Carnegie Mellon University

Congratulations on your admission to Carnegie Mellon University! We can't wait for you to join us. 

What now? Check out Carnegie Mellon's resource center for admitted students. Meet fellow future Tartans on Instagram.  And while you're here, check out our department, the home of political science and international relations at CMU. We offer degrees that blend theory with practice and prepare students for twenty-first-century challenges, and we expose them to policy makers, government officials, and thought leaders that meld their education with the real world. 

Welcome to the Institute for Politics and Strategy

Founded in 2015, the Institute for Politics and Strategy (IPS) is a university-wide institute for research and undergraduate and graduate education in the fields of political science, international relations, national security, and grand strategy. IPS is dedicated to the study of politics through the discipline of political science with support from other social sciences. In this way, IPS carries on a respected tradition of interdisciplinary political science at Carnegie Mellon University. IPS also builds upon the university’s rich heritage of applying basic science to issues of common concern, problem solving, and public policy. 

At IPS, analytical social science and interdisciplinary research and teaching are used to better understand, explain, anticipate, and solve public policy problems. We employ scientific methods to expand our comprehension of the organization of human society around the exercise of power, in our own country and around the globe. In this way, we foster in students the ability to think, research, and write about politics systematically. In the opening two decades of the 21st century, the years in which our current students were born and have come of age, the world has become more interconnected but not less complex and challenging. More often these days, problems faced by one society are faced by many societies – including economic development, mobility, equality, public health, freedom and security.

Achieving the core objectives of all IPS majors and minors – thinking systematically about politics so that they can contribute to the future prosperity, security and liberty of all citizens – requires analytical and quantitative training in political science and an understanding of culture, history, and language. Courses and research opportunities across this diverse intellectual spectrum provide the foundation for IPS studies and are at the heart of the Institute for Politics and Strategy.  

Read the rest of the IPS vision statement here.

IPS Highlights


We have extended the application deadline for the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program until Monday, April 19, 2021. Learn more about the opportunity to spend a semester living, interning, and studying in the nation's capital, and apply today!


Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania is a small town about two hours east of Pittsburgh that, just like many similar small towns across Appalachia, lacks an abundance of legal counsel. Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred, a Hollidaysburg native and 2017 Carnegie Mellon alumnus who is currently in his second year in Yale Law School, plans to address the issue. Read more in his Alumni Spotlight!

As you consider the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program, hear some advice from former students!

Our Washington Semester Program allows students from any course of study at Carnegie Mellon to live, intern, and learn in the nation's capital. Students will of course have access to DC's bread and butter: politics, government, advocacy. But there's so much more to gain. Hear from past and current students in the video above to learn more, and apply by April 1!