The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies gives students knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in today’s globalized world. With courses in international relations, political science, economics, regional area studies and more, the program challenges students to understand international security, international political economy, global governance, and countries in global, local and transnational contexts. Students develop intercultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills through specialized coursework, foreign language study and education abroad. The degree prepares students for rigorous graduate coursework and exciting careers in both public and private organizations. Particular attention is paid to developing students’ critical thinking, research and communication skills so they may participate effectively as global citizens.
The international studies major offers a choice of four concentrations:
- Political Economy – Allows students to select coursework on international topics across the disciplines of political science and economics
- Africa – The study of Sub-Saharan and North Africa from multi-disciplinary perspectives
- Indo-Pacific – The study of the greater Asia-Pacific region from social scientific and humanistic perspectives
- Latin America – The study of Latin American political economy, history and culture
In addition, majors in the program may choose to complete a minor in Asian studies or Latin American studies or a certificate in European studies. The certificate programs offer students the opportunity to strengthen and supplement their major with a multi-disciplinary focus on either Europe or Latin America. Students within all majors have the opportunity to also enhance their degree with a Certificate of International Studies.
Topics of Study
- International security
- International political economy
- International organization and global governance
- International nongovernmental organizations
- Comparative political and legal systems
- Microeconomics and macroeconomics
- Economic growth, inequality and development
- Regional studies, including Africa, Western Europe, Latin America, Middle East and East Asia
- Intercultural awareness
- Foreign language study
Career and Graduate School Opportunities
The international studies major prepares students for careers in international relations and diplomacy, international security and intelligence, peace-building and conflict resolution, international development, international business, international education, international journalism, public relations and law. International studies majors have begun careers upon graduation in organizations such as the U.S. State Department, U.S. Peace Corps, U.S. Army, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, international development agencies and non-governmental organizations around the world. Others have been accepted to excellent graduate programs around the world. International studies majors have won prestigious post-baccalaureate awards such as the Fulbright fellowship, and have taught English abroad in Spain, Indonesia, China, Korea and with the JET Program in Japan.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
The Department of Political Science and International Studies provides numerous opportunities for students to get hands-on, real-world learning experiences. Internships in varied fields such as politics, law and international affairs are available. Using both direct placement and the Washington Center program, the department has had great success placing students into internships with local, national and international employers.
In addition to internships, students are encouraged to participate in numerous other opportunities such as:
- Study abroad trips – led by faculty members – to locations such as Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America
- Presentations at local, state and national conferences on international studies
- Independent studies
- Interaction with guest speakers, including ambassadors, high-level U.S. government officials and global activists
- Field experiences
- Service learning