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Comparative and Regional Studies | SIS

A photo collage of the SIS building and CRS faculty, students, and alumni.

Program Overview

The Comparative and Regional Studies program at the School of International Service offers a broad curriculum, which bridges comparative analysis and regional knowledge. Whereas comparative reasoning focuses on uniformities and variations among cases, examining a specific world region grounds knowledge and provides insight. The Comparative and Regional Studies program offers our students an innovative program of study designed to create informed and analytically-oriented global leaders through traditional academic study, methodological training, skills institutes and policy practica.

Comparative and Regional Studies professors have real world policy experience and served as advisors and consultants to numerous organizations. Our faculty members regularly advise the U.S. National Intelligence Council and the U.S. National Security Council. Our faculty have also consulted or worked for the East Asia Institute, the East-West Center, Freedom House, the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Democratic Institute, the State Department Foreign Service Institute, USAID, and the World Bank. 

With our emphasis on methodological rigor and practical analysis, the Comparative and Regional Studies program places many students in internships overseas and in Washington, D.C. With a population drawn from all over the world, Washington, D.C. is a vast campus, offering extensive opportunities with international organizations, embassies, U.S. government offices, think tanks, museums, and other cultural and educational venues.

Our training prepares policy professionals for a variety of careers. Alumni have found positions in government at the national, state, and local levels, as well as with international organizations. Our graduates enter the private sector as consultants and executives in think tanks, transnational corporations, and international banks. Another significant alumni career path includes nonprofit organizations such as human rights and environmental NGOs. But despite their position, CRS alumni consistently report that our program provided them with the knowledge and expertise to be conversant across regional and thematic disciplines – a quality that has made them well-suited for management positions where they are able act as an organizational hub or central communicator, able to cross academic foci and engage with exceptionally diverse populations of organizational stakeholders.


Academic Advising

Melanie Brisse serves as the dedicated CRS Graduate Academic Advisor. Students with questions relating to degree requirements, course registration, concerns regarding graduation, or other academic spheres should contact Melanie by email at, by phone at 202-885-1659, or schedule an appointment.