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Centers and Programs

Centers & Programs


The 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.

Center for Middle East Studies

The mission of the Center for Middle East Studies is to enrich Middle East programming at the University of Oklahoma.

The Center for Middle East Studies 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.

Arabic Language Flagship Program

The University of Oklahoma Arabic Language Flagship Partner Program is a merit-based undergraduate program designed for learners of Arabic who seek to achieve superior language proficiency while pursuing degrees in the academic majors of their choice. The program offers an innovative five-year curriculum in Arabic language and culture designed to produce graduates with dual strengths in Arabic language proficiency and their chosen career fields.

Iranian Studies Program

The mission of the Iranian Studies Program 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.

Institute for US-China Issues

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, who endowed a chair for its first director, Peter Hays Gries

The Institute has two primary goals. First, the Institute engages in and supports research and outreach activities that seek to better understand and improve US-China relations.  Second, the OU Institute for US-China Issues seeks to promote China studies in the state of Oklahoma. This begins with promoting Chinese language training at the K-12 and university levels, but also includes the broad interdisciplinary study of China.

In addition to sponsoring lectures and colloquia, the Institute convenes a variety of conferences, symposia, and retreats that bring together a broad array of academic, think tank, government, and business leaders to discus specific security concerns in US-China relations. It also hosts visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows, and facilitates the visits of Chinese delegations and other China-related activities on campus and in the state of Oklahoma.

European Union Center

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. Mitchell Smith, Max and Heidi Berry Chair and Professor 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 Center for the Americas

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.

African Studies Institute

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.

Center for the Study of Nationalism

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.

Fellowship for Global Engagement

We are excited to announce a new scholarship program available for incoming freshmen – the OU Fellowship for Global Engagement. Coordinated by the College of International Studies, this program will ensure that students have 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]). All Fellows will be encouraged to take their first travel study experience during the summer after their freshman year.

CIS International Leadership Fellows (LEAF) Program

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.

Friends to International Students

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 adjacent communities to the University.