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

* 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.  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. (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. 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): 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, contingent on it being offered their senior fall. Otherwise those students must complete INTL 398 International Studies Senior Research Project.  Students who matriculated before fall 2014 complete INTL 398.

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 by 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. A prospectus form must be completed before registering for this course. The form can be downloaded here.

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. Preparation for this course should begin once the major is declared. Guidelines can be downloaded 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.