Prospective Students

“With a nationally renowned faculty, situated on the western edge of the Pacific Rim and at the intellectual birthplace of Silicon Valley, the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University is ideally suited to the student seeking to gain an enhanced understanding of critical global issues in the 21st century.”


The Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies (IPS) is an analytical interdisciplinary program focusing on international policy analysis. Its goal is to provide students with exposure to issues they will face in international business and public policy, and to develop the skills and knowledge to address those issues. The program allows students to specialize in: democracy, development, and the rule of law; energy, environment, and natural resources; global health; international negotiation and conflict management; international political economy; or international security and cooperation.

Core Strengths

IPS offers a dynamic, customized experience that utilizes Stanford University’s world class research, faculty, and facilities.  Our core strengths set us apart.

First, IPS is a small, collaborative program, giving our familiar student community easy access to the program’s staff and to each other, with ample opportunity to discuss and debate in and out of the classroom.  The IPS Student Leadership Team organizes activities within the IPS community.

Second, IPS is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary.  Our students have the opportunity to take courses in the School of Law (LAW), the Graduate School of Business (GSB), the Medical School (MED), and the School of Engineering, in addition to the School of Humanities and Sciences.  Our core courses are taught by faculty in LAW, Humanities and Sciences, and the GSB, while area of concentration courses vary by topic and each student’s particular focus.

Third, IPS is at Stanford, where our students reap the benefits of a residential campus experience, with access to the whole university.  IPS students take advantage of the university’s offerings, including participating in the dozens of lectures and colloquia offered each week, joining student organizations, and attending campus events.

Fourth, IPS is part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and each area of concentration is linked to one of its top research centers.  This provides a myriad of opportunities for our students to become involved in FSI’s conference and speaker events and cutting-edge research.

Opportunities to interact on familiar terms with world class scholars in an interdisciplinary program at this prestigious university define IPS. 

Degree Requirements & Courses

Our students enjoy the opportunity they have to take courses across the university's schools and departments, in addition to the collaborative seminars they take within IPS.  The official degree requirements for IPS list the core courses required to graduate, while the Stanford University Bulletin lists the core program details, including affiliated faculty and lecturers.  Additionally, all Stanford University courses are listed on Explore Courses.  IPS relies on both its own courses and those taught by other departments.  To find the current list of IPS-taught courses,  type "IPS" into the Explore Courses search box.  With the Stanford faculty continually innovating and improving their own courses and with new offerings from visiting scholars, our course list will change from year to year.

Quick Facts

  • Incoming Class Size: 20-25
  • International Students: 50%
  • Average Age: 26
  • Nationalities: 10


The following pages and PDFs contain useful information on the IPS program and details on how to apply: