Center for International Studies (CIS)

Named 2019 "National Magnet School of Distinction" by  Magnet Schools of America
Named 2017 "Magnet Program of Excellence"  - The highest ranking of the Magnet Schools of America
Ranked as "Exemplary" by the OCPS 
Annual Magnet Review - 2017-2018 School Year

Cynthia B. Wilson 
Director, Center for International Studies     407-355-3200
Follow us on Twitter @CISmagnet  /  Instagram @cis_dp


 CIS Handbook & Curriculum       

Magnet Agreement 

Practicum Requirements    

International Council Application

Evening Events 2018-19:

Annual International Night - Oct. 24                         Adventure Night - Dec. 12

Art Gala - February - Feb. 28                ?  - April

Hosting Opportunities 2018-19:

October - Austrians                  March - Portuguese & Japanese              April - Danish

Host Family Checklist (Read before applying for multi-day)       

Multi-Day Hosting Application        One-Day Shadowing Application

About the CIS Magnet:

CIS Highlights                   What CIS Graduates Say                 Interested?  How to Apply

Note: Students applying for admission to the CIS Magnet may do so during their 8th or 9th grade years. In order to be considered for placement in an OCPS magnet program, students must followed a district centralized application process and submit an electronic application through the School Choice Office ( 

What is CIS ?

In 1987, the Center for International Studies (CIS) Magnet Program was developed by Orange County Public Schools to provide students with an awareness of global issues, an understanding of other cultures, and the attainment of multilingual abilities necessary for international business and diplomacy. Recognizing the inter-dependency of nations and their increasing globalization, the CIS Magnet addresses the ever-growing  need for cultural awareness and practical ability to succeed in a diverse and multi-ethnic world.

CIS is designed to help students attain much-needed competencies in global affairs so they can understand the impact of international issues and events on their daily lives. CIS students learn about cultures and peoples, exploring humanity’s similarities and differences across place and time. The program also helps to develop skills necessary for student admission to competitive universities both here and abroad. CIS students develop the skills, attain the knowledge, and cultivate an attitude of cross-cultural awareness that will assist them in whatever direction they pursue in their future.

Social studies and world languages form the core of the CIS experience. In addition to studying history, social studies classes provide an exciting exposure to different cultures, faiths, and international relationships. The study of world languages is an integral component of an international education, and students will study four years of language through the AP level. The college-preparatory curriculum is designed to emphasize the development of good study, research, and critical thinking skills.

In addition to the specialized curriculum, student education is enhanced through many stimulating international experiences, including guest speakers, hosting of international students, and participation in study-travel programs in Europe and Japan, all of which afford students direct interaction with foreign cultures.

At the CIS Magnet, we  strive to support our students during their high-school career and to ensure a great quality education; below the results from our parent end-of-year annual survey:

Parent Survey Results (2017-2018):

I am satisfied with my child's CIS experience.
Strongly agree                          52.08%
Agree                                            37.50%
Mixed                                           10.42%
Disagree                                      0.00%
Strongly Disagree                   0.00%


Once accepted into the program, students must comply with all CIS guidelines and maintain the following requirements:

  • A 3.0 unweighted GPA each grading period
  • A good conduct record with no Level II, III, IV disciplinary actions
  • Recommendation of CIS teachers at the end of the school year
  • Participation in scheduled CIS seminars, assemblies, and multi-cultural activities
  • A completed “practicum” (practical field experience, project, or activity) before the end of the junior year

CIS-Course Progression:

This represents a typical CIS schedule.  Required CIS classes are in bold-face


  1. CIS English I Honors (Pre-AP)
  2. CIS AP Human Geography (CIS foundation course)
  3. World Language
  4. Math                
  5. Science         
  6. HOPE (Physical Education)
  7. Elective


  1. CIS English II Honors (Pre-AP)
  2. CIS AP World History
  3. World Language
  4. Math                 
  5. Science         
  6. Elective
  7. Elective


  1. CIS AP English Language
  2. CIS AP U.S. History
  3. World Language
  4. Math                
  5. Science         
  6. Elective
  7. Elective


  1. CIS AP English Literature
  2. American Government & Economics (Honors or AP)
  3. World Language (AP)
  4. AP Art History or VC Anthropology (in-school)
  5. Math             
  6. Science     
  7. Elective      

Total:  24 credits required for graduation
Course requirements are subject to change, pending state curriculum changes and availability of specialized instructors. CIS Social Studies, English, and cultural arts classes are only taught at the honors and AP levels.  To remain in the CIS magnet, students must remain and succeed in these required level classes. For more curriculum details, please visit the magnet handbook above.

CIS - UCF Partnership:

We are honored to be partners with the University of Central Florida's Global Perspectives program.  Global Perspectives has shared dozens of guest speakers with us since 2008, including ambassadors, generals, Foreign Service officers, and experts on subjects like international relations, terrorism, human trafficking, and faith communities.  The late Pulitzer Prize winner John Bersia, former President for Global Perspectives, had this to say about the partnership and the magnet:

"Our two institutions have organized and co-sponsored dozens of events over the years, serving thousands of audience members. Notably, we have welcomed APJ Kalam, a former president of India, and more recently Kevin Bales, the world’s leading contemporary abolitionist, at Dr. Phillips. These kinds of events provide an opportunity for students, faculty and administrators at Dr. Phillips to hear the perspectives of newsmakers from around the world, but also for them to engage our guests in substantive discussions about global developments and how they affect people in the United States.

Too many Americans shy away from or lack interest in foreign affairs. What they may not know or fully appreciate is that every major global issue today has no regard for political boundaries. What is global is local. Dr. Phillips understands these realities, and it endeavors to produce students who are knowledgeable and prepared for the rigors of the world environment. They are globally aware and locally engaged."