The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies is an internationally recognized leader in advancing the understanding of and engagement in world issues. As one of the oldest and largest schools in the country to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in international and area studies, we are dedicated to teaching and research that impact nations, communities, educators and individuals.

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies is an internationally recognized leader in advancing the understanding of and engagement in world issues. As one of the oldest and largest schools in the country to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in international and area studies, we are dedicated to teaching and research that impact nations, communities, educators and individuals.

About the Jackson School

Founded in 1909, the School is named for the late Senator Henry M. Jackson, in recognition of his interest and support for the School and the field of international affairs.

“His greatest contribution was in foreign affairs…he had a big strategic picture that was informed by history and one that kept the interests of the nation above and outside of partisan politics.” -Kenneth Pyle, Professor Emeritus, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington 

Situated in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, the Jackson School offers unique access to a global hub of innovation, technology and public service research, internships and jobs. Our alumni work in a range of fields, including: the U.S. Foreign Service; major corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks; international agencies like The World Bank, United Nations, and the biggest foundation in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; think tanks; universities, and diplomatic missions of foreign governments.

The Jackson School hosts 21 centers and programs; five of these are U.S. Department of Education-funded National Resource Centers dedicated to education and public service. Through these Centers, we award Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to students throughout the UW. For Summer 2022 and Academic Year 2022-2023, four of the five Centers awarded a total of 53 FLAS fellowships to 44 UW undergraduate and graduate students.


The Jackson School offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Undergraduates choose from six majors—Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Comparative Religion, Jewish Studies, or International Studies—and 17 minors. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and focuses on area studies, international policy issues and skill-based learning. Classes are taught by UW faculty and practitioners from both public and private sectors. Study abroad is strongly encouraged.

A highlight of the International Studies major is Task Force, a capstone seminar which requires students to investigate a current global policy issue, write an analysis and make recommendations to external evaluators with expertise on the issue, and Seminars in Public Writing, which is a writing seminar with a greater emphasis on editing and workshopping writing for a public audience.

Select undergraduate and graduate students also join our Global Research Groups, bringing actionable insights to private and public sector organizations for their strategic and operational objectives.

At the graduate level, we offer 10 programs that lead to a master’s degree. The 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. Students with at least five years of professional experience may apply to a 10-month or two-year part-time Executive M.A. of International Studies.

The Ph.D. in International Studies trains scholars and practitioners with deep knowledge of areas in the context of contemporary global themes, policy challenges and real-world problems. Our Ph.D. allows for a three-year program of completion.

The Office of Alumni & Career Services connects students to internships, an alumni-student mentor program and job opportunities throughout the year. Although not all alumni pursue international careers, many have a global aspect in their jobs, in public, private and nongovernmental sectors.


Jackson School faculty represent a broad spectrum of social science disciplines. They are also associated with other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and other schools and colleges at the UW, including the College of the Environment, School of Law, and the Michael G. Foster School of Business. Honors include:

4 UW Distinguished Teaching Awards
1 UW Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
1 UW Outstanding Public Service Award
1 UW Distinguished Staff Award
2 UW Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
1 James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities
1 UW Alumni Association “Last Word” Lecture Award
1 Governor’s Writers Award
1 World Educator Award, World Affairs Council
3 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships
1 U.S. Institute for Peace Senior Fellowship
1 Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Asian Studies
3 Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Republic of France
3 Third Order of the Rising Sun Awards, Government of Japan
4 National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grants
2 National Science Foundation Research Grants
President, Association for Schools of International Affairs
President, Association for Asian Studies
President, Association for Jewish Studies
President, Turkish Studies Association
President, World History Association
Editor, Journal of Asian Studies
Editor, Journal of Japanese Studies


The Jackson School offers leading-edge research in global and area studies. Our internationally prominent faculty represent a range of fields in the social sciences and humanities, including anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, religion, sociology and gender, women & sexuality studies. Some notable research projects include: the effects of free-trade agreements on human rights; public health and environmental security; nuclear non-proliferation in Asia; civil society in Asia, Latin America and Europe; defense industrialization in China; the relationship between religion and violence; U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East; history of U.S. foreign policy; the Mexican Revolution; political economy of India, post-Soviet politics; and politics of indigenous communities.


Each year the Jackson School and its centers and programs sponsor hundreds of academic and public conferences, lectures and cultural events featuring scholars, NGOs, business and diplomats from around the world. In addition, the School’s International Policy Institute, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, brings together academics and policymakers in forums in both Seattle and Washington D.C. to tackle pressing global topics such as cybersecurity, religion and the Arctic.

Our 21 centers and programs provide ongoing education opportunities for K-12 educators via workshops, lectures, partnerships with media and international study tours. They offer up-to-date information and recommendations on global education resources and support in planning international curricula and activities.

National Resource Centers

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 five Title VI National Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education:

Our National Resource Centers focus on area and international studies, languages and thematic issues, and provide teacher training and critical global education resources for students, K-12 teachers, community college teachers, university faculty and the public at the local, regional, national and international levels.

The Foreign Language and Area Studies Program, commonly known as FLAS, also funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides academic year and summer fellowships to students in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies. For 2022-2026, the Jackson School received $10.6 million in federal funding for FLAS fellowships and for the National Resource Centers.


Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)

The Jackson School is a Member School of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). APSIA comprises 60+ schools in the Americas, Asia and Europe dedicated to the improvement of professional education in international affairs and the advancement thereby of international understanding, prosperity, peace, and security.

For more information on APSIA click here

Last updated: January 2023