International Institute announces interdisciplinary master’s program


The International Institute at the University of Michigan will offer a Master’s in International and Regional Studies beginning in the fall of 2019.

MIRS combines an interdisciplinary curriculum, deep regional or thematic knowledge, and rigorous methodological training to prepare students for current and future international career opportunities both inside and outside of academia.

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“The new degree is designed to provide students with the comparative perspective and analytical tools to understand and address issues and challenges across the globe,” says II Director Pauline Jones, who spearheaded the development of MIRS.

MIRS builds on the strengths of the II’s interdisciplinary centers and programs, several of which are U.S. Department of Education National Resource Centers, and award Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships.

The new master’s program is aimed at “building on the university’s comparative advantage and maintaining its reputation as a core leader in international education,” says Jones.

The degree provides students with the unique option of pursuing either a regional or thematic track with multiple subplans anchored in II centers and programs. At the same time, the common MIRS structure creates opportunities for vibrant intellectual exchange among students who study different regions or global themes.

Qualified students can also combine a MIRS degree with another U-M graduate or professional degree to create a self-initiated dual-degree program.

The curriculum consists of 36 credit hours across subplans. Students will benefit from publicly engaged and internationally recognized faculty with area studies experience; rigorous, yet flexible, core requirements tailored to career interests; and robust academic advising and professional development opportunities.

MIRS contributes to the II’s overarching goal of equipping students to become active and informed global citizens. The shared curriculum is designed to produce leaders who can work on intercultural teams and value the contributions of multiple perspectives in problem solving.

Prospective students will apply though the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The program will be administered through the International Institute.

Applications to the MIRS degree program will be accepted starting this month. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2018.


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