Carnegie Mellon University

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


When student speakers Cristina Pullen and Frank Avino take the podium at Carnegie Mellon University’s 123rd Commencement May 22-23, they’ll acknowledge ongoing societal challenges and invite their fellow graduates to face the future with hope and confidence.

“To me, a CMU degree symbolizes two things: you’re smart and capable. How will you use the knowledge you’ve earned to make an impact?” said Pullen, who will speak to undergraduates during Sunday’s ceremony for bachelor’s degree candidates. She will graduate with Dean’s List High Honors as she receives her bachelor’s degree in professional writing with an additional major in international relations and politics.

Pullen will join Salesforce as a full-time technical writer in July. Her dream is to one day work in education. Read more


Congratulations to Sam Abodo, Skylar Pollock, and Kyle Robertson on being named Hamilton National Fellows! Read more

Arana headshot

When Ignacio Arana was working on his PhD, he noticed that some foreign students from different cultures and backgrounds did not feel as comfortable in class. As a Latin American and non-native English speaker himself, he could tell that this affected their self-confidence and performance.

Now, Arana, an Assistant Teaching Professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, is working to ensure none of his students feel that way. He recently received the Provost’s Inclusive Teaching Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year, which will help the students in his Comparative Politics class, the largest in IPS, feel empowered to participate. 

“Most of the students take it as an elective, and therefore come from other departments,” Arana said. “The class is characteristically ethnically and nationally diverse, and I also have the sense that it integrates students from heterogeneous religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.” Read more

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!