The major requires a minimum of 33 credit hours and completion of the seven requirements below. Students earn a B.A. degree.

Students can use two courses from each of their other majors and minors and SAGES university and departmental seminars toward the International Studies course requirements. Courses taken to satisfy the language competency requirement do not count toward the two-course limit per major or minor.  Courses for the International Studies major can be used toward completion of general education requirements.

1. Foundational Courses (required courses, 12 hours): Together these courses provide a multidisciplinary introduction to societies, cultures, economies, change over time, and interactions among countries.  They provide students with analytical frameworks and tools and expose them to a variety of regions of the world and international topics.  It is helpful to complete these courses before beginning coursework for one’s area and topical foci.

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

2. Area Focus (6 hours): Two courses that concentrate on a single region of the world.  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 Middle East.

3. Topical Focus (6 hours): A related pair of courses that examine a transnational topic. The content of the courses should be predominantly international.  Topical foci include international security and diplomacy, global environment, international development, global health, global business, intercultural communications, global arts, and international law. Students can create an original topical focus in consultation with the director.

4. Elective Area or Topical Courses (6 hours): Two additional courses toward the area focus or topical focus.

5. Course Distribution: Students must include courses from at least two different departments or programs among their six area, topical, and elective courses. These courses should be selected in consultation with the International Studies director. Previous lists of courses with international content can be found here. The list for the upcoming semester is emailed to majors approximately three weeks prior to the start of registration.

6. Senior Project (required course, 3 hours): For the senior project, students complete INTL 399 International Studies Colloquium senior fall.  INTL 399 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. In INTL 399 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 course itself and in a public presentation. This course meets the requirements of a SAGES capstone. Preparation for this course should begin once the major is declared. Guidelines can be viewed here.

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:

a. completing a language course at the 300 level or above
b. completing four semesters in a single language
c. 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

8. Graduation Paperwork:  In order to graduate with an International Studies major, each student must complete the Academic Advisement Report correction form, according to these instructions.


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, topic focus, and electives).


There is no minor in International Studies.