Center for International Studies (CIS)

Center for International Studies

Magnet Schools of America 2019 Distinction Award

Named 2020 & 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 2019 & 2018 "Exemplary" by the OCPS 
Annual Magnet Review 

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: #dphschool

CIS Faculty

Assistant Principal over Magnet:  Vanessa Morrow [email protected]

Magnet Director: Cynthia Wilson [email protected] 

Resources for Current School Year

CIS Handbook & Curriculum

(this handbook supersedes prior ones) 
Magnet At-a-Glance
Magnet Agreement
Practicum Project - Instructions

International Council Application

International Hosting Opportunities


2020-2021 E-pal & virtual experiences being developed with sister cities & sisters schools abroad. Stay tuned!

Hosting Steps


Hosting Terms

Multi-Day Hosting Application

One-Day Shadowing Application

Parent Volunteers

We’d love to have you on our team! If you wish to support our magnet, please click here.


CIS Photos

About the CIS Magnet

CIS Highlights                   What CIS Graduates Say                 Interested?  How to Apply

The Dr. Phillips High School’s Center for International Studies Magnet (CIS)
was established in 1987 and was named a 2020/2019 "National Magnet School of Distinction" and 2017 "Magnet Program of Excellence" by Magnet Schools of America, and ranked once again as "Exemplary" by the 2019 OCPS Annual Magnet Review. 

The CIS Magnet provides a college-preparatory curriculum designed to emphasize the development of good study, research, and critical thinking skills with a core-focus on Social Studies and World Languages. Recognizing the inter-dependency of nations and increasing globalization, CIS provides an awareness of global issues and a practical ability to succeed in a diverse and multi-ethnic world by understanding other cultures and through the attainment of multilingual abilities. 

In support of our magnet mission, our students take AP-social studies classes, Honors and AP- English classes, and complete four years of a world language.

Overview of Requirements: (see Handbook for details)

  • Enrollment in required CIS classes
  • 3.0 unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale for each grading period/quarter
  • Good attendance
  • Compliance with OCPS Code of Conduct with no Level II, III, IV disciplinary actions
  • Compliance with CIS Honors Code
  • Participation in scheduled CIS seminars, assemblies, and multicultural activities
  • Yearly attendance at TWO magnet multicultural  evening events
  • Completed “practicum” (real-life international experience, project, activity) before end of junior year

Check out the CIS Guide to Calculating GPA

Course Progression: (see Handbook for details)

This represents a typical CIS class schedule. Required magnet courses must be taken on DPHS campus and are found in gray:

CIS Class Schedule

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

CIS English I Honors

CIS English II Honors

AP English Language & Composition

AP English Literature & Composition

AP Human Geography

AP World History

AP US History

AP Art History or VC Anthropology

World Language

World Language

World Language

World Language









HOPE (Physical Ed)



AP or Honors US Government & Economics






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. 

2020-2021 - COVID19 mitigation procedures & instructional models selected by students and teachers ([email protected], Face-to-Face, & others) may impact class placement when registering for courses. Best efforts will be made to accommodate within magnet guidelines

In addition to studying history, our CIS program provides an exciting exposure to different cultures and international relationships through many stimulating international experiences, including fun evening events, field trips to local cultural organizations, guest speakers, short-term hosting of foreign exchange students, and participation in study-travel programs abroad; all of which afford students direct interaction with foreign cultures.

Among our magnet students:

  • Six of our school's top 10 Highest Ranked Students for the Class of 2019 were CIS students
  • Over 4 million dollars in scholarship money was offered to CIS 2019 graduating seniors, including four CIS students who received athletic scholarships
  • 100% of the Class of 2019 entered college
  • Students enter MIT, Harvard, William and Mary, Dartmouth, Duke, most Florida universities, and smaller local colleges
  • While students enter universities with the plan to major in a wide variety of subjects, many indicate majors in International Business, International Affairs, Political Science, Art Programs, and Urban Studies, with career plans that include the Foreign Service, diplomacy, teaching abroad, and working for the United Nations
  • CIS students outperform district and state results by an average of 40% for reading scores and over 50% for math scores

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:

I am satisfied with my child's CIS experience…

Parent Survey Results
 Satisfaction Level % of Total

Strongly agree








Strongly Disagree


CIS Partnerships:

CIS is fortunate to have multiple partnerships which support student learning. These include our Parent Advisory Board, Dr. Phillips Rotary Club, Rotary Youth Exchange Program, City of Urayasu, Urayasu International Friendship Association, BG|BRG St. Martin School (Austria), Aabybro Efterskole (Denmark); and our academic local partnerships with the Global Perspectives Office at the University of Central Florida, and the Holocaust Memorial Resource/Education Center of Florida.

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 topics such as international relations, terrorism, human trafficking, and faith communities.  

"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."   
- UCF Global Perspectives former President, John Bersia

Interested in Joining CIS?

Want to know what a successful magnet student in CIS looks like? We have found that this student is…

  • Consistently earning A’s and B’s in advanced/honors English and social studies classes
  • On or above grade level on state assessments
  • Ready to be challenged and has a love of learning
  • Able to use time management skills to turn in assignments on time
  • Dedicated to the time and effort the program requires for all four years
  • Excited to be part of extracurricular activities and events

If the above description sounds like your student, please apply at Students applying for admission may do so during their eighth or ninth grade years. The magnet application and lottery is done through the Office of School Choice Services during the months of November through February. We’d love for you to be a part of our highly competitive, college prep program!