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Facts: Jackson School of International Studies

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The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies is a nationally recognized leader in advancing the understanding of and engagement in world issues. Through our interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate academic and experiential learning programs, we prepare global citizens to lead with a nuanced contextual knowledge of how the world works.

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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. Situated in the Pacific Northwest, we offer 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. government; The White House; major corporations such as Microsoft, Starbucks and CNN; 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; six of these are U.S. Department of Education-funded National Resource Centers dedicated to education and public service (see complete list on reverse). Through these Centers, we award Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to students throughout the UW.



The Jackson School offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Undergraduates choose from seven majors—Asian Studies, Canadian 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. 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 M.A. in Applied International Studies.

The PhD 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 PhD allows for a three-year program of completion.

The Office of 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.

Our Academic Programs*

  • African Studies
  • Arctic Studies
  • Canadian Studies
  • China Studies
  • Comparative Islamic Studies
  • Comparative Religion Studies
  • European Studies
  • Human Rights (tri-campus minor)
  • International Studies
  • Japan Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Korea Studies
  • Latin American & Caribbean Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Southeast Asian Studies

*undergraduate majors, minors and/or graduate studies


  • 484 Undergraduate majors
  • 77 Undergraduate minors
  • 129 Graduate Students
  • 6,500 Total student enrollments (2017-2018)

*Autumn 2018

Degrees Awarded*

  • 318 Bachelor of Arts
  • 60 Master of Arts
  • 3 PhD

*Sept. 2017 - Aug. 2018

Major Student Awards*

  • 5 Boren Scholarships
  • 1 Bonderman Travel Fellowship
  • 3 Critical Language Scholarships
  • 3 Fulbright Scholarships
  • 1 Dean's Medalist
  • 6 Husky 100 honorees

*Autumn 2016 - Autumn 2018



  • 23 Professors
  • 15 Associate Professors
  • 7 Assistant Professors
  • 1 Senior Lecturer
  • 4 Emeritus Professors
  • 4 Adjunct Faculty
  • 31 Affiliate Faculty

*Autumn 2018

Jackson School faculty represent a broad spectrum of social science disciplines. They are also associated with other departments in the College of Arts & 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.

Faculty Honors

  • 4 UW Distinguished Teaching Awards
  • 1 UW Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
  • 1 UW Outstanding Public Service Award
  • 1 UW Distinguished Staff Award
  • 1 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
  • 2 Third Order of the Rising Sun Awards, Government of Japan
  • 4 National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grants
  • President, Association for Schools of International Affairs
  • President, Association for Asian 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

  • Canadian Studies Center
  • East Asian Center
  • Center for Global studies
  • Middle East Center
  • South Asia Center
  • Southeast Asia Center

Other Centers & Programs

  • Comparative Religion 
  • International Policy Institute
  • Center for Human Rights
  • Stroum Center for Jewish Studies
  • Latin and American Caribbean studies
  • Ellison Center for Russian, East European and central Asian Studies


What's in a Name? A Jackson School Timeline

  • 1909: The Jackson School begins as the Department of Oriental Subjects. 
  • Post WW II: The Department becomes the Far Eastern and Russian Institute.
  • 1978: The Institute is named the School of International Studies
  • 1983: The School's current name is adopted in recognition of the interest and support that the late Senator Jackson had given to the School and the field of international affairs.



The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Box 353650
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4370


Last updated: February 2019