American University School of International Service
Parent institution
American University
DeanChristine BN Chin
Academic staff
100+ (full-time)[1]
Students1,600 (undergraduate)
800 (graduate)
Location, ,
38°56′10″N 77°05′17″W / 38.9361°N 77.088°W / 38.9361; -77.088Coordinates: 38°56′10″N 77°05′17″W / 38.9361°N 77.088°W / 38.9361; -77.088

The School of International Service (SIS) is American University's school of advanced international study, covering areas such as international politics, international communication, international development, international economics, peace and conflict resolution, global environmental politics, and U.S. foreign policy.

The School of International Service was established in 1957 and has an alumni network of over 20,000. SIS enrolls more than 3,000 students from over 150 countries.[1][2] The school makes extensive use of the academic and governmental resources offered by its location in Washington, D.C. The School of International Service consistently ranks highly among international relations programs.[3][4] SIS is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.[5] SIS also has partnerships with schools such as the Balsillie School of International Affairs.


The founding of schools of international affairs was urged by President Dwight D. Eisenhower during the height of the Cold War. His initiative called together thirteen University presidents, including AU's Hurst Robins Anderson, encouraging them to create human-focused international affairs programs dedicated to preparing practitioners for foreign policy beyond the U.S.–Soviet rivalry.[citation needed] In response, SIS was founded with the mission to establish a school based on service to the global community. In 1958, the school admitted its first full-time class, replacing AU's Department of International Relations. The class consisted of 85 students representing 36 countries.

In 1967, SIS added its International Communications program, the first such program offered by an American university. In 1981 SIS inaugurated the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies to address concerns that American universities lacked an appropriate venue for exploring the greater Muslim-Western understanding. In the 1990s, SIS established dual degree programs with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan and Korea University in Seoul, Korea. In 1991, SIS added the Center for the Global South, followed in 1995 by the addition of the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair in Islamic Peace, and in 2000 with a joint program on National Resources and Sustainable Development with the United Nations University for Peace. New degree options implemented in 2010 include the Global Scholars Program, a concentrated three-year B.A. program, an M.A. program in Social Enterprise, and, in partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps, a Master's International degree combining a Peace Corps assignment with SIS academic work.

New building

In 2004, plans were initiated for a new, 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2), academic building designed by architect William McDonough, which was completed in spring 2010. It is a LEED Gold-certified building, featuring 3,230 square feet (300 m2) of photovoltaic solar panels, low-flow faucets to reduce water consumption, and three solar water heating systems.

SIS publications

Clocks and Clouds is American University's undergraduate journal of international affairs.

The Journal of International Service is American University's graduate journal of international affairs.

Intercultural Management Quarterly is published by the Intercultural Management Institute, which provides customized training for effective communication, negotiation, and leadership across cultures.


SIS rankings[6]
World rankings
Foreign PolicyGraduate Programs 8th
U.S. rankings
Foreign PolicyUndergraduate Programs 9th

Bachelor's degrees

The School of International Service offers a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. The School also allows undergraduate students to earn a minor in International Studies as well as undergraduate certificates in either European Studies and International Studies.

Master's degrees

The School of International Service offers the following master's degrees:

SIS also offers several combined degrees:

The School also has programs with Ritsumeikan University, Korea University, and Sookmyung University. Information on dual-degree, semester, or summer/intersession study abroad programs are available on the Office of International Programs website.

Ph.D. program

The Ph.D. program in International Relations at SIS prepares students for careers as teachers and scholars at universities and research institutes in the private and public sectors. Ph.D. field concentrations include Development Studies; Global Environment; Global Governance & International Organizations; Peace & Conflict Resolution; Political Violence; Security; Technology, Culture & Social Change; and United States Foreign Policy and National Security.

Executive master's degree

In this program, experienced international affairs professionals are able to broaden their knowledge, enhance their intellectual development, expand their professional effectiveness, and strengthen their international leadership skills and knowledge.[citation needed] One can construct an individually tailored program of study from among the school's eight disciplines:

Graduate certificates

SIS Graduate Certificate Programs:

Online Programs

American University's School of International Service offers two online international relations degrees: a Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) and an Executive Master of International Service (MIS).[8][9] The MAIR program features live online classes and five concentrations, including Global Security, International Development, and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.[10][11] The Executive MIS degree is designed for professionals with seven or more years of experience in the fields of international affairs or international service.[12]

Research and learning centers

Notable faculty

Notable current and former SIS faculty include:


  1. ^ a b "About the School of International Service". School of International Service website. American University. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. ^ "American University". US News Best Colleges 2012. US News & World Report. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  3. ^ Maliniak; et al. (3 Feb 2012). "The Best International Relations Schools in the World". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Best Public Affairs Programs". US News & World Report. 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  5. ^ "American University Profile". Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). Archived from the original on 22 November 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  6. ^ Foreign Policy – Top 50 International Affairs Schools
  7. ^ "Masters in International Relations | SIS | American University". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  8. ^ "International Relations Online | SIS | American University". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  9. ^ "Executive Master International Service | SIS | American University". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  10. ^ "Top 15 Online Masters of International Relations of 2018". Online Schools Center. 2015-05-31. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  11. ^ "MA in International Relations (Online), Washington, USA. Online MA! 2019". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  12. ^ "Executive Master of International Service, Master - Online by American University Washington DC, United States -". Retrieved 2018-11-26.