Nov 30, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

International Studies, B.A.

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Interdisciplinary Program

Contact: Dr. Alison Russell, Director

The International Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program designed to develop cross- cultural understanding and the ability to interact effectively with others in our increasingly complex and diverse global community. It provides undergraduate preparation for students considering post-graduate study and/or careers in international business, law, media, education, and governmental or non-governmental organizations. The major is anchored in Political Science and History to provide students with an understanding of the political and historical forces that have shaped current realities in the countries and/or regions under study. Students are strongly encouraged to extend this core preparation by choosing additional minors, or an additional major, in related disciplines appropriate for their individual goals, essentially tailoring their preparation to their aims. For all students, experiential learning and language studies focused on the individual student’s particular region or country of interest are required in order to develop the skills and cultural competence to engage effectively in an international environment.

Major Requirements

This bachelor’s degree program requires a minimum of 124 credits. As part of the overall 124 credit minimum, satisfying the requirements for the major in International Studies includes completing a minimum of 38 credits and a minimum of ten (10) courses, as specified below. In addition to completing the core introductory and methodology courses in History and Political Science, students will focus part of their major coursework on a specific region of the world by taking two courses in one of the following geographic areas: Latin America, Europe, Asia, or the Middle East. In addition, International Studies majors must demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language at the second semester intermediate level.  Finally, International Studies majors are required to participate in a program-approved study abroad experience, a Washington semester, or a relevant internship experience. 

The following courses are required of all International Studies majors:

Core Introductory Courses

(3 courses)

Area Studies

(choice of 2 courses in same geographical area) *

Senior Capstone Course

(1 course)

  • An integrative seminar or directed study in senior year that will involve a major original research paper.

* Some Global Dynamics and Areas Studies courses may require pre-requisites. If a student wishes to use one of these courses to fulfill a major requirement in International Studies he or she is responsible for either taking the requisite(s) or obtaining a waiver from the professor teaching the course. 

Additional requirements and recommendations:

Language Requirement - Modern foreign language proficiency through the second semester of intermediate level is required of all International Studies majors.

Experiential Learning - International Studies majors are required to participate in a program- approved study abroad experience, a Washington semester, or a relevant internship experience. 

Related Minors - International Studies majors are strongly encouraged to minor in a related discipline (such as economics, sociology, political science, communication, or business) that will enable them to gain additional disciplinary knowledge of special relevance to their individual career goals and/or encouraged to minor in language or cultural studies to develop their understanding of culture’s influential role in human behavior. Coursework in related fields also enables International Studies majors to approach issues and questions which are the focus of their major from novel perspectives, to discern unappreciated connections, and to develop an understanding of the many contextual factors that influence how individuals and societies relate across national boundaries. 

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