About CIS



The Center for International Studies (CIS) aims to support and promote international research and education at MIT. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars whenever possible. We produce research that creatively addresses global issues, while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.


The work and expertise of CIS-affiliated scholars inform public opinion, government decision makers, international organizations, and the MIT community. The Center’s programs, projects, and the individual output of faculty, staff, and graduate students are reflected in research, public outreach, and publications.

CIS includes 120 members of MIT faculty and staff, mainly drawn from the departments of political science and urban studies, and visiting scholars from around the world. The Center’s annual budget is roughly $10.4 million. Our work is supported by foreign foundations, companies and universities (33 percent); endowment income (23 percent); American foundations (13 percent); internal MIT support (11 percent); course fees (7 percent); and individual donors (3 percent). In recent years, the Center’s endowment funds have grown rapidly and now total roughly $75 million.


The Center’s research and education programs contribute to MIT’s long-standing emphasis on creation of knowledge for the public good. The Security Studies Program (SSP) is widely recognized as a leader in its field, generating important insights into international security issues and training graduate students for influential careers in academia, government, business, and civil society organizations. The MIT Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), the Center’s international education program for MIT students, is a pioneering effort that has brought the world to thousands of students through laboratory internships abroad and educational events on campus. Visit our Center’s Programs page for a complete list of our programs.