The Department of Political Science and International Relations (DPSIR) is one of the oldest academic units of the University. Political Science courses were offered by the then Foreign Service Unit under the University College of Addis Ababa that was established back in 1952. Later the Unit was renamed as the Department of Social and Political Science. However, since 1966, the nomenclature of the Department underwent several changes: it was known as the Department of Political Science and Government (PSG) until early 1970s. In 1974 the Department of Public Administration was merged with PSG to form the Department of Government Affairs (GOAF). In 1978, GOAF was split into two sub-fields, namely Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) and Public Administration but within two years (in 1980), the Public Administration stream was separated and merged with the Department of Management. However, considering the inevitable link of Public Administration with Political Science, the Department of PSIR, in 1982, introduced Public Administration as a minor field of study.

The DPSIR has been able to train graduates with appropriate and balanced qualification to satisfy the needs of various organizations and agencies (both governmental and non-governmental). In the current academic year (2014-2015), it has enrolled about 400 students at the undergraduate level, including both regular and extension students. Of these about 30 percent are females. At the graduate level, the Department currently hosts a total of 44 students specializing in International Relations. Six of them are females. As of the fall semester of the academic year 2015/2016, DPSIR has plans to open Master’s Program in International Relations for extension students. Program objectives are similar to that of the regular Master’s program. The study period is planned to take three years. The Department commenced a PhD program in Political Science and four batches of students totaling 23 from different higher education institutions in the country have so far been admitted. Five of the first batch PhD students have completed their studies and graduated.

Graduate Profile

The Department offers undergraduate program in Political Science and International Relations, Master’s program in International Relations and PhD in Political Science.


The undergraduate curriculum aims at training mid-career professionals in the fields of Political Science and International Relations. Students are expected to be proficient in the field of study in terms of their grasp of key theoretical knowledge, methodologies and methods in the field of study, develop strong analytical skills, and acquire demonstrable skills in writing and presenting research in the wider academic context. From the professional point of view, the Political Science and International Relations undergraduate program provides education and training catering to the needs of end users. Students who complete the undergraduate program of the Department are expected to acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful:

  • Diplomats, domestic and international civil servants;
  • Policy analysts on domestic and international political affairs;
  • Consultants/advisors of governmental and non-governmental institutions;
  • Researchers and experts on wide ranging themes;
  • Program officers, evaluators, community empowerment in the areas of governance, gender, human rights, conflict and conflict resolution, peace and security studies;
  • Trainers/teachers/instructors  at various levels; and
  • Public/external/international relations experts


The Master’s program in International Relations aims at teaching and training students at the Master’s level with focus on relevant issues pertaining to International Relations. It is designed to equip students with extensive knowledgein issues pertaining to the national, regional and global politicsand provide adequate research skills by requiring students to write anMA thesis towards the end of the coursework. Following the successful accomplishment of their course work and MA theses writing, graduates from the Program would be well equipped with knowledge and skills to serve as:

  • Lecturers and researchers in the field of Political Science and International Relations in Ethiopia;
  • Domestic and international civil servants; and
  • Policy analysts and advisors.



The PhD program offers high quality education and training to scholars interested in broadening their intellectual horizons in the field of Political Science. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in higher education, government or international agencies by equipping them with knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about a wide range of national, regional and international issues by grasping the continuity and change in global affairs. After undertakinga series of rigorous work for a maximum of 4 years, the scholars will be awarded “Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science”. The PhD program aims at producing well-trained and qualified professionals in the field of Political Science and International Relations who can engage themselves in scientific thinking and contribute knowledge by participating actively in the development aspirations of the country. Upon completing of the program, the graduates shall be able to:

  • Demonstrate academic leadership as specialists and experts in the field of Political Science and International Relations;
  • Prove their expertise in competing theoretical models and pursuing independent and inter-disciplinary research on their own in areas of politics, diplomacy, foreign policy etc.,
  • Teach courses in Political Science and International Relations and develop teaching materials;
  • Offer consultancy services to stakeholders;
  • Serve as Diplomats and International Civil Servants;
  • Serve on advisory boards of major international institutions, write policy reports for those institutions and policymakers that require such expertise;
  • Provide advocacy to government on various aspects of social, political and economic endeavors;
  • Contribute to the overall development goals of the country; and
  • Serve as academic advisors in the relevant graduate programs.

Vision and Mission


The Department’s vision is to become a center of excellence in teaching and research on issues pertinent to political science and international relations (dealing with governance, democracy, socio-political transformation and economic development, public service, etc.) and be acknowledged as an outstanding public institution of higher learning.


The Department’s mission is to provide quality education and training in its undergraduate and graduate programs, and actively engage in primary and policy-oriented research. It strives to train competent graduates who can provide quality services in the public and private sectors as policy analysts, diplomats, trainers and researchers and eventually evolve into a center of excellence by way of promoting inter-disciplinary research in political science and international relations.