Integration Lab (i-Lab) in the MGA

The Keough School Integration Lab (i-Lab) is a distinctive series of interdisciplinary engagements — designed to build momentum over the full two-year arc of the Master of Global Affairs — to prepare you for a global employment landscape that demands highly integrated mindsets and professional skillsets.

Guided by the i-Lab Co-Directors, Tracy Kijewski-Correa and Steve Reifenberg, you’ll work in teams with other Master of Global Affairs students and faculty-mentors in multiple disciplines throughout the University. Together you’ll create thoughtful and high-impact responses to some of the world’s most pressing issues and challenges, including:

Equality and Inclusion

Conflict Transformation

Climate Change and Adaptation

Global Health

Community Resilience

Educational Opportunity

Displacement and Migration

Food and Water Security

Poverty and Economic Development

How does the i-Lab work?

Integrating Mindsets & Skillsets

Semester 1

 

In this first semester, you’ll be immersed in innovative approaches — design thinking, systems thinking, negotiation, and implementation science — as well as foundational mindsets from Global Affairs, Sustainable Development, and International Peace Studies.


Engaging with Partners

Semester 2 + Summer + Semester 3

 

During this year-long period, called the Global Partner Experience, you’ll be part of an interdisciplinary team focused on addressing a specific compelling global challenge. You’ll engage closely with a global partner (a respected and high-impact organization or agency with an established relationship with Notre Dame), a Notre Dame partner (a University institute or center with scholarly expertise in your area of focus), and a Notre Dame faculty-mentor.

With insights gained from related coursework, you’ll deepen your understanding of the culture, history, and context of your future field site — in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe, or the U.S. — and develop a proposal, work plan, and budget. Once prepared, you’ll pursue immersive fieldwork for 2-5 months, depending on your concentration.

After extended time for analysis, synthesis, and reflection, you’ll develop a professional-quality product and prepare individual research and reflective work based on your experience.


Amplifying Impact

Semester 4

 

In this final semester, you’ll extend the practical impact of your work through an integrative policy or practice experience that involves engagement with the Keough School’s Global Policy Initiative in Washington, D.C. By graduation, you’ll have the training, connections, experience and professional skills to communicate your work to multiple audiences and take your career to a new level of real-world impact.

Global Partner Experience

Over the course of a full year, you’ll work in an interdisciplinary team with a global partner and a Notre Dame partner to address a specific real-world issue or challenge.  Illustrative examples:

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Bangladesh

How can higher education contribute to the alleviation of poverty?

i-Lab Global Partner: Notre Dame University – Bangladesh
ND Partner: Keough School of Global Affairs


Colombia

How can we help implement and monitor the Colombian Peace Agreement?

i-Lab Global Partner: Office of the High Commissioner for Peace/Alto Comisionado Para la Paz
ND Partner: Peace Accords Matrix/Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies


Malawi

How can we enhance the effectiveness of water and food security interventions?

i-Lab Global Partner: Catholic Relief Services
ND Partner: Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development


Mexico

How can we improve access to quality health care in impoverished rural settings?

i-Lab Global Partner: Partners In Health/Compañeros en Salud
ND Partner: Kellogg Institute for International Studies


Uganda

How can we support psychosocial healing and human rights for refugees and survivors of violent conflict?

i-Lab Global Partner: Refugee Law Project
ND Partner: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies