Global Governance (PhD)

The world faces increasingly complex problems that have taken on global significance, including conflict and peace building, humanitarian crises and intervention, international economic inequality and instability, and global environmental change. Students in the PhD program understand the issues facing humanity and will develop both the research and leadership skills to examine how these problems are addressed at the global level. And are the mechanisms adopted to address them effective and just?

The PhD in Global Governance, offered jointly by Laurier and the University of Waterloo at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, is a unique opportunity for examination of power and authority in the global arena. Our graduates will pursue careers as researchers, scholars or practitioners working domestically or internationally in private sector positions, national or local governments, not-for profit agencies, think tanks and the media.


Program Highlights

  • Study at one of Canada’s leading graduate schools for international studies, the Balsillie School of International Affairs.
  • The Laurier PhD in Global Governance offers six areas of specialization.
  • Opportunity to gain teaching experience in a master's level course.
  • Eligible students admitted to study full-time in the PhD program will receive a minimum of $30,000 for the first year, and $27,000 a year for the subsequent three years.
  • Additional financial support can be accessed through external scholarships, teaching or research assistantships and/or faculty-funded studentships.

Program Details

Joint University PhD Program with an Interdisciplinary Focus

Graduate students in the program examine the variety of actors, institutions, ideas, rules, and processes that contribute to the management of global society. In addition to international organizations and inter-state relations, the study of global governance examines the various non-state actors as well as the realities of contemporary life that contribute to the establishment and functioning of global rules, norms and institutions.

The Global Governance PhD program interrogates the concepts, tools, and assumptions that have served scholars in the past and assesses new approaches for addressing contemporary and future challenges.

For further information, refer to the Graduate Handbook: Joint Laurier-UW Global Governance PhD Program.

Program Structure

PhD students will also complete the following milestones. The expected time to completion of the PhD is four years.

Research and Courses

Research Focus and Specialization Fields

Students will choose to specialize in one of the six fields in the program. To prepare for the comprehensive exam in that field, they must select at least two courses from their chosen field. Of these two, at least one course must be a course identified as “core” for that field.

Core Program Requirements

All students will complete six courses, including the following four mandatory courses: the global governance core course, an economics component, the history component, and Research Methods. Students are required to maintain an overall average of 80% in the course phase.

  • Core Course Component: GV710: Globalization and Global Governance (Laurier registration) or GGOV700: Globalization and Global Governance (UW registration). Must be completed in the first term of registration in the program.
  • Economics Component: GV730: Economic Analysis and Global Governance (Laurier registration) or Econ637: Economic Analysis and Global Governance (UW registration). Students who have higher-than-second-year macro/microeconomics are required to take an economics course other than GV730/Econ637.
  • History Component: GV720: The History of Global Governance (Laurier registration) or HIST605: Global Governance in Historical Perspective (UW registration).
  • Research Methods: GV701: Research Methods (Laurier registration) or GGOV701: Research Methods (UW registration).

See a full list of all PhD in Global Governance courses.

Quote Image

"I see the Balsillie School as a unique institution that provides students and scholars with the academic and experiential foundations to lead Canadian and international organizations in pursuing the most effective paths to global security and harmony."

Ann Fitz-Gerald, director, Balsillie School of International Affairs


Take the first step in your graduate education and apply to one of our graduate programs. Follow our three-step admission process — we’ll walk you through how to apply and prepare for your first day as a graduate student.

  • Start: Fall (September)
  • Format: Full-time
  • Application deadline: January 15 (international applicants), April 30 (domestic applicants)

Please note: The application portal for our September 2025 intake is now open for all applicants. First round of consideration for all complete applications will be given to those received by January 15, 2025. We may continue to adjudicate domestic applications until April 30, 2025 or until the program is full.

Your Next Steps

Questions? Contact Maureen Ferraro, program officer, at or 226.772.3122.

“The BSIA is a strong and supportive community in which I thrived as a student. I benefitted from the mentorship of a multidisciplinary faculty, exchanges with a diverse group of students, and comprehensive support that allowed me to network easily. I chose this program for its research and policy emphasis, and I made the right choice”

Ousmane Aly Diallo (PhD '2020)
Researcher, Francophone West Africa, Amnesty International 

Balsillie School of International Affairs

As a hub in a global network of scholars, practitioners and students, the Balsillie School of International Affairs aims to develop new solutions to humanity’s critical problems, improve global governance now and in the future, and enhance the quality of people’s lives around the world. Founded in 2007 by philanthropist Jim Balsillie, the Balsillie School is an equal collaboration with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. 

The Balsillie School is a proud affiliated member of APSIA.

 APSIA logo

Tuition and Funding

Regardless of the type of graduate degree program you intend to pursue, financial planning is important. At Laurier, we want to provide you with as much information as possible about a variety of scholarship and funding opportunities and equip you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.



The program is committed to providing students with the interdisciplinary skills for a wide range of careers in the field of global governance.

We provide the students with opportunities to gain relevant international work experience, whether as a visiting scholar at a top-ranked university or as a fellow at a leading think tank. In addition to the academic curriculum, we offer supplementary "professionalization" programming and are normally able to offer funds to support field research and travel to academic conferences.

Graduates of the Joint-PhD Program in Global Governance have gone on to tenure-track positions at a number of universities in Canada and abroad. Many others are pursuing a career in leadership positions for the Government of Canada, non-government agencies, think tanks or the private sector.

  • Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada
  • Program Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • Researcher for Amnesty International
  • Global Social Policy Researcher, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
  • Researcher, Career and Education Advisor, Canada Accent Immigration
  • Assistant Professor, University of New Brunswick
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Schulich School of Law
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oslo
  • Research Director, Cascade Institute
  • Deputy Director, Policy and Economics at Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Research Associate and Lecturer, University of Kassel
  • Founder, Go To Jupiter Productions Inc.
  • Senior Lecturer, City University, UK
  • Lecturer, Leiden University
  • Senior Project Manager, MEDA
  • Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Your Path to Post-Degree Success

ASPIRE is Laurier's professional skills development training program for graduate students. The program helps you craft an individualized, extracurricular learning plan tailored to your professional journey and entry to the workplace.


Learn about the interests of our faculty members. If you are looking for more information about this program, have questions, or want to set up a meeting, contact a member of our team

Alison Blay-Palmer
UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies

Paula Butler 

Winnie Chan

Jonathan Crush

Simon Dalby
Professor (Retired)

Timothy Donais
Associate Professor

Alistair Edgar
Associate Professor
Associate Dean, School of International Policy and Governance

Nick Garside

Patricia Goff
Associate Professor

Jeff Grischow
Associate Professor

Derek Hall
Associate Professor   

Jenna Hennebry
Associate Professor

Ken Jackson
Associate Professor

Jurek Konieczny

Alex Latta
Associate Professor

Terrence Levesque

Colleen Loomis 
Associate Professor 
Co-Director, PhD in Global Governance
Director, Master of International Public Policy

Sara Matthews
Associate Professor

Audra Mitchell
Canada Research Chair in Global Political Ecology

Alison Mountz
Co-Director, International Migration Research Centre

Amjad Rabi 

Kim Rygiel
Associate Professor 
Co-Director, International Migration Research Centre

Pierre Siklos

Debora VanNijnatten
Associate Professor

Margaret Walton-Roberts

Alan Whiteside
Professor (retired)

Randall Wigle
Professor Emeritus