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PhD requirements and regulations

About the PhD Program

The PhD Program consists of a number of educational elements, all of which are important for a successful completion of your doctorate.
The main elements are thesis supervision and the completion of coursework during the first and the second year of the doctorate.
In addition, we also offer additional support for study periods abroad and invite all PhD candidates to actively participate in our departmental research seminars.

Please find below further information on these educational activities.

  • Thesis supervision

The Academic Board (Collegio dei Docenti) assigns to each PhD project one or two supervisors taking into account the available expertise among members of the Academic Board and other faculty members.
PhD supervisors are expected to provide academic and professional guidance, advice and support to PhD candidates.
It is the responsibility of each PhD candidate to maintain regular contact with their supervisor(s).
The appointment of a supervisory arrangement is usually intended for the entire duration of the PhD studies.
However, in special cases, the Academic Board (Collegio dei Docenti) may agree on the substitution of the supervisor – if all stakeholders involved have reached (student, former supervisor and new supervisor) agree so.

  • Coursework

PhD candidates enrolled in the program are required to complete a program of taught courses during their first year of study. The taught program includes courses on theories and approaches, research design and qualitative and quantitative methods as well as workshops addressing specific skills linked to academic research and writing. Participation is mandatory and key courses – as selected by each PhD candidate individually – are being assessed and need to be passed in order to proceed to the second year. All courses are taught in English.

  • Research seminars

The active participation of PhD candidates in the academic conferences and seminars organized by the Department of Political Science and its various research centres is considered part of their regular activity after joining the Department.

  • Study abroad or fieldwork

Students have the possibility to spend a research period abroad, usually in the second semester of the second year of their studies. This study period abroad can be devoted to conduct interviews, to carry out data collection, archival research or other kinds of fieldwork, or to attend specialised training linked to the PhD project.
Proposals regarding this matter must be approved by the dissertation supervisor(s) and  the program coordinator before being formally addressed to the Academic Board (Collegio dei Docenti). Proposals must include a detailed description of the host institution, including the research goals of the fellowship, and the proposed duration of the fellowship and the identification of a (temporary) co-supervisor at the host institution. At the end of the study abroad period, PhD candidates are expected to submit a report signed by the co-supervisor at the host institution stating the research activities undertaken and progress made during their stay abroad.

If a study period abroad has been approved by the Board, PhD candidates may apply for an allowance to support their fellowship. Such an allowance cannot exceed the 50% of the monthly scholarship. Applications for the allowance must be addressed to the Academic Board (Collegio dei Docenti) along with the fellowship proposal

  • Qualifying Seminar

At the end of the first year, PhD candidates present their research project in a Qualifying Seminar (QS) in  front of faculty members and their peers. The QS is organized annually and is structured as a small graduate conference. Faculty members will discuss the presentations and the papers and will give their assessment (pass/fail).

Program contacts

Luiss PhD Office

Luiss PhD Office supports and supplies PhD Students with all the information they need from the enrolment throughout their academic career.

PhD Office

Viale Romania 32
T: 06 85225997-716 

Opening hours

Mon and Wed: 10:00 a.m.- noon
Tues and Thurs: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.