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Josef Korbel School of International Studies


Josef Korbel School of International Studies

The Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Motto Pro Scientia et Religione
Established 1964 as the Graduate School of International Studies
Type Private
Dean Christopher R. Hill
Undergraduates 260
Postgraduates 450
Location Denver, Colorado
Campus UrbanUniversity of Denver
Nickname Josef Korbel School, JKSIS

The Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver is a professional school of international affairs offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. It is named in honor of the founding dean, Josef Korbel, father of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The Josef Korbel School is located on the University of Denver’s main campus in Denver’s University Hill neighborhood. The school currently educates more than 700 students with nearly 70 full- and part-time faculty members.[1] It is also home to 10 academic research centers and institutes.[2] Former U.S. Ambassador Christopher R. Hill has been dean of the school since July 2010.[3]

In February 2012, the school's master's programs were ranked 11th in the world by Foreign Policy magazine.[4] The Josef Korbel School is a full member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).[5]


  • History 1
  • Degree programs 2
    • Undergraduate programs 2.1
    • Graduate programs 2.2
    • Dual degree programs 2.3
  • Reputation and rankings 3
    • Rankings 3.1
    • Peace Corps Fellows 3.2
  • Notable people 4
    • Korbel alumni 4.1
    • Notable faculty 4.2
  • Research centers, publications and partnerships 5
    • Featured journals 5.1
    • Other opportunities and partnerships 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, part of the Josef Korbel School

The Department of International Relations at the University of Denver was first directed by Dr. Ben Mark Cherrington, an educator and policy maker who was associated with some of his era's preeminent political thinkers, including Gandhi, Louis Brandeis and Ramsay MacDonald.[6]

According to the University of Denver, "In 1938, Cherrington was handpicked by the United States Department of State to lead its new Division of Cultural Relations and tasked with carrying out 'the exchange of professors, teachers, and students...cooperation in the field of music, art, radio broadcasts...generally, the dissemination abroad of the representative intellectual and cultural work of the U.S.'"[6] Cherrington later became chancellor of the University of Denver from 1943 to 1946, and he was also a contributing author to the United Nations Charter.[7]

The Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) was established under the efforts of Josef Korbel, who became its first dean, in 1964. Decades earlier, he had been forced to flee during the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948.[8] Korbel was granted political asylum in the United States and was hired in 1949 to teach international politics at the University of Denver. To house the school, the 30,300-square-foot (2,810 m2) Ben M. Cherrington Hall was built in 1965.

Nearly 25 years after Korbel's death, the University of Denver established the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award in 2000. In 2008, the Graduate School of International Studies was renamed the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, in his honor and in recognition of his family's support.[9]

Other deans who followed Korbel include Tom Farer, a lawyer, scholar and diplomat who served in the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Defense Department and as president of the University of New Mexico.[10] Former U.S Ambassador Christopher R. Hill took over as dean in 2010. Hill has experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, and has served as ambassador to Macedonia, Poland, South Korea and Iraq. He was a member of the team that negotiated the Bosnia peace settlement and has worked on negotiations with North Korea.[3][11]

Degree programs

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, dean of JKSIS

Undergraduate programs

The Josef Korbel School offers a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with the following specializations:[12]

  • Global Political Economy & International Politics
  • International Development & Health
  • International Organizations, Security & Human Rights

Graduate programs

The Josef Korbel School focuses on training graduate students, both for master's and doctoral degrees, in a number of different areas. In addition to the major, students also specify certain concentrations, either a subject interest or a regional focus. Most degrees require foreign language proficiency and a field internship.

