University to establish School of International Affairs

January 19, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 19) approved the establishment of a new School of International Affairs, effective July 1.

"The need has never been greater for professionals of all walks of life to develop a deeper awareness of a world that is increasingly linked in matters of peace and security, health and commerce, and the sharing of natural resources," said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. "We believe that Penn State can enhance its contribution to this multidisciplinary challenge by establishing a School of International Affairs."

The new school, which will offer a professional master's degree in international affairs with several specialty concentrations, will be housed administratively within Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. Like the law school, the new school emphasizes the practical applications of knowledge for solving complex social problems and the importance of high ethical standards in a variety of challenging situations, law school dean Philip McConnaughay explained. These characteristics, together with the internationalization of law practice and legal education, mean that the two schools will share similar educational objectives.

The advanced digital audiovisual telecommunications capabilities of the Law School's two new buildings, in which the University is undertaking a $110 million capital investment, will offer the School of International Affairs the ability to reach audiences and students throughout the world and to deliver lectures and programs originating throughout the world to audiences and students within the school.

The proposal to create the new school was prepared by a faculty Strategic Planning Committee whose members were drawn from several academic colleges across the University. Approved by the Faculty Senate Council in November, the school will be multidisciplinary in its curriculum and perspectives, utilizing the expertise of Penn State faculty from many fields relevant to international affairs. The School of International Affairs plans to begin admitting students for fall 2008.

The new School of International Affairs is the latest in a host of international initiatives under Spanier's leadership, including expanded curricular and study-abroad opportunities for Penn State students, the increased presence of international students and scholars at Penn State, and enhanced collaborations between Penn State and key universities in other countries.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015