Croft Institute for International Studies

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The Croft Institute for International Studies (or Croft) offers a B.A. degree in international studies in conjunction with the University of Mississippi's college of Liberal Arts. The degree combines the study of global economics, history, politics and social relations with the study of languages and cultures in a rigorous multidisciplinary curriculum.

In addition to a regional focus (Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and East Asia), Croft students select a thematic concentration on one of the following: global economics and business, international governance and politics, or social and cultural identity.

Croft students, more commonly known as "Crofties", pursue advanced proficiency in one of ten foreign languages as an integral part of their studies: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. The University of Mississippi has one of the nation’s top Flagship Intensive Chinese programs, sponsored by the U.S. government. [1] The Intensive Arabic program also expects students to reach levels of proficiency similar to those in a flagship program. Accelerated language programs are available in German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

The Croft Institute for International Studies at The University of Mississippi was established in 1997 with major financial support from the Joseph C. Bancroft Charitable & Educational Fund. The Croft Institute's first full year of operation was the academic year 1998/99. The Croft Institute offers ten Croft scholarships of $8,000 dollars for four years to entering students each year. It also offers several other scholarships. Admission to the Institute is selective.


The Executive Director of the Croft Institute is Dr. Oliver Dinius, a professor of modern Latin American History. His research focuses on the history of social and economic development, above all in 20th-century Brazil. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr. Will Schenck is the Associate Director of the Croft Institute. He received his BA in History summa cum laude from Boston College in 1999. He completed his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at Boston College with a concentration in French and Italian Medieval Literature in 2008 and holds a Masters in French Literature and Civilization from the University of Paris III in France.


There are currently 14 Croft professors with joint appointments in the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Modern languages, Political Science, and Sociology. Other faculty from those and other disciplines (including law and mathematics) regularly offer classes for the Croft Institute. These professors are all active researchers in their fields and have published many books and articles in their areas of specialization.


The Croft Institute currently has 219 students (East Asia: 45, Europe: 91, Latin America: 54, Middle East: 29). The average ACT score of the Croft student body is 31.


The majority of Croft alumni will obtain one or more graduate degrees at some point in their careers, typically a Masters or J.D., but occasionally a doctorate or even medical degree. About half of graduates work in the private sector, while the rest are split between education, the non-profit sector, and local, state, and national governments. In the private sector, they work for large public corporations, small start-ups, and everything in between, serving as managers, analysts, marketers, entrepreneurs, and more. Many of our graduates go on to study law and work as attorneys or legal counsel. In the field of education, about half of our alumni are professors, teachers and researchers, while the other half are administrators or advisors. The Croft graduates who work for non-profit organizations are involved in fields ranging from the arts, the environment, international development, and education to health care, human rights, and legal services. Many of our alumni who work in the public sector serve in our nation's military, while others work for the State Department, Congress, and other federal, state, local, or international agencies.

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