The Ph.D. program in Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University is the first interdisciplinary, English-medium doctoral program in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Central Asia. It is designed according to the highest international standards and taught by highly-qualified faculty, but at the same time is adapted to the educational, social and intellectual environment of Kazakhstan and the wider region.

Our program combines a core curriculum of key concepts in the humanities and social sciences, practical training in necessary writing and research techniques and ethics, and rigorous subject-specific training across at least two disciplines. Students have the space, time and flexibility they need to write a doctoral thesis that makes an original contribution to the field. Funding opportunities for research abroad and co-supervision by NU and non-NU experts enables our students to develop a truly international profile.

We train students to become versatile and internationally competitive scholars on the Eurasian region. Graduates from this doctoral program share a range of qualities and abilities, as well as field-specific skills that make them both “interdisciplinary” and “flexible.” Truly interdisciplinary research demonstrates a solid grounding in one discipline and sufficiently deep training in one or more others, which enables the scholar to build real bridges between various disciplines. Graduates of this program combine strong disciplinary and interdisciplinary training with a first-hand knowledge of the region, a command of the primary and secondary sources consistent with world-class scholarship on this region of the world, knowledge of requisite research languages, and excellent academic English.

Graduates of this program are attractive to universities, governments and other non-governmental institutions, to employers in the Central Asia region, in the broader region of Central Eurasia (including all the countries of the Turkic world), as well as in North America, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere in the world. The program contributes to the modernization of education in Kazakhstan and the development of a highly-trained class of academic, political, social, and cultural leaders with world-class training.

The Ph.D. in Eurasian Studies consists of a minimum of four years of full-time study, culminating in the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Most candidates complete three to four semesters’ worth of coursework.  The main component of the degree is the doctoral thesis, which is co-supervised by an advisor from NU and an external advisor. After passing qualifying exams, each student writes a dissertation based on their own original research, applying the methods, theories and accumulated scholarly wisdom of the core curriculum and their chosen subject areas.

PhD Eurasian Studies brochure