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Global Issues

UCIS Connects Pitt Scholars to World

In  1968, when the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) was created as an encompassing framework for all of Pitt’s international programs, it was unique. Today, it’s emulated worldwide.

The design for UCIS was carefully thought out to promote the integration and synthesis of international knowledge, to avoid its splintering into disciplinary islands. It’s a University-wide matrix organization that encompasses centers for area studies and centers on topical specializations in international studies.

UCIS coordinates international education curricula and provides support services such as the Study Abroad Office. It does not compete with departments or schools; rather, UCIS integrates and reinforces all the strands of international scholarship in the University in research, teaching, and public service.

Kathleen Musante DeWalt, director of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), one of UCIS’s component centers, explains: “Because international studies is so well integrated into the University experience at Pitt, even students not actively pursuing a certificate in one of our area studies or global studies programs complete their University education with a much more informed and sophisticated view of the world than in many other institutions."

Three of UCIS’ component centers are designated by the federal government as National Resource Centers and are thus among the top few centers of this kind in the nation. These three area studies centers are: CLAS, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and the Global Studies Center. The International Business Center, jointly sponsored by the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and UCIS, is also federally designated as a Center for International Business Education and Research. In addition, UCIS is home to one of only ten European Union Centers of Excellence in the United States, funded by the European Union. It also sponsors certificate programs in African Studies, Asian Studies, and European Studies.