University of Washington

About JSIS

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) combines the social sciences, humanities, and professional fields to enhance our understanding of our increasingly interconnected globe. The school is named for late Senator Henry M. Jackson, in recognition of his interest and support for the school and for the field of international affairs.

The Jackson School’s commitment to regional, cross-cultural, and comparative studies extends well beyond the boundaries of its many formal academic programs. The school has eight Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs)—Canadian Studies; East Asia Center; Center for West European Studies; International Studies; Middle East Studies; Ellison Center for Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies; South Asian Studies; and Southeast Asian Studies—Devoted to outreach and public education activities. Each NRC receives Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, awarded to graduate students throughout the University. The Jackson School is the number one recipient of NRC and FLAS awards in the country.

Education

The Jackson School offers seven undergraduate majors—Asian Studies, Canadian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Comparative Religion, Jewish Studies, and International studies—and 14 minors. The curriculum is multidisciplinary and focuses especially on international policy issues and processes. Language study is required for all area studies degrees, both undergraduate and graduate, and study abroad is strongly encouraged. JSIS also includes classes taught by prominent practitioners, government officials, business executives, lawyers and non-governmental organization leaders.

A unique feature of the international Studies program is the “Task Force” capstone course that requires students to team together to research a specific policy issue and offer a set of recommendations. Their written report is then subjected to oral evaluation by an experienced policymaker. Many students cite this course as the highlight of their undergraduate education.

At the graduate level, JSIS offers eight interdisciplinary programs that lead to a Master of Arts degree. The general International Studies program has the broadest focus, and is often pursued concurrently with professional degree programs in business administration, marine affairs, forest resources, public affairs, law, or public health.

The JSIS Office of Career Services provides career guidance. Although not all alumni pursue “international” careers, many have an international aspect of their career, in fields ranging from education to private sector business and trade to government and non-profit organizations.

Faculty

The award-winning Jackson School faculty represent all the social science disciplines. Additional faculty are drawn from the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and University professional schools, such as the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, the School of Law, and the School of Business Administration.

Research

The Jackson School offers cutting edge research on policy studies, international political economy, and international affairs. Our internationally prominent faculty represents a range of fields in the social sciences and humanities, including anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, religious studies, sociology, and women studies.

Outreach

The Jackson School sponsors dozens of conferences, colloquia, and seminars featuring the works of scholars, business people, and diplomats from around the world. JSIS faculty regularly share their expertise through public lectures sponsored by the school, interviews with local and national media, and community presentations.