Expand AU Menu

About the School of International Service

The exterior of the SIS Building

American University’s School of International Service (SIS) produces cutting edge research and prepares the next generation of leaders to address global challenges.

A top ten school of international relations located in Washington, DC, SIS provides opportunities for academic excellence, professional training, service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

SIS was founded in 1957 through a call by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to train students of international affairs to “wage peace.” Nearly six decades later, SIS continues to emphasize service to the global community, broadly defined.

SIS, led by Dean James Goldgeier, is guided by the principle that present and future global challenges necessitate the collaboration of a wide range of disciplines, and that students gain from these varied perspectives in the classroom and through their research and studies at the school and beyond.

SIS enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the United States and more than 150 countries, taught by nearly 120 full-time faculty members. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum prepares graduates for future studies and for global careers in government, multilateral and non-governmental organizations, and in the private sector.

SIS features a comprehensive liberal arts program for undergraduate students, professional training in international affairs for master’s students, including an innovative, live, online degree program, and a multidisciplinary program for doctoral students.

The school’s numerous and flexible programs of study offer students a wide range of opportunities that include dual degrees, graduate certificates, online classes, executive degrees, a BA/MA, a three-year BA, a program for Peace Corps volunteers, a pre-college program, and more.

SIS is notable among international affairs schools in its breadth and depth, with students learning from leading scholars, researchers, and senior practitioners, including political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, geographers, and historians.

SIS faculty are specialists in foreign policy and national security, international development, global and regional governance, international economics, peace and conflict resolution, ethics and human rights, communications, energy and environment, social enterprise, regional and comparative studies, global health, and more.

Moreover, SIS faculty specialize in nearly every region of the world—including East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, North America, Russia and Eurasia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Students learn core competencies such as research and writing, statistical analysis and research methods, analytics, and economics as they develop regional and functional expertise.

From workshops and practica, to professional seminars and skills institutes, SIS students have opportunities to build on and gain new tools to use in their future studies and careers.

The school’s commitment to sustainability is reinforced through its “green” architecture. AU’s beautiful campus and the school’s spectacular new LEED-gold certified building create unique opportunities for student and faculty collaboration on ecological initiatives.

SIS is strategically located in Washington, DC, where students can take advantage of the vast wealth of professional, intellectual, educational, and cultural resources available in the nation’s capital. The city offers unique opportunities to study and conduct research and actively engage in the ongoing work of international relations. SIS is a vibrant forum for debates and events, and frequently hosts government, NGO, and industry leaders to talk and meet with students.

The school’s relationships with the policy and business worlds and its university partnerships enable students to study abroad, secure internships, and launch successful careers. The school’s worldwide alumni offer students a large and extensive network in their internship and career explorations.

SIS students are current and aspiring global leaders, committed to international careers and service. Originating from diverse domestic and international backgrounds, they are united by their spirit of inquiry and engagement. They routinely win prestigious national scholarships, fellowships, and awards. Our students play an active role in the life of the school and are involved in the Washington, DC, community, and in communities around the world.

Follow SIS on Facebook and Twitter. Watch the SIS video.