Today, the phenomena of globalization and integration are pervasive and relevant, particularly in the European Union. They are often perceived, on the one hand, as being distant, fragmentary and sometimes threatening, and, on the other, as providing opportunities for individual nations or groups of nations. Such ambivalence presents a formidable challenge to the ruling classes and to national public opinion, a challenge that cannot be answered without the kind of integrated responses and interpretive approaches possible only within a multidisciplinary context. The University of Trento has responded to this challenge by promoting research, education and professional training in the field of international studies through the School of International Studies (SIS). Established in 2001 thanks to the close and continued collaboration between its component Faculties (now Departments, see below), the School turned into a Centre of the University in 2012.
The School is the only Graduate School in Italy offering advanced graduate courses in International Studies for students who completed a three-year undergraduate degree. It organizes a two-year Master’s programme in European and International Studies – Laura Magistrale in Studi Europei e Internazionali (MEIS), a two-year Master's programme in International Security Studies - Laura Magistrale in Studi sulla Sicurezza Internazionale (MISS, together with the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa), a two-year International Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies (IMSISS, an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree offered by a consortium of four universities: University of Glasgow - UK, City Dublin University - Ireland, Charles University in Prague - Czech Republic, University of Trento - Italy) and a three-year Doctoral programme in International Studies (details available here). These Graduate programmes form a natural continuation of the three-year undergraduate degrees offered by the School’s participating Faculties/Departments in the field of International Studies. As an advanced institute of interdisciplinary studies, the School of International Studies is unparalleled in Italy and, in the few years since its inception, has become a leading reference point in Europe for graduate teaching and research in Economics, Law, and Politics. Graduates have gone on to senior positions in international arenas as well as academic careers with postdoctoral and tenured positions in Europe and abroad.
The School organizes research activities in the field of European and international studies. These activities address the challenges associated with the processes of globalization and European integration and are predominantly characterized by a multidisciplinary approach as the complexity of modern societies implies that no single disciplinary approach is sufficient to understand the rapid social, political, economic and institutional changes currently occurring both in Europe and worldwide.
The School is a vibrant academic environment. Students, faculty members, post-doc researchers and visiting professors from all over the world participate in the School’s teaching and research activities, all contributing to the creation of a stimulating intellectual community. The School hosts international Conferences and Academic and Professional Workshops on subjects ranging from the global economic order to topics related to the European Union, from international security to international institutions. These events complement the rich programme of Guest Lectures and Seminars held by academics of international standing and of Conversations with Professional Practitioners working in distinguished international organizations.
Over the years, the School has built up a rich network of partners, including various European research centers and think tanks, with which the School has developed joint teaching and research activities.
On 27 October 2012 the University of Trento approved the School of International Studies as a Centre, according to Article 26.1b of the new University Statutes, which says: "The University may create entities called Centres for the attainment of the following objectives: b) the development of interdisciplinary academic and scientific programs involving two or more Departments."