PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences | HBKU
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

The PhD program in Humanities and Social Sciences is the first degree of its kind in Qatar, and one of the few in the world providing students with the philosophical and technical grounding to design and tailor their own interdisciplinary program while being able to specialize through a dissertation.

The program is flexible, accommodating students who wish to apply their interdisciplinary research in a variety of subjects in the fields of humanities and social sciences, while allowing for specializations through a pathway to a PhD in an established field at the time of graduation. It exposes them to identity making, policy-making, development strategies, institution building, leadership guidance, and sustainable development.

Students will draw from a common curriculum and gain skills in interdisciplinary research, yet graduate with a PhD in a field that will offer them strong employment opportunities. Aligned with the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030, the program equips its students with the personal and professional skills to ensure all graduates are prepared to work globally, with strong sustainability values and connections to the community

Graduates of the program are equipped to:


  • Engage with themes and ideas that cut across disciplines
  • Demonstrate expertise in disciplines within relevant fields
  • Demonstrate expertise in theory
  • Acquire knowledge for advancing research towards societal and scholarly impact
  • Produce original interdisciplinary research


  • The 54-credit hour degree program taught full-time over a minimum of three years in English includes 18 credits of taught courses and 36 credits of supervised research. PhD students must complete all the PhD degree requirements within seven years of matriculation in the PhD program. Drawing on a pedagogical and research collective, students will partake in a common curriculum, gain competence in interdisciplinary research, yet graduate with a PhD that will support their employment opportunities.
  • All courses are taught in English.


The curriculum requires students to take the following courses and exams:

    • Explorations in Global Humanities
    • Explorations in Interdisciplinarity
    • Three Open Elective Courses (can be taken from across HBKU programs and other QF campuses)
    • Doctoral Independent Study
    • Doctoral Comprehensive Exam
    • Candidacy Exam
    • Dissertation
  • Students will also take three open elective courses for disciplinary breadth. These can be taken from across HBKU programs and other QF campuses.

View Admission & Application Requirements