Dear PICS Students,

A warm welcome back!

As we head into the new academic semester, one with new and extraordinary challenges to be sure, we’re nonetheless as excited as ever to share the extraordinary experience of this University of Michigan education with you. Your extraordinary PICS instructors and staff have gone even beyond their ordinary summer heroics to prepare an outstanding semester and academic year, and know that they are and I am here to support you however we can:;;

 For the Class of 2021 students:

  • This is the time to make sure you are on track to graduate and to get your senior release from us. Please take a look at our "How to Graduate" page on our website and follow the steps.
  • If you have any questions regarding your progress towards degree, please contact our advisors by emailing
  • The PICS Graduation Ceremony is planned for Thursday, April 29th, 2021. More information will be available before the end of Fall semester.


We are happy to announce that Dr. Howard Tsai will be joining us as a full time Lecturer in International Studies. Dr. Tsai is a longtime member of the International Institute and until recently he was lecturer in Latin American and Carribean Studies. Dr. Tsai received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan, specializing in archaeology. His book Las Varas: Ritual and Ethnicity in the Ancient Andes was just published by the University of Alabama Press. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Tsai as a core faculty member in International Studies.


Funding for study, research, and internships abroad - Please check the various application deadlines:

We want to remind you to check our PICS website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Weekly toPICS news emails for announcements and upcoming events. To connect with our PICS Alumni and other PICS students please go to our LinkedIn page and join the group.

PICS Director’s “Office Hours” for Fall 2020:

In lieu of “office hours” for this Fall 2020 semester and for as long as our remote and hybrid status remains, please feel free, encouraged even, to email me at with any questions and/or to request ‘virtual’ appointment.

Hope your semester is off to a terrific start!



Robert (Rob) J. Franzese, Jr.
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Political Science, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Director, Program in International and Comparative Studies, International Institute
Research Professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor