Welcome to the Penn State School of International Affairs

James W. Houck

As technology, globalization, and the need for cross-cutting knowledge transform our society, our world needs innovative leaders who understand this complexity and can propose new ways forward. The Penn State School of International Affairs is uniquely situated to provide this education for the next generation of leaders.

We offer a highly interdisciplinary and flexible program, which allows you to take courses from across Penn State, with a choice of 12 optional concentrations plus the ability to design your own master’s concentration that fits your interests and goals; as well as comprehensive, integrated undergraduate-graduate degree programs. You will learn from an elite, experienced faculty that includes former U.S. ambassadors, senior U.S. military officers, CIA analyst and National Security Council member, legal adviser to the United Nations and African Union, an economic consultant to the World Bank, as well as leading scholars of international affairs, all with a record of distinguished scholarship and engagement in the public discourse.

From the moment you begin at the Penn State School of International Affairs, you join the Penn State community—and your career path is guiding by the largest alumni network in the world. Our dedicated Career Services Office places the highest priority on identifying internship and career opportunities for SIA students and graduates. With a more than 90% career attainment rate for our graduates, including positions in government, global NGOs, IGOs, and private industry, SIA will help launch you into a promising future.

You will have opportunities to learn in our state-of-the-art Lewis Katz Building, with advanced distance learning technology that allows for remote education around the world. Our classes emphasize hands-on learning and include an annual school-wide simulation with the U.S. Army War College. You will also experience the world of international affairs with special events and guest speakers at SIA each year, plus career exposure trips to nearby Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Many students also include a semester abroad in their degree program. As the only international affairs program in the United States co-located with a law school, we provide exciting opportunities for you to connect international affairs and law (and offer a joint J.D./M.I.A. degree).

We are committed to the School of International Affairs being a welcoming and inclusive environment for every member of our community, and to actively combatting bias and inequality in our School, at Penn State, and our broader society.  Over 500 alumni, students, faculty, and staff signed the Statement of the Penn State Law and School of International Affairs Community Against Racism, and we have developed concrete action steps that we continue to build upon.

Penn State’s University Park campus provides not only the opportunity to access the incredible resources of one of the world’s leading research universities, but also the experience of being part of one of the most globally diverse universities in the world.

At the Penn State School of International Affairs, we are training the next generation of global leaders who will help shape the future of our complex world. I invite you to explore our program further here on our website (sia.psu.edu) or in person through a visit and discover what the Penn State School of International Affairs has to offer.

James W. Houck

James W. Houck
Interim Dean, Penn State Law and School of International Affairs
Distinguished Scholar in Residence
Director, Center for Security Research and Education