Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS)

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) promotes research, learning and dialogue on issues of global importance and sponsors a variety of programs and activities aimed at advancing knowledge of world cultures and global problems.

PIIRS supports five regional studies programs, including African Studies; South Asian Studies; Contemporary European Politics and Society; and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. PIIRS is also home to the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication which enables students to develop their understanding around the complexity of translation issues. These five certificate programs offer courses, research opportunities and periodic lectures open to the entire Princeton community.

Since 2007, PIIRS has led Global Seminars, six-week courses taught by Princeton faculty in a variety of overseas locations each summer. These courses offer undergraduates the opportunity to study abroad with Princeton faculty, gaining first-hand experience of the societies that they are studying in the classroom, while also learning the basics of local languages, engaging in community service and understanding the history and culture of the societies in which they live.

PIIRS also administers the Undergraduate Fellows program, which provides mentoring and funding for a select group of juniors working in international studies who are interested in conducting summer research abroad for their senior thesis.

Additionally, the Institute provides extensive research resources to faculty and graduate students in the form of funding for conferences, for dissertation research, and for language study abroad. PIIRS’ research communities initiative seeks to promote sustained interdisciplinary and cross-regional dialogue among faculty and students in international and regional studies. Because its mission is to enhance the capacity of Princeton’s departments and programs to undertake international research and teaching, PIIRS co-sponsors conferences, seminars, short-term visits of distinguished scholars from around the world, and curriculum development grants to assist in the preparation of new undergraduate courses.

In 2013, PIIRS inaugurated the Fung Global Fellows Program, which brings six exceptional, international, early career faculty working in the social sciences and the humanities to Princeton for a year of research, writing and collaboration around a common theme.

In 2015, PIIRS introduced the Center for Contemporary China led by Yu Xie, a prominent sociologist. The mission of the Center is to advance the study of contemporary China at Princeton and to provide substantive analysis of the dramatic sociological shifts taking place in China today.  

PIIRS is the sponsoring institution of World Politics, one of the premier journals in political science. The journal publishes peer-reviewed research that addresses salient theoretical and empirical questions on topics in international relations, comparative politics and various related subfields.