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 25 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 Associate Vice Provost, with senior leadership and ultimate oversight provided by the Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement.
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 creates networks 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 on a wide variety of global topics such as the refugee crisis, water conservation and management in in different regions of the world, the future of the Asia Pacific region, 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 over 300 annual public lectures, symposia, conferences and cultural events — most of which are free of charge.
Recent events sponsored by the Institute’s individual centers have included conferences on the global refugee crisis and the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in Israel; an ongoing contemporary Brazilian film series; talks on human rights in Iran, the structure of the job market in Japan, academic freedom in Turkey, Chinese-U.S. relations in the age of Trump, and Islam in Europe; a conversation with renowned Ghanaian writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o; language institutes for high-school students; 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
• Annually enrolls nearly 1,000 students
• 480 undergraduate degree recipients (majors and minors) in 2018–19
• 18 graduate degree recipients in 2018–19
• Received more than $18,426,595 million in extramural grants and funding in the period
• Two 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
• 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)
• Awarded $1,752,892 annually in student fellowships and scholarships over the period
• Sponsors and/or organizes more than 300 public events annually
• Hosts over 700 visiting international dignitaries and professional leaders each year
• Promotes UCLA’s more than 100 study abroad options in 40 countries
(Among American colleges and universities, UCLA ranked 15th in the number of students
who study abroad: 2,480 students in the 2017–18 academic year)*
• Celebrates UCLA’s ranking as the 7th most popular American university for international
students: 11,942 international students enrolled at UCLA in the 2018–19 academic year*
• Hosts the 3rd highest number of international scholars among all U.S. colleges and universities (only Harvard and Stanford host more): 3,534 in the 2017–18 academic year*
*Source: Institute of International Education. 2019. "Open Doors 2018: Report on International Educational Exchange." See http://www.iie.org/opendoors.
Updated January 2021