Are you in search of an inspiring research environment? Are you looking to improve your scientific and analytical skills to prepare you for a career in social research or academics? The PhD programme at the Vienna School of International Studies might just be what you are looking for! The four-year doctoral programme ‘Interdisciplinary International Studies’ (IIS) is organised in cooperation with the University of Vienna open to graduates who wish to pursue a research project linking at least two of the four disciplines legal studies, political science, international economics and history.

Throughout the programme, doctoral candidates are guided by internationally acclaimed scholars from all over the world, who are dedicated to support our students' academic journeys exploring scientific skills, data collection and analysis as well as academic publications among others.

In addition to that, IIS students have the opportunity to participate in the academic life at the DA through teaching activities, research assistantships and more. The small but vibrant research community at the DA provides PhD students with opportunities to connect with peers in advanced academic positions.

The doctoral programme is built on three modules: Module 1 at the Vienna School of International Studies (“DA”), Module 2 at the University of Vienna (UW) and Module 3 “Disssertation”.

  • For Module 1 (DA), doctoral students are required to complete coursework and sit field examinations in both disciplines. Coursework includes research seminars, workshops, courses relevant for their research topic and extensive reading courses focussing on their research disciplines.

  • For Module 2 (UW), students are required to develop their research project. To complete this module students are expected to hold a colloquium (“faculty public presentation”) to discuss their dissertation prospectus with the dissertation committee to gain approval for the project.

  • Module 3 focuses on research and writing of the doctoral thesis. The primary purpose of PhD study is the preparation and presentation of a substantial piece of original research in the form of a thesis.

For more detailed information on the PhD IIS programme, please consult the information tabs and documents on this page or contact us. To apply, please visit our application portal at (© Free-Photos auf Pixabay)

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In cooperation with

University of Vienna

PhD IIS Key Facts

Programme start: 23 September 2024

Application deadline: 20 May 2024

Admission results: Beginning of June 2024

Tuition fee*: EUR 14,700

Financial assistance: Financial Support Application Form

* applies to Module 1 only

Charlott Gebauer (© DA/Peter Lechner)

"There really is no other place like the Diplomatische Akademie Wien; not only is the level of commitment by the students incredible, the academic possibilities are also endless. My favourite part of pursuing my PhD at the DA are my weekly meetings with my supervisor, Professor Patrick Müller, where we not only discuss my project in depth, but all stages and processes related to my PhD. This highlights the level of dedication of my incredible supervisor at the DA. I could not imagine a better place to pursue my PhD!"

Charlott Gebauer
3rd PhD in IIS programme, Vienna School of International Studies


Colin Hendrickx (© DA/Peter Lechner)

"During the first year of the doctoral programme, classes at both the Vienna School of International Studies and the University of Vienna helped me to broaden and deepen my knowledge of international relations and African studies, and to get to know my fellow students. Furthermore, I was in close contact with my supervisors, who greatly helped me to refine my proposal."

Colin Hendrickx
3rd PhD in IIS programme, Vienna School of International Studies


Vanessa Sant’Anna Bonifacio Tavares (© private)

"The first year of the programme has allowed me to come away with an excellent understanding of all of the requisite fundamentals of both international relations theory and international law. The strong and vibrant faculty at the DA was of paramount importance throughout the planning process of my research project."

Vanessa Sant’Anna Bonifacio Tavares
2nd PhD in IIS programme, Vienna School of International Studies