The UCLA International Institute educates students, supports scholarship on the world at UCLA and serves as a campus and community resource.
With a history dating back to 1958, the Institute is the central hub for global and area studies on campus. Its more than 27 centers and programs support innovative multidisciplinary research on specific world regions and pressing global issues. Its rigorous academic programs offer degrees in global studies, international development, global health, international migration and diverse regions and countries of the world.
The UCLA International Instituted is directed by a senior management team led by the Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement and two Associate Vice Provosts.
The Office of the Vice Provost develops and implements UCLA’s global strategy, manages the university’s partnership agreements with foreign educational and research institutions, and represents UCLA to international constituencies and organizations. (To learn more about the Office of the VP, click here
Academic Programs: Global and Area Studies. The International Institute’s wide variety of interdisciplinary academic programs offer six undergraduate majors, ten undergraduate minors and three master’s degree programs. Together, they enroll nearly 1,000 students each year. UCLA International Institute alumni — some of whom go on to pursue advanced research and professional degrees — work in the education, government, cultural, nonprofit and business sectors of countries all over the world.
The internationally renowned faculty who serve as directors of the Institute's centers — and as chairs and teaching faculty in its academic programs — hold appointments throughout UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and professional schools. Many faculty further enrich the Institute’s global and regional course offerings by leading travel study and education abroad programs.
To sustain the expertise that makes UCLA a leader in scholarship on the world, the International Institute actively recruits and helps fund faculty who specialize in international studies. The Institute also supports advanced language classes and courses on specific world regions and topics. In addition, each of its individual centers sustains a network of research scholars across the campus, the nation and the globe.
Research on the World. Both the UCLA International Institute and its centers support cutting-edge research via graduate student fellowships; language study scholarships; faculty grants; and funding for conferences, publications and multidisciplinary research projects. On campus, the Institute is uniquely positioned to bring together varied departments and centers to foster collaborative research and debate on issues such as climate change, public health threats, international conflicts and migration.
Initiatives spearheaded by the UCLA International Institute have included conferences and workshops on a wide variety of global topics such as migration, water conservation and management in different world regions, Sinitic Buddhism, the role of religion in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the history of the left in twentieth-century Mexico, minorities in the Middle East and the challenge of medical interventions among indigenous populations in Central America.
Campus and Community Resource. Part of a leading public university in the global city of Los Angeles, the UCLA International Institute is also a first‐class resource for the city and its residents. The breadth and depth of its research interests make the International Institute a valuable partner to its home city. The multiethnic population and economic interests of Los Angeles connect it closely to the countries of the Pacific Rim and Latin America, as well as those of the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The Institute reaches this greater LA community and the campus through roughly 250 annual public lectures, symposia, conferences and cultural events — the vast majority of which are free of charge.
Recent events sponsored by the Institute’s individual centers have addressed the war in Ukraine; the Armenian Genocide; the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan; Afghan literature; the crisis of the Nile River Basin; the history and politics of modern-day Colombia, Brazil and Mexico; Israeli history and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the complicated identities of immigrants and refugees; pre-modern history in Southeast Asia; contemporay Chinese filmmakers and writers; popular culture in South Asia; and professional development workshops on Latin America for K–12 teachers.
UCLA International Institute in Facts and Figures
- More than 650 affiliated faculty spanning all disciplines
- Offers 6 undergraduate majors, 10 undergraduate minors and 3 graduate degree programs
- Enrolls nearly 1,000 students each year
- 461 undergraduate degree recipients (majors and minors) in 2021–22
- 29 graduate degree recipients in 2021–22
- 10,556 alumni — as of summer 2022 — who have collectively completed 11,120 Institute academic programs, including double majors and minors
- Received more than $20 million in extramural grants and funding in the period 2015–2021
- Three federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers, which support area and language studies as well as teacher training:
- Center for Near Eastern Studies
- Center for Southeast Asian Studies
- Latin American Institute
- One federally funded National Language Resource Center (NLRC), the first of its kind in the United States: National Heritage Language Resource Center (part of the Center for World Languages)
- Two centers, the Asia Pacific Center and Center for European and Russian Studies, that also offer Title VI-funded fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students to study advanced levels of Asian and under-studied European languages and cultures, respectively
- Awarded almost $900,000 annually in student fellowships and scholarships over the period 2015–2021
- Sponsors and/or organizes roughly 250 public events annually
- Hosts hundreds of visiting international dignitaries and professional leaders each year, including 220 visitors from 53 countries in the 2021-22 academic year
- Promotes UCLA’s more than 180 study abroad opportunities in over 40 countries
- Celebrates UCLA’s ranking as the 10th most popular American university for international students: 10,990 international students enrolled in the 2021–22 academic year*
- Hosts the 4th highest number of international scholars among all U.S. colleges and universities (only Harvard, Columbia and Yale host more): 1,942 in the 2021–22 academic year*
*Source: Institute of International Education. 2022. "Open Doors 2022 Data." See https://opendoorsdata.org/.
Updated December 2022