Course of Study

The PhD in International Conflict Management is comprised of a total of 75 credit hours. There are at least 60 course credits and up to 15 dissertation credits required. Eligible students can have up to 17 related credits transferred in from their Master’s degree, going towards the 60 credits required.

Key Competencies

  1. Intercultural and International Dynamics
  2. Development Theory and Practice
  3. Peacebuilding
  4. Conflict Management Theory

Program Sections

  • The core seminars provide interdisciplinary grounding in the fundamental theoretical concepts, epistemology, ethical and cultural foundations, and practical applications in international conflict management and resolution.

  • Preparation includes courses in research design, program evaluation, and how to use quantitative and qualitative methods.

  • Students can personalize their disciplines with a wide array of electives focused in the students' areas of interest. Students may also practice their conflict management skills in applied international settings to gain an understanding of today's complex challenges marked by globalization.

    Concentration Options: 

    1. Alternative Dispute Resolution

    2. Organizational Conflict Management (Business)

Program of Study

For more information on specific classes, see our International Conflict Management course breakdown in the KSU Graduate Catalog.

Time Limit

All requirements for a Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years, beginning with the first registration in graduate-level classes following admission to the degree program. Extension of time may be granted in special circumstances. Only courses in which credit has been earned within seven years of the date of admission will be counted for degree credit.


See definitions below for more explanation of INCM terms.

  • A PhD candidate is defined as a student who has completed the required PhD-level coursework and has met all additional program-related requirements except for the language requirement, dissertation thesis, and dissertation defense. This status is referred colloquially as ABD ("All But Dissertation").
  • Before beginning the dissertation proposal seminar, each student selects a faculty member in the program who agrees or tentatively agrees to serve as his/her dissertation chair. Each student will then select his/her own dissertation committee in consultation with his/her dissertation chair.

    The Dissertation Committee must have a minimum of three (and a maximum of five) faculty members, including the Chair. The interdisciplinary nature of this program suggests that dissertation committee members will likely come from different disciplines and, in some cases, from other colleges or institutions.

    Faculty outside of the program may serve on a committee with the approval of the Committee Chair. Faculty outside KSU may also serve with the approval of the Committee Chair. However, participation by non-program faculty is limited to one member of the committee although exceptions can be granted. All KSU committee members must be graduate faculty. If a potential committee member does not have this status, he or she needs to petition the Graduate School to obtain it. Once the committee is selected, the student completes the Request for Approval of PhD Dissertation Committee form and obtains appropriate faculty signatures.

  • All dissertation defenses are open to the public. Announcements about upcoming defenses are posted on the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development website and in KSU publicity outlets at least two weeks prior to the defense.
  • INCM PhD students are encouraged to pass a foreign language exam or equivalent.

    Scholarly languages as well as field languages are acceptable. The foreign language competence is usually demonstrated by passing the ACTFL OPI at the Intermediate HIGH level to meet the requirement of second language proficiency within the PhD in International Conflict Management program.