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Centers & Programs

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Centers and Programs

Centers and Programs

The David L. Boren College of International Studies offers many learning opportunities for students, faculty and the community with events and guest speakers through our centers and institutes focused on various areas of study. 

The Fellowship for Global Engagement, the Leadership Fellows Program and Friends to International Students offer scholarships and leadership opportunities to OU students, and host families and cultural experiences for international students.


The African Studies Institute (ASI) at the University of Oklahoma is an emerging, interdisciplinary center dedicated to research and the study of Africa, as well as building a community of those interested in Africa in the state of Oklahoma.

The Center for the Americas is dedicated to enhancing programming at the University of Oklahoma in several areas of the Western Hemisphere. Its major focus in Latin America, but it also promotes activities on the Caribbean, Canada and global US foreign policy.

The Center for Brazil Studies is a hub for teaching, research and outreach relating to Brazil at the University of Oklahoma. The Center works in cooperation with other OU programs/centers, department, and colleges, as well as with Brazilian institutions, academics and professionals, to provide the OU faculty and students with opportunities to develop language skills (Portuguese), to develop substantive knowledge on/professional experience in Brazil, to engage in contemporary Brazilian debates and to engage in research in, about and with Brazil.

The mission of the Center for Middle East Studies is to enrich Middle East programming at the University of Oklahoma. CMES brings three distinguished speakers to the University each semester, sponsors informal Brown Bag Lunches, and supports Middle East events on campus. In the past few years, CMES has brought Reza Aslan, Stephanie Saldana, Adeed Dawisha, Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox, Colonel Patrick Lang, Itzchak Weismann, Mona Eltahawy and Juan Cole, among others to speak at OU.

The Center for Peace and Development builds on OU’s longtime work with communities in northern Uganda. CPD brings together faculty and students from across the University’s varied disciplines to build collaborative partnerships with communities affected by conflict.

The Center for the Study of Nationalism (CSN) engages OU faculty and students in the empirical and theoretical aspects of studying nationalism and related cultural and political issues, including: cultural authenticity and reinvention; self-determination and secession; ethnic conflict and civil war; immigration and citizenship; globalization, development and inequality; minority rights, accommodation and nation-building.

The CIS International Leadership Fellows (LEAF) Program provides an elite group of students with the contacts, skills and financial means to engage in hands-on involvement with people, organizations and activities at the international level. Participating in this leadership program, students are engaged in leadership education, hard skill development and networking practices. The goal is to create alumni who possess the cultural awareness, skills and knowledge to become international leaders.

Students who meet for six lunch-and-learn sessions throughout the semester are recognized as LEAdership Fellows in the convocation program and are eligible to apply for LEAF Internship funds.

The Cyber Governance and Policy Center is dedicated to enhancing research-based understanding of policy and governance issues pertaining to modern information and communications technology, broadly understood to include cyber-physical systems.

The center serves as a focal point for research on such issues at the University of Oklahoma, facilitating collaboration among faculty and graduate students across a range of disciplines including International Relations, Political Science, Law, Communications, Economics, Business, Engineering and Computer Science.

The Diplomacy Lab is a US Department of State program that allows university faculty and students contribute to the policy-making process while also helping the Department of State access an underutilized reservoir of intellectual capital. Students participating in the Diplomacy Lab program work under the guidance of faculty experts to explore real-world challenges and develop innovative responses to those challenges.

The University of Oklahoma is a partner university in the Diplomacy Lab program. Working directly with the Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, OU serves as a leading institution among the Diplomacy Lab university participants.

The European Union Center at OU was founded in September 2001, when University of Oklahoma became one of 15 national universities to host a center for European Union studies. Activities during the Center's first three years were supported by a grant awarded through a national competition by the Commission of the European Communities. Interim Dean Mitchell Smith serves as Director of the European Union Center.

The Center seeks to advance knowledge of the European Union at the University of Oklahoma, as well as throughout the local community, the state of Oklahoma, and the southwestern United States. The European Union Center at the University of Oklahoma has established a network of affiliates at universities throughout the southwest providing the program opportunities for reaching a broad regional audience.

The mission of the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies is to coordinate a variety of curricular, research and outreach activities at OU that explore the history and culture of Iran and the Persian-speaking world. These activities include lectures, conferences, film screenings, exhibits, concerts and other programs.

The OU Fellowship for Global Engagement is a program coordinated by the David L. Boren College of International Studies that aims to equip students with the tools necessary to succeed in the global community.

Global Engagement Fellows receive a $5,000 cash scholarship account which can be used during their undergraduate education for up to three international experiences (at least one short-term [summer] and one long-term [semester]).  Fellows are encouraged to take their first travel study experience during the summer after their freshman year.

Friends to International Students is designed to help international students understand and appreciate the "American way of life." FIS encourages friendships and interaction with international students and families in the local community.

Sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright US Student Program offers fellowships abroad for one academic year to graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals, scientists and artists. Program participants pursue graduate or professional study, advanced research or English teaching in elementary and secondary schools or universities. Each year, approximately 1,600 Americans traveling to more than 140 countries receive support from the Fulbright US Student Program.

The Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma was established in August 2006 with the generous financial support of Harold J. & Ruth Newman.

The Institute seeks to enhance the understanding and management of US-China relations by simultaneously addressing two sets of interrelated issue clusters — the security, technology, economic, environmental, public health and political (STEEPP) issues, and the instrumental role culture plays in shaping how the two nations perceive and engage each other. To achieve this goal, the Institute works along parallel tracks through public programming, research, publications, symposiums and teaching to tackle both the STEEPP and cultural issues confronting the two nations.

The Peace Corps Prep program at the University of Oklahoma prepares students for service as a Peace Corps volunteer. Qualified undergraduate students can apply to take part in the program, which equips students in four areas: intercultural competence, sector-specific skills, language development and professionalism and leadership. After completing the program, students receive a certificate from the Peace Corps. While completion of the program does not guarantee that applicants are selected for service, it makes students much more competitive applicants for Peace Corps volunteer positions.

Phi Beta Delta is an association that aims to recognize scholarly achievement in international education. Membership is open to all who qualify as an OU upper-classman or graduate student.