Foreign Area Officer (FAO)

FAO, Foreign Area Officer Program at KUThe University of Kansas has been educating U.S. Foreign Area Officers for more than 45 years. The interdisciplinary MA program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at KU is one of the longest established in the nation, having trained over 150 Foreign Area Officers since 1968. Providing courses in over 40 foreign languages, KU offers one-year (12-month) MA programs for well-prepared FAOs in the Americas, South Asia, Europe, Eurasia, China, North Africa, Middle East, North Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. There are only 20 universities nationwide that have, or are developing, 12-month regionally-oriented MA programs. Of the 20 universities, only two have more than one regional focus – the University of Kansas will have eight.

KU’s commitment to international area studies is evident in the support it provides for an Office of International Programs governed by an Associate Vice Provost; four US Department of Education-funded Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC); five Title VI Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) programs, which annually award undergraduate and graduate FLAS fellowships in 28 languages; and six modern language departments. The NRC/FLAS programs comprise the University’s International Area Studies Centers, which include:

KU’s language departments collaborate with its area studies centers to offer 40 languages, the most of any institution between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The language departments include:

  • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures 
  • Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures 
  • Departmentof French and Italian
  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literature
  • Department of African and African American Studies

Additional languages are housed in CGIS and CLACS. The Centers work synergistically and collaborate with KU language departments and other partners to advance the University’s international mission as articulated by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little: “In the twenty-first century, a great university must be global in its outlook and aspirations. At the University of Kansas, our research and teaching focus on understanding an interconnected world where crises and capital flow as easily across borders as ideas and issues. Providing students with the cultural, analytical, and linguistic skills necessary to navigate a global world is central to KU's mission.”

To APPLY for any graduate programs, click here.

For more information about KU’s FAO programs, contact:

Randy Masten
FAO coordinator
randymasten@ku.edu

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Foreign Area Officer (FAO) video
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Foreign Area Officer Program (FAO)



The University of Kansas has been educating U.S. Foreign Area Officers for more than 50 years. The interdisciplinary MA program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at KU is one of the longest established in the nation, having trained more than 60 Foreign Area Officers since 1990. Learn more...

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