Our Units

Led by the Vice Provost for International Programs, the GPS Alliance includes a variety of units and initiatives that facilitate the University's global learning, teaching, research, and engagement.

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Vice Provost's Office

The Vice Provost's Office focuses on policies, programs, and initiatives to support the internationalization efforts of the University system in teaching, learning, research, and engagement:

  • Leading strategic discussions on University-wide policies, goals, and international agenda
  • Curriculum and campus internationalization
  • International scholarly initiatives of faculty, colleges, and graduate students
  • Health and safety issues abroad
  • Funding for international activities
  • International awards and recognition
  • Advancing conversations around global diversity, equity, and inclusion

The Vice Provost's Office also provides support services to the GPS Alliance units, including communications, development, finance, human resources, and technology.

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Launched in 1993, the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) is a federally-funded Title VI Language Resource Center. CARLA's mission is to study multilingualism and multiculturalism, to develop knowledge of second language acquisition, and to advance the quality of second language teaching, learning, and assessment by:

  • conducting research and action projects
  • sharing research-based and other forms of knowledge across disciplines and education systems
  • extending, exchanging, and applying this knowledge in the wider society

China Center

Since 1979, the China Center has served as the University of Minnesota’s bridge to China, reflecting the institution’s firm and long-standing commitment to international research, teaching, and service. The China Center offers comprehensive services and resources to the University community, government and business sectors, and the public.

The China Center also oversees the UMN China Office, which was established in Beijing in 2009 as the institution’s first official office located abroad. The China Office focuses on three core areas: student support, educational collaboration, and alumni relations.

Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC)

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) is a campus-wide center that seeks to foster an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural community of faculty and students committed to supporting and advancing research, education, and collaborative initiatives related to global change, with a focus on the Global South.

The ICGC Fellows program provides intellectual and financial support for over 100 graduate and professional students in several colleges of the University of Minnesota. Interdisciplinary faculty-student seminars and workshop series are organized around major theoretical, comparative, and methodological issues related to the developing world; and formal public lectures and informal discussion series are presented by scholars, policy makers, and activists addressing issues related to themes of the Program. ICGC offers a graduate minor program in Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) as well as the Master of Development Practice degree program offered in collaboration with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and several other colleges and schools across the Twin Cities campus.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is dedicated to serving the University of Minnesota’s international community. ISSS supports the University’s internationalization efforts by helping departments bring new foreign nationals into the community; by providing intercultural training for students, staff, and faculty; and by offering events that build links between the U.S. and international communities on campus. In addition, ISSS offers training and programs that enhance the awareness and understanding of cross-cultural and international issues across campus and consults with University faculty and staff on issues related to international students and scholars in their departments.

ISSS is located on the Twin Cities campus, but many of its responsibilities—especially those concerning international faculty and staff—also serve the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses. 

Learning Abroad Center

The Learning Abroad Center (LAC) creates meaningful educational opportunities abroad for students through ethical and innovative engagement within the University of Minnesota and the greater education abroad community.

UMN Passport Office

The UMN Passport Office is an official passport acceptance center, approved by the U.S. Department of State. It is open to both the public and the campus community. In addition to accepting passport applications, the office also takes photos for U.S. and other country passports, visas, OPT, and more.

UMN SDG Initiative

The UMN SDG Initiative seeks to support and promote transdisciplinary research, teaching, and partnerships to mobilize the resources at the University to advance a more socially and environmentally sustainable future in Minnesota, the U.S., and the globe through grants, information, and opportunities linked to SDG targets and indicators. The GPS Alliance is partnering with the Office for Public Engagement and other University centers, institutes, and research groups across all five University of Minnesota system campuses in developing this initiative.