International Studies Program
By completing a major in international studies, students develop expertise in a region of the world, including one of its languages, and in a transnational topic. They also become familiar with a variety of international issues and frameworks. They use this expertise and knowledge to understand and analyze the dynamics and complexity of the human world.
Popular transnational topics include international security and diplomacy, global environment, international development, global health, international business, intercultural communications, international trade and finance, global arts, and international law. Common languages to study are Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.
Students majoring in international studies earn a BA degree. The major is useful for careers in the arts, business, engineering, government, health, law, media, and the nonprofit sector, among other fields.
Kelly McMann, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Professor, Department of Political Science; Director, International Studies Program
The major in international studies requires a minimum of 33 credit hours, chosen from approved topical and area studies courses, plus satisfaction of a language competency requirement. Each student will prepare a program of study that includes course selections meeting the seven requirements below. Normally, no more than two courses taken for international studies credit may count simultaneously toward a minor or another major. Courses taken to satisfy the language competency requirement are exempted from this rule, and several international studies courses contribute to the completion of general education requirements.
Requirements for the Major
1. Multidisciplinary Foundations (required courses; 12 hours). These courses provide an introduction to understandings of society and culture, principles of economics, change over time, and interactions among countries, while exposing students to a variety of world societies and issues. International studies majors are encouraged to complete the multidisciplinary foundations courses before embarking on a study abroad program. These courses are:
|ANTH 102||Being Human: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology||3|
|ECON 103||Principles of Macroeconomics (*)||3|
|HSTY 113||Introduction to Modern World History||3|
|POSC 172||Introduction to International Relations||3|
* Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2014 can use ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics, rather than ECON 103 Principles of Macroeconomics, for the economics course, in accordance with the previous major requirements.
2. Area Focus (6 hours): Two courses that concentrate on a single region of the world. Such courses are offered in many departments and programs. In order to count toward the area focus, courses from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures must include content other than exclusively language learning, such as the study of literature or cinema. Area foci include Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.
3. Topical Focus (6 hours): A related pair of courses that examine a transnational topic. Topical foci include, but are not limited to, international security and diplomacy, global environment, international business, global health, international development, and global arts.
4. Elective Area or Topical Courses (6 hours): Two additional courses toward the area focus or topical focus.
5. Students must include courses from at least two different departments or programs among their six area focus, topical focus, and elective courses. (This is highly recommended, but not required, for students who matriculated prior to Fall 2014.) These courses should be selected in consultation with the international studies director.
6. Senior Project (required course, 3 hours): The senior project offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the complexity and dynamics of the human world as a result of majoring in international studies. Students who matriculated Fall 2014 or later complete INTL 399 International Studies Colloquium. Students who matriculated before Fall 2014 complete INTL 398 International Studies Senior Research Project.
INTL 398 International Studies Senior Research Project: Students work individually with a faculty project advisor to research and write a major paper, typically in their senior year. Students should identify their faculty project advisors and topics no later than the semester before they intend to complete INTL 398. Students must complete a prospectus no later than the second week of the semester. Upon request to the international studies director, who seeks approval from the director of SAGES, this course can meet the requirements of a SAGES capstone.
INTL 399 International Studies Colloquium: Students analyze topics relevant to the foreign geographic area and broad theme they have chosen for their major foci. To do so, they draw on their international experience, knowledge acquired through a foreign language, and prior coursework for the major. Students share their conclusions in the seminar itself and in a public presentation. This course meets the requirements of a SAGES capstone.
7. Language Competency (0 to 16 credit hours): In addition to the 33 credit hours of international studies course work, students must demonstrate competency in a language other than their native language. This may be done by:
- completing a language course at the 300 level or above
- completing four semesters in a single language
- demonstrating to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures a non-native language competency equivalent to that attained by completing a 300-level or above course
Honors: Honors are awarded to students who meet three requirements: an exceptional senior project (grade of A), a 3.3 overall GPA, and a 3.7 GPA in international studies courses (area focus, topical focus, and electives).
There is no minor in international studies. International studies can be a secondary major.
INTL 396. International Independent Study. 1 - 3 Units.
Study of a topic within the scope of international studies. The student must complete a prospectus form, approved and signed by the supervising faculty member, no later than the second week of classes. The prospectus must outline the goals of the project and the research methodology to be used and is part of the basis for grading. Open to juniors and seniors majoring in international studies.
INTL 398. International Studies Senior Research Project. 3 Units.
Individual work with a faculty tutor leading to the writing of a major research paper. Open only to seniors majoring in international studies.
INTL 399. International Studies Colloquium. 3 Units.
This course offers seniors the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the complexity and dynamics of the human world as a result of majoring in International Studies. Students analyze topics relevant to the foreign geographic areas and broad themes they have chosen for their major foci. To do so, they draw on their international experiences, knowledge acquired through foreign languages, and prior coursework for the major. Students share their conclusions in the seminar itself and in a public presentation. This course meets the requirements of a SAGES capstone. Counts as SAGES Senior Capstone.