Integration Lab (i-Lab)

Integration Lab (i-Lab)

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

Guided by i-Lab Co-Directors Tracy Kijewski-Correa and Steve Reifenberg, you’ll work with other students, global partners, and faculty-mentors in multiple disciplines to address real-world issues and challenges.


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

+ others

Semester 1

Integrating Mindsets & Skillsets

In this first semester, you’ll be immersed in innovative approaches — design thinking, systems thinking, human centered design, negotiation, and implementation science. Your creativity will be unleashed as you build a toolkit of knowledge to better understand, redefine, and solve problems.

Semester 2 + Summer + Semester 3

Global Partner Experience

During this year-long period, 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 and develop a proposal, work plan, and budget. Once prepared, you’ll pursue immersive fieldwork for 2-3 months, depending on your project.

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.

The i-Lab global partner experience is fully funded for all students.

Semester 4

Enriching Your Policy + Practice Portfolio

In this final semester, you’ll continue to build your portfolio of skills through career development opportunities and elective coursework at the Keough School. Dive deeper into the global issues that concern you the most—from water policy to food insecurity, migration to climate change and more.

You’ll also have the opportunity to elect skills-based policy lab courses, where you’ll get intensive, hands-on experience in topics such as big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

By graduation, you’ll have the training, connections, experience and professional skills to take your international career to a new level of real-world impact.

Connect, collaborate, co-create

Learn to engage with local field staff in new and innovative ways, build project teams across continents, collectively expand your reach and your impact. The i-Lab will provide you with cutting-edge tools and resources to collaborate with partners across the globe.

Design thinking
Data visualization
Mapping & diagramming
Virtual ideation
Stakeholder analysis
Scenario mapping
Web whiteboarding
Workshop facilitation

+ more

Global Partner Experience

How can design thinking help with innovation in international development? Follow the global research and partnerships underway with our current Master of Global Affairs students:




Project: Increase the impact of short-term emergency response programming on the longer-term resilience of rural, smallholder farmers who are facing increased vulnerability to droughts and heavy rainfall due to climate change

i-Lab Global Partner

Catholic Relief Services logo

Peru and Philippines


Project: Enable low-income incremental homebuilders to be more value- conscious in their construction process

i-Lab Global Partner

Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, i-Lab Global Partner



Project: Design a roadmap that enhances school leadership development to improve outcomes in Chilean public schools


i-Lab Global Partner

Ensena Chile, i-Lab Global Partner

United Kingdom, Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and United States


Project: Better understand how global approaches to urban innovation can translate to generalizable lessons for US cities of all sizes to better solve their most pressing needs


i-Lab Global Partner

National League of Cities logo

Kenya, Cambodia, and Rwanda


Project: Effectively strengthen education ecosystems to cultivate evidence-based decision-making

i-Lab Global Partner


United States


Project: Adapt and utilize a care policy scorecard to monitor and evaluate unpaid and paid care work policies in the US federal context


i-Lab Global Partner

Every year, students in the i-Lab work with diverse partner organizations, engaging thoughtfully with local actors and communities worldwide.


View Previous i-Lab Projects and Partners


The Keough School provides student funding for the i-Lab experience, with generous support from the Monaghan Family i-Lab Experience and the Pulte Endowment for Excellence for Global Affairs.