The Ultimate Guide to College Model UN Programs in North America (2012 Edition)

by KFC on April 23, 2012

Ready for your college Model UN journey?

This guide is designed to provide an overview of the college Model UN landscape in the United States and Canada. Whether you’re a current college Model UN participant or a curious high school student, we hope this article helps you make the decisions that will shape the type of Model UN career you will want to experience. Before we get started, there are two important distinctions to note.

First, it is important to note that the North American college circuit is informally divided into two circuits. For simplicity, we named them the World Division and the National Division. The World Division is characterized by student-led teams that attend college-hosted conferences, see Model UN as more of an academic competition, and participate increasingly in crisis committees. Example conferences include HNMUN, UPMUNC, McMUN, ChoMUN, and NCSC. The National Division is characterized by faculty-led teams that attend organization-hosted conferences, see Model UN as more of an educational simulation, and participate in purely UN committees. Example conferences include NMUN, AMUN, SRMUN, MUNFW, and MMUN. Teams are free to attend any conference, but most teams stick with a particular circuit. Learn more about the circuits here.

Second, college Model UN can be much more than just participating on a travel team. In particular, college Model UN programs provide a different leadership experience by hosting collegiate, high school, and middle school conferences — some programs or students focus exclusively on staffing. A few programs also have relationships to staff at high school conferences hosted by independent organizations such as UNA-USA and WEMUN. Internally, college students can also take Model UN as a political science or international relations class, particularly if their team participates in the National Division, or have outreach, speakers, journals, and other academic or social activities as part of a club. Off campus, college students can also individually volunteer with non-profits that draw staff from multiple colleges such as the IMUNA-hosted high school conferences (NHSMUN, RHSMUN, SUSMUN) or many of the organization-hosted college conferences in the National Division.

We have divided college Model UN programs into six groups. The groups are ordered by how much impact a college Model UN program has on the external community based on their ability to host conferences for other schools at different academic levels and field top travel teams. Programs within each group are in alphabetical order and we noted if a program helps staff other conferences or has a class. We define ranked team in the World Division as any team that has ranked in Best Delegate’s World Division top 25 rankings at any point in the past two school years (2010-11 and 2011-12) and in the National Division as any team that has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN in the past two years (2011 and 2012). Note that the next tier of awards at NMUN is the Distinguished Delegation.

Please remember that everyone is looking for a different Model UN experience at the college level and that programs in a certain group may not be the best fit for an individual. On the same note, the prestige of a certain program is relative to one’s involvement in organizing conferences or participating in them. Please also note that programs evolve all the time — a program listed in one group may be in a different group by the time you graduate. With that said, here is the guide to college Model UN programs!

Group A. Hosts conferences at two levels and has a ranked travel team

The schools in this group could be considered to have the most influential programs in Model UN as they all host two or more conferences and have a ranked travel team. Georgetown, Harvard, McGill, UC Berkeley*, U.Chicago, U.Penn, and Yale are the established names on the high school and college circuit. Georgia Southern was the first to have a middle school conference, and William & Mary will be the first to have all a conference for all three levels. Columbia and UCLA were part of a wave of college conference expansion that took place 7 years ago. Boston University, Clark, Cornell, Duke, George Washington, and Michigan State are newcomers to this group as they are part of a current wave of second conference expansion in the past five years. Recently, Harvard, Yale, and U.Penn have also gone international by hosting their own standalone conferences abroad.

Most of these programs have other activities such as outreach, speakers, journals, and other academic and social events. Besides hosting their own conferences and fielding ranked travel teams, many of these programs are also involved with major Model UN organizations such as UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms (staffing one of their conferences for inner-city youth) or the WEMUN Expo (hosting committees at their conference in China). Due to the breadth of their activities, most of these schools have an umbrella organization with a President that is above the Secretaries-General and Head Delegate.

  • Boston University: Boston University International Affairs Association (BU IAA) hosts the BosMUN high school conference and BarMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.
  • Clark University: Model United Nations at Clark hosts the CUHSMUN high school conference and a middle school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. MUN can be taken as a class.
  • College of William & Mary: William & Mary International Relations Club (W&M IRC) hosts the WMHSMUN high school conference and WMIDMUN middle school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. It is also launching its &MUN college conference.
  • Columbia University: Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA) hosts the CMUNCE high school conference and CMUNNY college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Cornell University: Cornell International Affairs Society (CIAS) hosts the CMUNC high school conference and CIAC college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.
  • Duke University: Duke International Relations Association (DIRA) hosts the DUMUNC high school conference and DISCon college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • Georgetown University: Georgetown International Relations Association (GIRA) hosts the NAIMUN high school conference and NCSC college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.
  • George Washington University: George Washington International Affairs Society (GWIAS) hosts the WAMUNC high school conference and GWCIA middle school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Georgia Southern University: Georgia Southern University Model United Nations hosts the GSUMUN high school conference and GSMSMUN middle school conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • Harvard University: Harvard International Relations Council (Harvard IRC) hosts the HMUN high school conference, HNMUN college conference, and has a World Division top 25 travel team. In addition, they host two high school conferences abroad — HMUN China and HMUN India — and two college conferences abroad — Harvard WorldMUN and HNMUN Latin America. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.
  • McGill University: International Relations Students’ Association of McGill (IRSAM) hosts the SSUNS secondary school conference and McMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Michigan State University: There are two sister organizations with strong overlap. Michigan State University Model United Nations hosts the MSUMUN high school conference and RCMUN middle school conference and is involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms. Michigan State University International Relations Organization (MSU-IRO) has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • University of California, Berkeley: There are two separate organizations on campus with little to no overlap; we grouped them together here to avoid confusion of two Berkeleys being listed*. Berkeley Model United Nations hosts the BMUN high school conference and is involved with the WEMUN Expo. University of California, Berkeley Model United Nations hosts the UCBMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • University of California, Los Angeles: Model United Nations at the University of California, Los Angeles (MUN at UCLA) hosts the BruinMUN high school conference and LAMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • University of Chicago: There are two sister organizations with strong overlap. Model United Nations of the University of Chicago hosts the MUNUC high school conference and is involved with both UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms and the WEMUN Expo. Chicago Model United Nations hosts the ChoMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • University of Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania International Affairs Association (Penn IAA) hosts the ILMUNC high school conference and the UPMUNC college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. In addition, they host the ILMUNC China conference abroad. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.
  • Yale University: Yale International Relations Association (YIRA) hosts the YMUN high school conference and the SCSY college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. In addition, they host two conferences abroad — YMUN Korea and YMGE in the Czech Republic. They are involved with the WEMUN Expo.

Group B. Hosts conferences at two levels and has a travel team

This group of schools hosts two conferences and has a travel team — they are great programs that focus slightly more on organizing conferences than participating in them. Princeton hosts the largest high school conference of the group followed by Brown and Virginia. Virginia and UCSB host the largest college conferences of this group. Appalachian State, Bentley, and Michigan are the ones that host a middle school conference as their second one. In terms of travel teams in this group, Princeton’s and Brown’s team has been the closest to moving into top 25 status while UCSB received the Distinguished Delegation at NMUN.

  • Appalachian State University: The International Relations Association (IRA) at Appalachian State University hosts their High School MUN and Middle School Model Security Council conferences.
  • Bentley University: Bentley Model United Nations hosts their High School and Middle School conferences.
  • Brown University: Brown University Model United Nations hosts the BUSUN high school conference and BUCS college conference. The travel team participates in the World Division.
  • Pennsylvania State University: Penn State International Affairs and Debate Association (PSIADA) hosts the PHUNC high school conference and PUNC college conference. The travel team participates in the World Division.
  • Princeton University: Princeton University’s International Relations Council (Princeton IRC), a subsidiary of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, hosts the PMUNC high school conference and PICSim college conference. The travel team participates in the World Division.
  • University of California, Santa Barbara: UCSB Model United Nations (UCSB MUN) hosts the GauchoMUN high school conference and SBIMUN college conference. The travel team participates in both the World Division and National Division where they received a Distinguished Delegation in the latter.
  • University of Michigan: University of Michigan Model United Nations hosts the UMMUN high school conference and MIMUN middle school conferences.
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina United Nations Organization (UNC UNO) hosts the MUNCH high school conference and UNCMUNC college conference. The travel team participates in the World Division.
  • University of Virginia: Virginia International Relations Organization (Virginia IRO) hosts the VAMUN high school conference and VICS college conference. The travel team participates in the World Division.

Group C. Hosts one conference and has a ranked travel team

This group of schools hosts one conference and has a ranked travel team — they are great programs that focus slightly more on participating at conferences than organizing an extra one. In terms of rankings, Florida International is a rare crossover that is good in both the World Division and National Division. In addition, West Point is particularly strong on the World Division and Baylor and Brigham Young are particularly strong on the National Division. This category is actually going through a big wave of expansion right now as Boston College, Claremont McKenna, Delaware, Emory, NYU, and West Point have all started their conferences in the past few years or have announced that they will be hosting their inaugural one next year.

  • Baylor University: Baylor University Model United Nations hosts the BUMUN high school conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • Boston College: Boston College Model United Nations (BCMUN) is launching the EagleMUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Brigham Young University: Brigham Young University Model United Nations hosts the BYUMUN high school conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • Claremont McKenna College: Claremont McKenna Model UN is launching the McKenna MUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • Emory University: Emory Model United Nations (EMUN) hosts the MUN-E college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • Florida International University: Florida International University Model United Nations Program (FIU MUN Pro) hosts the FIMUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team that has also received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • Florida State University: Florida State University World Affairs Program (FSU WAP) has a World Division top 25 travel team and also participates in the National Division. They host the RTC college conference.
  • Johnson County Community College: Johnson County Community College Model United Nations (JCCCMUN) hosts the MKCMUN high school conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • New York University: New York University Model United Nations hosts the NYUMUNC college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • Pace University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. They also host the PNYCMUN conference. Note that there are several Pace University campuses that are involved with Model UN.
  • Rutgers University: Rutgers Model United Nations helps staff the RUMUN high school conference hosted by the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs (IDIA)* and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They also work with IDIA on PhilMUN.
  • Stanford University: the Stanford Society for International Affairs Society (SIAS) hosts the SMUNC high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • United States Military Academy at West Point: the West Point Model United Nations team hosts the WPSC college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • University of British Columbia: University of British Columbia hosts the UBCMUN college conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. It notably also formed a separate organization to help co-host Harvard WorldMUN in Vancouver in 2012.
  • University of California, Riverside: University of California, Riverside Model United Nations hosts the MUNUCR college conference and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. It has hosted a high school conference in the past. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • University of Delaware: Delaware Model United Nations is launching its HenMUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.
  • University of Florida: University of Florida Model United Nations hosts the GatorMUN high school conference. We grouped them here because their travel team will be ranked in the World Division top 25. The team also participates in the National Division.
  • University of Miami: University of Miami Model United Nations team hosts the MICSUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team. They are also involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • University of Montana: Montana Model United Nations hosts the MMUN and TCMUN high school conferences and its travel team has received an Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. Model UN can be taken as a class.
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte: UNC Charlotte Model UN hosts the CCMUN college conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team, although it participates primarily in the National Division.
  • Vanderbilt University: Vanderbilt Model United Nations hosts the VUMUN high school conference and has a World Division top 25 travel team.

Group D. Has a ranked travel team 

This group of schools focus only on participating at Model UN conferences and do a great job at it. Most of the schools on the list participate in the National Division with some of the bigger names here being Alma College, Texas Christian, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and Wright State. The exceptions that compete in the World Division are Case Western, Colgate, Pomona College, Tulane, and Victory Valley (both divisions but leans toward National). Model UN can be taken as a class at most of the programs that participate at NMUN.

  • Alma College: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • California State University, Chico: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • California State University, Northridge: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • California State University, Sacramento: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • California State University, San Bernardino: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Case Western Reserve University: Travel team has been ranked in the World Division Top 25.
  • Colgate University: Travel team has been ranked in the World Division Top 25.
  • Florida Atlantic University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Georgia State University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Irvine Valley College: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Macalester College: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • New Mexico State University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Patrick Henry College: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Pomona College: Travel team has been ranked in the World Division Top 25.
  • Rider University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Syracuse University – Maxwell School: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Texas Christian University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Tulane University: Travel team has been ranked in the World Division Top 25.
  • Union College: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Universite de Montreal: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. It also participates in the World Division.
  • Université du Québec à Montréal: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN. It also participates in the World Division.
  • University of Hawaii, Hilo: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • University of New Orleans: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • University of North Florida: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • University of Ottawa: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • University of Texas at Dallas: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Victor Valley College: Victor Valley has a World Division top 25 travel team, although it participates primarily in the National Division where it received a Distinguished Delegation at NMUN.
  • Western Washington University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.
  • Wright State University: Outstanding Delegation at NMUN.

Group E. Hosts a conference and has travel team

All of these universities have a Model UN program that hosts a conference of various sizes, and most of them have a travel team as well. In terms of hosting, the largest conferences are those hosted by Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, and UC Irvine. Some notable travel teams among this group are Mount Holyoke and Texas in the World Division and Colorado, UC San Diego, and Washington in the National Division.

  • Carnegie Mellon University: Hosts the CMMUNC high school conference.
  • Dartmouth College: Hosts the DartMUN high school conference.
  • Earlham College: Hosts the ECMUN high school conference.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: Helps host the SWFLMUN high school conference.
  • George Mason University: Hosts the MASUN high school conference.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: Hosts the GTMUN high school conference. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Hope College: Hosts the HCMUN high school conference.
  • Houston Baptist University: Hosts the Model NATO conference.
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Hosts the IMUN high shcool conference.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Hosts the JHUMUNC high school conference.
  • Kennesaw State University: Hosts the KSUMUN high shcool conference.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Hosts the MITMUNC high school conference.
  • Mercyhurst College: Hosts the MCHSMUN high school conference.
  • Miami University of Ohio: Hosts the MUMUNC high school conference.
  • Mississippi State University: Hosts the MMSC high school conference.
  • Mount Holyoke College: Hosts the FCMUN college conference.
  • North Texas University: Hosts the NTIMUN high school conference.
  • Northwestern University: Hosts the NUMUN high school conference.
  • Old Dominion University: Hosts the ODUMUNC high school conference.
  • Seton Hall University: Hosts the SHUMUN high school conference. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • Simon Fraser University: Hosts the SFUMUN college conference.
  • Tallahassee Community College: Hosts the TSMUN high school conference.
  • Trident Technical College: Hosts the TMUN high school conference.
  • University of Alabama: Hosts the ALMUN high school conference.
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage: Hosts the Alaska MUN high school conference.
  • University of Arizona: Hosts the ArizonaMUN high school conference.
  • University of California, Davis: Hosts the DavisMUN high school conference.
  • University of California, Irvine: Hosts the UCIMUN high school conference.
  • University of California, San Diego: Hosts the TritonMUN high school conference.
  • University of Central Arkansas: Hosts the AMUN high school conference.
  • University of Central Florida: Hosts the KnightMUN high school conference. They are involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms.
  • University of Colorado at Boulder: Hosts the UCHSMUN high school conference. They notably participate in both the National and World Divisions.
  • University of Connecticut: Hosts the UCMUN high school conference.
  • University of Dayton: Hosts the DAYMUNC college conference.
  • University of Denver: Hosts the University of Denver High School MUN conference.
  • University of Georgia: Hosts the UGAMUNC high school conference.
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Hosts the MUNI high school conference.
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst: Hosts the UMASSMUN high school conference.
  • University of Northern Iowa: Hosts the IHSMUN high school conference.
  • University of Oklahoma: Hosts the MUNSW high school conference.
  • University of Pittsburgh: Hosts the MUN Pittsburgh high school conference.
  • University of Southern Maine: Hosts the MeMUNC high school conference.
  • University of Texas at Austin: hosts the CTMUN high school conference. They are also involved with UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms as well as Houston Area HAMUN, and their travel team participates in the World Division.
  • University of Washington: Hosts the UW-MUN Spring conference. It participates at NMUN where it has received a Distinguished Delegation. University of Washington MUN also helped develop the WASMUN high school conference and Northwest MUN college conference, both of which are now independently run.
  • Washington University in St. Louis: hosts the WUMUNS high school conference.
  • Wheaton College: Hosts the WCMUN high school conference
  • Yeshiva University: Hosts the YUNMUN high school conference
  • York University: Hosts the YMUN high school conference.

