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The IPS Experience

Image of IPS students sitting with Stanford building on the background.
Photo Credit: Juliane Kaden-Botha

IPS takes a unique approach to international policy analysis, offering a dynamic learning experience that utilizes Stanford University’s exceptional resources. To enhance student learning beyond the classroom, the program offers  a summer internship programa capstone practicum course, and a speaker series, exposing students to policy analysis and problem solving in the real world.


Students can specialize in five areas of concentration:

Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources

Global Health

International Political Economy

International Security and Cooperation

Individualized advising

Each student has access to three professional advisors:

Faculty Advisor - Mutual research interests

Academic Advisor - Courses and degree requirements

Career Advisor - Résumé review, internship and job opportunities, and contacts

Summer internship placement and funding 

IPS staff facilitates the first-year internship search by providing opportunities and contacts, résumé review and forwarding, and referrals to potential employers.

Each student is eligible for an IPS internship stipend to help cover travel and living expenses for the summer.



Second-year students work in teams to analyze and make policy recommendations to real-world clients.

IPS Practicum students have consulted to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, as well as NGOs, private sector companies, and think tanks.  

All students are eligible for travel funds to support research for their Practicum projects.


Faculty interaction

In addition to teaching, our faculty mentor students, who in turn serve as teaching assistants, research assistants, and case writers to faculty, when such opportunities are available.


Stanford Alumni Community 

IPS students join the community of current and former students both within the program and across Stanford. Alumni participate in IPS events, and support students with advice, referrals, and career opportunities.



Ford Dorsey and FSI Fellowships generally are offered to a limited number of incoming students based on merit and specific eligibility requirements. Fellowships provide a stipend, full or partial tuition, and a health insurance subsidy.  

IPS often hires some second-year students as Teaching Assistants to support core courses, depending on program needs. Additionally, some second-year students may be hired as Research Assistants to work with FSI faculty when there is either programmatic or faculty funding to do so. IPS staff work with students to identify and apply to assistantship opportunities. The number of teaching and research assistantships varies year-to-year and is dependent upon curricular needs and availability of funding.