Carnegie Mellon University

Institute for Politics and Strategy Minors

The courses we offer in the Institute for Politics and Strategy prepare you for the real world as well as the intersection of technology and policy. They are the perfect complement to almost any course of study at Carnegie Mellon, and we encourage you to consider minoring with us. Add that additional layer of expertise and depth to your education. 

To learn more about a minor in IPS, contact Emily Half, Deputy Director;, Posner Hall 391, 412-268-7082.


The minor in Cybersecurity and International Conflict analyzes the role of cyber warfare and cybersecurity in international politics — past, present, and future. Cyber attacks by nation-states and their proxies have the potential to reshape how wars are fought in the twenty first century. As such, the complexity and policy challenge of cyber-engagements is immense and altogether without precedent. The minor addresses the role of deterrence, dissuasion, and attribution in cyber conflict, while also studying the nuances of key components of modern warfare — from the security dilemma to escalation management.

The International Relations and Politics minor analyzes the role of politics at the national, regional, international, and transnational levels; examines political and institutional arrangements within and among these levels; and investigates the grand strategy of nation-states.

political leaders, scholars, and policy makers often define grand strategy as the combination of diplomatic, economic, military, and political factors used by leaders to defend their respective nation-states. The IRP minor investigates the way in which leaders and citizens construct grand strategy and national security policy more generally; the impact of domestic and international forces on states’ security and economic policies; and the significance of alliances, coalitions, and international institutions for world politics. The study of grand strategy and political institutions is the flagship initiative of the minor.

In the tradition of Carnegie Mellon University, political science is studied and taught in an interdisciplinary manner. Utilizing the interdisciplinary strengths of the social sciences at CMU, IRP students study political phenomena through the perspectives of decision science, economics, and political history. Students pursing the minor will be asked to develop an understanding of game theory, economic and statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, rational choice theory, and theories of behavioral decision making as they study alliances, coalitions, institutions, and political strategy. Recognizing the influence of language and culture on politics and international relations, students are encouraged to study a modern language other than English.

The minor in Military Strategy and International Relations offers undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon a course of study focusing on military strategy and doctrine, the current national security landscape (including how cybersecurity and artificial intelligence influence national security decision-making), and the full range of strategic challenges facing future American leaders. While the minor is open to all CMU undergraduates, it is in part motivated by a desire to support CMU students embarking on the unique effort to serve and defend the country through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and others interested in pursuing applied defense-related careers post-graduation.

Rooted in the discipline of political science, the minor in Politics and Public Policy investigates US public policy issues and other matters of domestic politics while providing students hands-on and practical learning experiences. Students pursuing the Politics and Public Policy minor must participate in the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program for one semester during their undergraduate experience.