Profile of the School

Established in 2006, the School for International Studies offers interdisciplinary research and teaching on peace and security; international development; human rights and international law; and governance and civil society.

Our School is privileged to host a number of distinguished faculty with a wide breadth of research expertise. You can see a full list of our faculty and read their profiles on our faculty page.

The School has a core faculty of 12, you can read all their profiles on our faculty page. Faculty honors and merits include:

14  Editorial Board members for scholarly journals

10  Visiting research fellowships, including at Harvard, Princeton and Northwestern

3  Fulbright Scholars

3  Cormack Teaching Excellence Award recipients

3  Fellows, Royal Society of Canada

2  Endowed Research Chairs

1  President of the Latin American Studies Association

1  Carnegie Scholar (USA)

1  Fellow, Trudeau Foundation

Core faculty have secured competitive grants totaling $4.96 million.

Our faculty have contributed to the work of these United Nations bodies:

UN General Assembly
UN Secretary-General’s office
UN Security Council
UN Development Programme
UN Convention on Biodiversity
UN High Commission for Refugees
UN Group of Experts on the DR Congo
UN Institute for Disarmament Research
UN Working Group on Conflict Prevention
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
UN Research Institute for Social Development

Our faculty make over 25 media appearances per year, on national and international broadcast, print and web media, including:

  • Financial Times
  • The Globe and Mail
  • The Guardian
  • The Hill Times
  • Maclean’s Magazine
  • National Post
  • New York Times
  • Toronto Star
  • Vancouver Sun
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post
  • Al-Jazeera English
  • BBC (radio, TV)
  • Bloomberg TV
  • CBC (radio, TV)
  • CNN

Among many more!

Our degree programs

The School offers an undergraduate major and a master’s degree in
International Studies. Undergraduate program highlights:

  • 2 capstone seminars taught by our core faculty
  • solid grounding in methods for interdisciplinary research
  • a wide range of study-abroad and field school options

Our MA program has an interdisciplinary curriculum exploring the intersection of international development, conflict and governance. Highlights:

  • small class size in all core courses
  • optional regional concentrations
  • diverse co-op opportunities in Canada and abroad

Our graduates have taken up positions at:

  • Aga Khan Foundation of Canada
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay
  • Embassy of Canada in Mexico
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Immigrant Services Society of BC
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, BC
  • Red Cross (Canada and USA)
  • Syria Relief & Development (humanitarian NGO)
  • Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada
  • United Nations Development Programme, Haiti
  • United Nations Verification Mission, Colombia
  • Women and Gender Equality Canada
  • World Vision

Among many others!

Our Students

International Studies majors have a high academic profile at SFU. Our graduates have gone on to complete higher degrees at the University of Oxford, London School of Economics, Columbia University and University of Toronto, among others.

Our Masters students have held paid co-op positions with:

  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Embassy of Canada
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • BC Ministry of Finance
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Department of National Defence
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Peacegeeks
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • BC Ministry of Finance

The International Studies Student Association (ISSA) is an active community-builder that organizes a variety of academic and social events each year. The Association also publishes Confluence, a peer-reviewed journal open to students from across SFU.

Outreach and Engagement

We organize an average of 20 public lectures and workshops every year. Among our distinguished guest speakers:

  • Louise Arbour, former Canadian Supreme Court Justice; Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Zainah Anwar, prominent Muslim feminist; founder of Sisters in Islam
  • Romeo Dallaire, former commander of UN peacekeeping/observation missions and campaigner to end the use of child soldiers
  • Jayantha Dhanapala, former Under Secretary General at the UN; policy innovator on landmines/small arms, Arctic security
  • Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister; CEO, International Crisis Group; architect of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine
  • Ramesh Thakur, former UN Assistant Secretary General; architect of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine

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