About the Committee on International Relations

The Committee on International Relations (CIR) has its origins in a conference on the causes and characteristics of major wars, which was organized in 1926 by UChicago political scientists Charles Merriam and Quincy Wright. In 1928, the research papers and collaborations spawned by this conference led to the award of several master’s degrees and thereby the establishment of CIR, now the nation’s oldest graduate program in international affairs.

Combining rigorous core instruction with an interdisciplinary curriculum, CIR’s one-year master’s program allows students to explore the complexities of global politics and interact with world-class faculty, scholars, and professionals. Students develop depth of expertise by specializing in two fields of study and by producing an MA thesis, which is an original piece of research conducted under faculty supervision.