SIS students are current and aspiring global leaders, committed to international careers and public service. They have international experience, know a second language, and possess a spirit of inquiry and involvement. Our students draw on their diverse backgrounds and interests to build relationships with SIS faculty, alumni, and each other. They play an active role in the life of the School and are engaged in the Washington, DC community and around the world.
Our faculty are centrally interested in serving our students, and work to build close mentoring relationships both in and outside of classes. A hallmark of the School of International Service is that all of our faculty are appointed directly to SIS, meaning that they are exclusively dedicated to serving SIS students, rather than being stretched across multiple schools or departments. All scholar-practitioners, SIS professors draw from a wide range of areas of expertise and are thus able to offer students opportunities to learn about various aspects of international affairs from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Our extremely large faculty allows us to offer personalized mentorship to our students in our typically small seminar-style courses of about 20 students each on average. Faculty members often look to students to assist them in their research, which often lead to publication and consulting opportunities for students. Our faculty are also active and current in the field and consistently offer students advice and networking assistance as they seek internship and career opportunities.
Beginning with our first cohort of 13 master’s students in 1958 and continuing through the over 800 graduate students who are currently enrolled, SIS students and alumni serve in various sectors across the globe. They are White House Fellows, Presidential Management Fellowship Award winners, and Fulbright scholars. They lead international criminal tribunals, found human rights-focused NGOs, and broker international trade agreements. They develop global environmental policies, combat transnational terror and corruption, and use diplomacy to find nonviolent solutions to ongoing disputes. SIS alumni serve in a variety of ways, and their career paths are distributed across the public, private, and NGO/non-profit sectors. Students apply their skills both domestically and abroad, in government service, multinational corporations, and international NGOS. Regardless of the path they take, or how they choose to serve, SIS students are the global leaders envisioned by our founders.
SIS Graduate Programs
14 master's degrees. 9 dual-degree options. 1 executive program in international service. 6 graduate certificate programs. 1 PhD in international relations. Click here to see all that SIS has to offer.
Click here to listen as members of the SIS community describe the distinctive features of the School of International Service in their own words.
Visit SIS in Washington, DC
Come to the nation's capital to visit American University and the School of International Service. In addition to meeting with an admissions specialist, we offer a variety of events on campus including Open Houses and classroom visits. Learn more and RSVP here.