Group F. Has a travel team

There are hunderds of college programs that fit in this category and it would be too many for us to list. However, we have selected a group of schools that have either ranked internally in our World Division top 50 or have received a Distinguished Delegation at NMUN to represent a sample of other universities that have good Model UN teams. We also included a few programs here that are particularly active in staffing conferences including UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms. One program of note is the University of Illinois – Chicago which helped develop the CIMUN high school conference.

  • Austin College
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Carleton University
  • Cedarville University
  • City College of New York
  • College of Idaho
  • Concordia University
  • DePaul University
  • Hamline University
  • Hunter College
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Lone Star College (various campuses)
  • Lynchburg College
  • Manhattan College
  • Middlebury College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Pitzer College
  • Portland State University
  • Queen’s University
  • Samford University
  • Santa Fe College
  • Sonoma State University
  • State University of New York, Geneseo
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Universite Laval
  • University of Bridgeport
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of South Florida
  • Wilfred Laurier University

**

Please note this is our first time compiling all this information and we primarily based it on information that we found on websites. Some information may be outdated and some information may be missing. Programs may provide us with updates by leaving a comment below.

Want to learn more about the different programs? Ask a question on our Model UN Forums

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608615912 Rachel Bradford

    Cornell will also be participating in this year’s WEMUN expo

  • SBMUN Secretariat

    UC Santa Barbara also received Best Small Delegation at HNMUN-Latin America!

    UCSB-MUN has some of the hardest-working delegates in the circuit, with a conference hosting program and travel schedule typical of a much larger club. Olé!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=931500 Frank Pobutkiewicz

    There should be a Group A+ for schools that have conferences on two levels, a top travel team, an international conference, and an academic journal

  • Richard Benjamin Bloomfield

    Hey Ryan, great article but as a chair who has discussed this issue with high school delegates I think you might include a bit more discussion on how a college applicant can go about deciding which MUN program is right for them. Maybe you could describe the atmospheres of the programs based on discussions with Collegiate MUN leaders. I think a lot of people focus first on the general characteristics of schools when deciding where to attend, but an investigation into the personalities of individual MUN programs might help students choose to get involved with MUN over other activities such as mock trial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lfortney Lance Fortney

    Eastern Michigan University won a distinguished delegation at NMUN this year as the Republic of Suriname

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004139437370 Jane Smith

    Drexel University is holding its first university level MUN conference, DragonMUN 2013, March 28th through the 31st.

  • http://www.facebook.com/britarei Brittany Mathews

    Augusta State University has a two year old travel team. Both years we were honorable mention delegations and have received best delegate and best position paper awards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amandaweigle Amanda Weigle

    Kutztown University was ranked in the Top 75 N. American Teams last year and we’re hosting KUMUNC in January (after a 2 year hiatus). http://www.kumuncpa.org

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashleytaylorinman Ashley Inman

    Great article, BD! Just would like to point out that University of Florida does host two conferences, GatorMUN at the High School level and FLCS (Florida Crisis Simulation) at the collegiate level. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexgbarrera Alex Barrera

    Texas A&M International University has a travel team and won a delegation award at NMUN.

  • Locke Lamora

    Do college-level conferences have crisis committees?

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