The school's graduate programs include majors in International Human Rights; International Development; Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration; International Administration; International Security; and International Studies.[13][14] As a result of its Peace Corps Master’s International and Fellows programs, the school is home to one of the largest Peace Corps communities at the graduate level.[15][16]

Graduate students can earn graduate certification in Global Health Affairs, Homeland Security and Humanitarian Assistance on top of their master's degree work.[17]

Dual degree programs

The Korbel School also offers dual degrees in conjunction with the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business, Sturm College of Law, Graduate School of Social Work, School of Communications, and Institute for Public Policy Studies. These degrees are MA/MBA, MA/JD, MA/MSW, MA/MA, and MA/MPP, respectively.[13]

Reputation and rankings


The Josef Korbel School’s graduate programs were ranked 11th in the world by the 2012 Inside the Ivory Tower survey of scholars, which was published in Foreign Policy. In 2007, the magazine ranked the Korbel master's program as 9th in the U.S. for graduate level, international affairs programs.[4][18] It is also one of 35 institutions worldwide that is a full member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, a grouping of international studies-orientated institutions.[5]

Peace Corps Fellows

In 2011, 77 returned Peace Corps volunteers matriculated as graduate students at the University of Denver through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship program. Coverdell Fellows are individuals who receive funding and support to help offset the costs of graduate school following their return from service abroad in the Peace Corps. The 2011 and 2013 figures show that DU hosted the largest number of returned Peace Corps volunteers of any graduate school in the country.[19][20] These volunteers are most often enrolled in one of the Korbel School's M.A. programs.[16]

Notable people

Sec. Condoleezza Rice, B.A. '74, PhD '81
Gen. George Casey, M.A. '80
Mohammad Javad Zarif, MA '84, PhD '88

Korbel alumni

Many of the school's alumni have gone on to careers in international service:

Notable faculty

Several noted professionals in the field of international relations serve as professors and lecturers as part of the school's faculty.[39] Some past and present faculty members include:

Research centers, publications and partnerships

Ben Cherrington Hall, home to the Korbel School

JKSIS is home to 10 research centers, clinics and institutes, including the following:

  • Center for China-U.S. Cooperation: according to the center's website, it is "the only institution in the Rocky Mountain region devoted to building mutual understanding, prudent policies and avenues of dispute resolution among the people of Greater China and the United States."[2]
  • Center on Rights Development: a center which promotes universal recognition of human rights through research, advocacy, monitoring, representation, and outreach.[2]
  • Center for Middle East Studies: The Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) is dedicated to promoting and strengthening the study and understanding of the societies, political systems, and international relations of the Middle East and broader Islamic world, both at DU and throughout the Mountain West."[2]
  • Center for the Study of Europe and the World: a joint program with the University of Colorado's, aimed at studying transatlantic and European Union issues.[2]
  • Collaborative Refugee and Immigrant Information Center: a referral and informational database project designed as a resource for immigrants and displaced persons settling in Colorado.[49]
  • Conflict Resolution Institute: a research program dedicated to studying peaceful de-escalation techniques. It sponsors the university's Conflict Resolution Master of Arts degree.[2][50]
  • Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures: a research, analysis and education center for International Futures, a computer modeling system that can help forecast long-term global changes and trends in demographics, economics and the environment. Endowed by Frederick S. Pardee in 2007.[51] Current model results are being hosted by the Google Public Data Explorer.[2][52]
  • Human Trafficking Clinic: a clinic which provides professional research, writing, and educational outreach on [2]
  • International Career Advancement Program": a professional development leadership program for mid-career individuals in the international affairs field.[2]
  • Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy: a major teaching and research center for leadership training in international security and diplomacy. This center supports the school's study-abroad arrangement with Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and directs the Sié Fellows program, which offers full-tuition scholarships to top applicants.[2][53]

Featured journals

The Josef Korbel Journal of Advanced International Studies, Human Rights and Human Welfare, and the Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS), in July 2009.

Other opportunities and partnerships

Students at the Josef Korbel School often pursue internship opportunities as part of their degree program.[57] Students have interned with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United Nations, the FBI, the OECD, and World Vision International, among others.[58]

The Josef Korbel School participates in a Washington, D.C., program with the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. For the past five years, Korbel, GSPIA and the Maxwell School have operated the Global Security and Development Program, which combines professional internships with graduate courses taught by adjunct faculty drawn from the Washington, D.C., area's pool of experts in international relations and economics.[59] Another study program outside of Denver offered by the school is its Geneva Program, a six-month exchange program allowing ten Korbel students to take classes at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.[53]


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  51. ^ University of Denver: Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures: Founding Supporter
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External links

  • The Josef Korbel School of International Studies Website

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