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Ashoka Scholars Programme in International Relations

The Department offers students supervision and guidance to students who wish to research for a senior undergraduate thesis in IR. Students who complete a Major in International Relations in addition to a dissertation with obtain a BA (Hons. with Research) in IR at the end of their fourth year. But the option to write a dissertation under the supervision of IR faculty is also available to students who will not Major in this discipline, as well as for students who have completed a Minor in IR.

All students who opt for the dissertation must have first completed the courses on Research Methodology that are offered by the Department in earlier semesters during their time at Ashoka.

Details of the selection process of students who are interesting in completing a dissertation with the Department are included in the links below, as well as in the IR Student Handbook.

Alternatively, instead of completing a dissertation, students who are Majoring in IR may opt to complete 5 taught during their 4th year at Ashoka.

  • Structure of IR Dissertation

    Students who undertake to complete a Dissertation with the Department will acquire 12 credits in IR. For administrative reasons, we will break down the distribution of these credits into two sections within your transcript, titled ‘Research Methodology II’ [4 credits] and ‘Dissertation’ [8 credits].

    Completing the requirements of the courses on Research Methodology is an essential component of your dissertation, and will be a critical feature of the dissertation program.

    The courses in Research Methodology will help students in developing their initial Research Question, as well as a Research Prospectus, or a detailed plan for the ways in which they will complete their dissertation.

    Students who wish to be considered for supervision by the IR Department must first submit a brief proposal of their research interests after having completed the course ‘Introduction to Research Methodologies (IR 2053)’, which is also a mandatory course for all IR Majors.

    Students interested in completing a dissertation should identify the themes and approaches that they are interested in, in consultation with the instructor for the course (Prof. Amit Julka in Spring 2024).

    After completing the course, students should submit a short statement of their research interests to the OAA at the end of Spring 2024, specifying, if possible the name of a primary supervisor who has agreed to take on the project. The Department will select proposals based on whether it can allocate faculty members whose areas of research interest overlap with the proposal, as well as based on agreement of a member of faculty to take on the project.

    After being selected, dissertation students will have to assemble a Research Prospectus of 5000- 6000 words at the end of Monsoon 2024 (4 credits). In Spring 2026, they will complete the rest of the dissertation. (8 credits).

  • Joint Thesis in IR and History

    The Department also welcomes students who want to write a joint thesis with other departments. However, one should be clear about the primary department they want to apply to, and ensure that the credits from the dissertation will be included by their Department for the purposes of graduation. If needed, the IR Department is willing to assist students with this process once their dissertation proposals have been accepted. 

  • Capstone Thesis Guidelines

    Capstone Thesis (Toward BA (Hons with Research) in International Relations


    The Capstone Thesis will be allocated 12 Credits. For administrative reasons, we will break these down into two sections within your transcript, titled ‘Research Methodology 2’ [4 credits] and ‘Dissertation’ [8 credits].


    *Students must have first finished the mandatory Research Methodology 1 course in the previous semesters in order to subsequently enroll for the capstone thesis of 12 credits.


    ** The Department can provide financial support for sourcing materials, field trips, interviews, etc if required. Students will have to make a clear case for this with the endorsement of their supervisors.



More About Ashoka Scholars' Programme

All undergraduates graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees at the end of their third year, or who have completed by that time at least academic 92 credits of their degree programme, are eligible for admission into the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research programme, also known as the Ashoka Scholars Programme (ASP). Students who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so within the first semester of the ASP. All students who fall into either of these categories must formally apply for admission to the ASP towards the end of the Spring semester of their third year. The exact date will be circulated by the OAA.


Student Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

 If you are interested in taking IR courses, or pursuing a Major in IR, it is recommended that you take your mandatory 1000-level courses early in your undergraduate, either in your 2nd or 3rd semester at Ashoka. This will ensure that you have access to sufficient higher-level IR courses to complete an IR minor/ IR concentration/History and IR interdisciplinary major. This is also advisable for the ASP students who wish to take up an IR minor/ concentration in their fourth year.

Third-years and ASP students are eligible to become TAs. The department calls for applications at the beginning of each semester- interested students can apply through that.

No, only ASPs can write a thesis with the IR department. But you can do an ISM (Independent Study Module) with the department in the third year.

You can contact the IR Student Representative, Shohan Mohapatra at ir.rep@ashoka.edu.in and the Department’s Manager, Pratima Kadian, at pratima.kadian@ashoka.edu.in

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