Top Irish studies programs in North America


Irish Studies programs at North American universities is a growing trend.

Today, there are dozens of programs across the U.S. and Canada, many of which provide an interdisciplinary approach to learning about a rich Celtic culture that's existed since the dawn of Western civilization.

IrishCentral has compiled a list of 10 exemplary Irish Studies programs in North America, complete with each program's philosophy and what they have to offer.

Here are our editor's picks:

NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY - Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Program: Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Degree


The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary project devoted to teaching and research in Irish culture in all its internal and external relations. Established in 1993 under the intellectual leadership of Professor Seamus Deane, the Keough-Naughton Institute’s faculty now includes leaders in Literature, History, Film, Television and Theater and it is regularly supplemented by visiting professors, some of whom come to Notre Dame as Naughton Fellows in a reciprocal arrangement with Irish universities.

Christopher Fox, Director

Sean O’Brien, Assistant Director

Beth Bland, Senior Administrative Assistant


BOSTON COLLEGE - Center for Irish Programs

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Program: Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Degree


The Center for Irish Programs at Boston College brings together all University Irish Initiatives. It has oversight responsibility for the Irish Studies program, the Irish Institute, the Burns Library Irish Collections, the Center for Irish Programs - Dublin, and the Irish Music Program. Boston College was founded, in part, to educate the sons of famine emigrants from Ireland who settled in Boston. The Center for Irish Programs continues this important aspect of the University's mission and heritage.

Thomas E. Hachey, Director

Rachel Bowes, Program Coordinator


NEW YORK UNIVERSITY - Glucksman Ireland House

Location: New York, NY

Program: Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Degree


Located in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, Glucksman Ireland House is the center for Irish Studies at New York University, with courses in history, Irish language, literature, music and politics. NYU undergraduates may pursue a minor or a B.A./M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies. Graduate students may earn a Masters in Irish and Irish-American Studies

For the New York community, they present a weekly public events series during the academic year, as well as a monthly traditional Irish music series.

Joe Lee, Chair & Director


CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY - Center for Irish Studies

Location: Washington D.C.

Program: Master’s Degree


Irish studies at Catholic University has been present for over a century: the university established the first professorship devoted to teaching the Irish language in 1896. They offer an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Irish Studies. The interdisciplinary nature of the program gives students the opportunity to take a range of courses from various university departments, as well as a semester-long Parliamentary Internship in Dublin. 

Christina Hunt-Mahony, Acting Director



Location: Houston, TX

Program: Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Concentration


On January 23, 2003, the Center for Irish Studies opened in the Link Lee Mansion. Today the Center for Irish Studies resides at 4110 Mt. Vernon on the UST campus. In its short history, the Center for Irish Studies has made its mark by offering a wide range of cultural events to the University community and the community at large as well as a broad array of academic courses in Irish Studies, both on campus and in Ireland.

Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D., Director


CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY - Center for Canadian Irish Studies

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Program: Canadian Irish Studies Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Certificate


The Center for Canadian Irish Studies was created in 2000 through the joint financial support of Concordia University and the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation. Its mandate is to promote a fuller understanding of Ireland and the Irish experience in Canada. The Center coordinates a Minor and a Certificate in Canadian Irish Studies, an annual public lecture series by scholars and distinguished figures in Irish cultural life, scholarships in Canadian Irish Studies and special outreach projects of interest both to academics and the Irish community in Canada.