The Institute of International Relations, created in 1979, as a complimentary unit of the Center of Social Sciences at PUC-Rio, has always been characterized by its emphasis in research activities and post-graduation courses. The Institute was, along with the University of Brasilia (UnB), a pioneer in the creation and promotion of research and debate in International Relations. Established as a center for reflection on international relations, the institute incorporated teaching activities for graduates between 1983 and 1986 within the concentration area Law and International Relations in the Masters in Legal Sciences at PUC-Rio. In this same period, there was the expansion of research activities and its dissemination through the launching of the journal “Contexto Internacional”, with the first publication in 1985. Given the need to train specialized staff in the field of International Relations and the lack of research and training focused on discipline, as well as in view of deepening the debate on the specific field of International Relations at the regional and global levels, the Institute opened in 1987 a Masters in International Relations, with specialization in International Politics.

The maturity of teaching and research within the graduate program made possible, in 2001, the implementation of the Doctorate program in International Relations, a pioneer in the country. Today, the doctoral program is already established as one of the main options for the training of cadres for graduate studies in International Relations at a national level. By 2011, the institute counted 169 students graduated from the program (being 151 Masters and 18 Doctors). Many graduates of the Institute were incorporated into teaching and research positions at several universities in Rio de Janeiro and the country, stimulating the growth and consolidation of the discipline.

With the consolidation of the graduate program its noteworthy the growth and expansion of the undergraduate program in International Relations established in 2003. After ten years the undergraduate program is already considered one of the most important in the country, having received the best grade of ENADE/2011 of all the courses of Rio de Janeiro and was graded as one of the top five courses at national level.

Since the last three years and particularly after the reform of the educational program for undergraduates in 2009, the Institute has made efforts to provide more consistent links between its educational programs and research, as described below. It should be noted that since 2008 the implementation of graduate program Lato Sensu - Specialization in International Relations - called Contemporary International Relations - actors and processes. In 2011 the Specialization program was redesigned to meet the demands of continuing education and to better accommodate the profile sought by the market, incorporating the axis of humanitarian aid and development (AHD).

It should also be highlighted the activities during the past year towards the expansion of the Institute’s as a center for formulation of analysis in the context of international politics in the country through the creation of the Center for Studies and Research of the BRICS countries, also known as BRICS Policy Center - BPC. Such effort was globally recognized by the Global Think Tanks Report, in which the BRICS Policy Center was featured as one of the best Think Tanks affiliated to a university.