Rigorous and Stimulating
The University of Chicago offers an unparalleled place for the graduate study of international relations as well as unique access to the larger world of intellectual engagement in one of the most exciting cities in the United States. Along with its world-class faculty, which currently includes eight Nobel Prize winners, and its rigorous and stimulating curricula, the University is also known as a place where graduate students take true pride of place.
The Committee on International Relations, which began its activities in 1928, is the nation's oldest graduate program in international affairs. Two scholars associated with the early days of the committee, Hans Morgenthau and Quincy Wright, were seminal scholars of American foreign policy and helped to found the discipline of International Relations. Today's CIR faculty continues this distinguished tradition.
The centerpiece of the CIR experience is the preparation of a faculty advised thesis that explores a significant problem in international affairs. Students also complete two core seminars in international relations and international political economy that introduce state of the art scholarship in these fields and choose from a wide range of courses, often taught in small seminar-style settings, by faculty from throughout the university in international relations, political economy, development, law, human rights and regional studies.
Outside the formal curricula CIR students can participate in more than 70 workshops in the humanities and social sciences coordinated by the University's Council on Advanced Study (CIS), including several, such as the Program on International Security Policy (PISP) and the Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security (PIPES), that cater explicitly to international relations scholars. The workshop system is at the heart of the University's graduate education. It allows students and faculty alike to engage the latest research presented by their peers, as well as by prominent faculty from around the country. CIR students are active workshop attendees with some of them serving as discussants or contributors.
CIS also promotes partnerships with the University's area studies centers — the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the South Asian Language and Area Center, and the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies — as well as the Center for International Studies and the University's Human Rights Program by organizing academic workshops and conferences, activist outreach efforts, and various other collaborative projects.
CIR students enjoy full access to all of the academic resources offered by the University of Chicago. This includes the Regenstein Library, one of the most advanced and comprehensive research libraries in the world. A large part of the immense collection of over 4.5 million volumes is easily accessible and can be browsed in the 'stacks'. The recently opened state-of-the-art Mansueto Library, attached to the Regenstein, boasts room for over 3.5 million volumes. Its architecturally stunning reading room is the most coveted study space on campus. Students can also take advantage of the university's vast online scholarly resources, and enroll in complimentary training programs in how to employ the latest research software.
The character of the University is deeply shaped by its location in Chicago, a truly global city offering an impressive array of intellectual and cultural resources. CIR students have, for example, access to Northwestern University's Library, the Newberry Library, and many other Chicago research institutions. The Committee also maintains strong links with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which hosts frequent talks and conferences for students interested in the vibrant world of policy-making.