multiple areas of study to provide a unique platform for research in transnational and international relations. In addition to independent thesis research work, students must complete courses on various subjects related to international relations, research methods, and multidisciplinary skills. Students are required to present their research findings regularly at various events and conferences.

This is a free, 3-year, full-time, on-campus program. Although tuition is free, students have multiple scholarships available through the school for living and travel expenses through the Hertie Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service, and Chinese Scholarship Council. Master’s graduates in a related field are eligible to apply for this PhD program.

PhD Sustainable Development, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

The PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia provides students with an interdisciplinary approach involving social, natural, engineering, and health sciences. Students take a number of course in development, economics, qualitative analysis, natural sciences, and social science. Following this, they conduct research and take electives as needed to supplement research. During the final year, students defend their dissertation research to complete their degree.

This 5-year, full-time, on-campus program is fully funded for all admitted students who do not have other sponsorship. This funding includes health insurance. The program enrolls 4-6 students per cohort. Applicants must have a strong background in social science, including 4 college-level courses, with a minimum of 2 economics courses. They also must have at least 2 college-level courses in calculus and 1 in algebra, plus 3 or more college-level classes in natural science or engineering. Other admissions requirements can be found on the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

PhD Global Politics, Freie Universität Berlin

This program is presented through Freie Universität Berlin and four Chinese partner universities: Fudan University (Shanghai), Jinan University (Guangzhou), Renmin University (Beijing), and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Courses include colloquium and theory of global politics, methodology in social research, and a variety of other topics related to politics in Europe and East Asia. This partner program allows students based in Germany to spend 6-12 months in one of the Chinese universities, and students based in China will spend 6-12 months in Germany to exchange ideas and perspectives. To complete their degree, students must research and present a dissertation.

This is free, 3-year, full-time, blended program. Tuition is free, and multiple scholarship opportunities are offered to PhD candidates for registration fees, travel costs, and living costs. 8-10 students are accepted each year. Applicants must submit all relevant experience, proof of a completed Master’s degree or equivalent, a statement of purpose, and a dissertation proposal with two expert opinions of professors. They must be fluent in English, but basic knowledge of German and Chinese is helpful.

PhD Doctoral Programme in Governance, Hertie School of Governance

This PhD program focuses on governance and public policy, bringing together various perspectives from political science, economics, law, sociology, and management. The first year is dedicated to training in research design and support in dissertation research. They also take courses in theories and methods of governance issues. Students will also complete skills workshops to train in research methods, professional development, and more. Throughout the program, students will participate in doctoral research and research colloquium to support their dissertation work.

This program is a free, 3-year, full-time, on-campus study. Living cost stipends are available, as is funding for travel, workshops, conferences, etc. through Hertie School, PHD GLOBAL project, and other offers. To apply, applicants must be able to prove financial means to support their studies. Applicants should have a master’s degree or equivalent in a related field. The application requirements include an online application form, transcripts, CV, proof of English proficiency, funding statement, letter of motivation, research proposal, and two letters of references from scholars at universities or research institutions.