Dean’s Message

Adil-NajamWelcome to Boston University’s youngest school – the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

Although we are young, we are not exactly new. Indeed, we consider ourselves to be amongst the custodians of Boston University’s long and cherished tradition of ‘globalness.’ This tradition began more than a century ago when Boston University became one of the first universities in America to take global studies seriously, including encouraging its students to study abroad.

This tradition has been nurtured with care by Boston University over the years, has been a central pivot of the university’s strategic plan for the future, and was brought together in the shape of the BU Pardee School by the generosity of spirit and vision of the benefactor whose name we bear.

The Pardee School at Boston University, a part of our College of Arts and Sciences, brings together a number of programs and centers that have long established histories of outstanding teaching, research, and policy outreach in interdisciplinary international studies. The Pardee School is the new home of our venerable Department of International Relations in addition to other area studies and thematic programs, including the African Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Asia, the Center for the Study of Europe, the Latin America Studies Program, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program, and the Institute on Culture, Religion, & World Affairs.

In September 2014 we opened our doors to the nearly 1000 students in our six graduate degree programs, two graduate certificates, five undergraduate majors and eight undergraduate minors. With a core faculty of around 40 and nearly 200 affiliated faculty in our area study and thematic centers and programs, the Pardee School was already buzzing with activity and thriving with dynamism even on its very first day.

Built on a proud tradition as we are, the Pardee School is also young in its spirit and ambition. It is not just that we happen to have been born in the 21st century. We want to be a school shaped by and for the 21st century. This means that we take our mission of ‘Advancing Human Progress’ seriously. We take ‘globalness’ seriously. And most of all we take interdisciplinary study seriously.

Our outstanding faculty brings together scholarly rigor and a passion for applying it to practice and policy. They work on issues of peace and war, international security, environment, trade and finance, international communication and culture, diasporas, development, human rights, technology, and much more. They represent an array of disciplinary and practice backgrounds ranging from history, economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, policy studies, environment, development, government service, civil society, diplomacy and much more.

Our teaching philosophy emphasizes not only the understanding of politics, but also of policy, of places and of people. As many as 75 percent of our undergraduate students will spend at least a semester studying abroad. All will be encouraged to study language, to cross disciplinary boundaries, to develop regional expertise, to identify the great challenges of our times and to develop the leadership skills to tackle them.

Young as we are – and maybe because we are young – there is no dearth of ambition at the Pardee School of Global Studies. We seek for the global future nothing less than peace that lasts, development that works, and knowledge that transforms.

If you think that’s a future worth working for, come join us at Boston University. Come join us at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

 – Dean Adil Najam