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International Studies

Major Requirements

Satisfying the requirements for the major in International Studies includes completing a minimum of 38 credits and a minimum of ten courses (10), as specified below.  In addition, International Studies majors must demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language at the second semester intermediate level.  Majors are also required to participate in study abroad, a Washington semester, or a relevant internship experience.

The following courses are required of all International Studies majors:

Core Introductory Courses (3 courses)

  • HIS 1131 – World History 1500 to the Present
  • POL 1500 – Comparative Politics
  • POL 1900 – International Politics

Advanced Core Courses (3 courses)

  • ECO 1201 – An Introduction to Economics or POL3540 – International Political Economy
  • HIS 3330 – World History Since 1945
  • POL 2000 - Political Science Methods

Global Dynamics Course (1 course)*

  • COM 3231 - Intercultural Communication
  • ECO 3306 - International Economics
  • ECO 3303 - Economic Development
  • FIN 4406 - International Financial Management
  • HIS 3380 - History of Modern Technology
  • HIS 3335 - World Environmental History
  • HSC 1103 – Global Public Health
  • MGT 3357 - International Management
  • MGT 4450 - Seminar: International Business
  • MKT 3320 - Global Marketing
  • PHL 3030 - Global Justice
  • POL 3540 - International Political Economy
  • POL 3160 - United States Foreign Policy
  • PSY3250 - Cultural Psychology
  • RTS 3850 - War & Peace
  • RTS 2990 - Women in Islam
  • SOC 3330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities
  • SOC 3250 - Social Change
  • WGS 3110 - Global Women’s Issues

Area Studies (2 courses in same geographical area, 8 credits)*

Latin America 

  • HIS 3440 - Survey of Latin American History
  • POL 3521 - Latin American Politics
  • POL 3531 - Politics of the Developing Nations
  • SPA 3510/20 - Culture & Civilization of Spain & the Hispanic World
  • SPA 3630 - Studies in the Popular Culture of Latin America & Spain
  • SPA 4080 – Hispanic Literature in Translation


  • FRE 3510 - France and Its Civilization I & II
  • HIS 3390 - Modern European Social History
  • HIS 3410 - Twentieth Century Europe
  • POL 3526 - Politics of the European Union
  • POL 3522 - British Politics
  • HIS 3378 - History of Modern Britain
  • HIS 3471 - History of 20th Century Russia
  • POL 3524 – Politics of Russia and the Post-Soviet States
  • SPA 3510/20 - Culture & Civilization of Spain & the Hispanic World
  • SPA 3630 - Studies in the Popular Culture of Latin America & Spain


  • POL 3520 - Modern China
  • POL 3523 - Japanese Politics

Middle East

  • HIS 3365 - The History of Muslim Communities, 600-1600
  • HIS 3336 - History of the Modern Middle East
  • POL 3525 - Politics of the Middle East

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 at the second semester of    intermediate level is required of all International Studies majors.

Experiential Learning – Students are required to participate in one of the following: program-approved study abroad, Washington Semester, or a relevant internship. 

Related Minors — International Studies majors are strongly encouraged to minor in a related discipline (such as economics, sociology, art history, 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.


Comments Regarding Major Requirements


The major consists of ten (10) courses, plus an additional language proficiency requirement that may be satisfied either by coursework at the appropriate level or by testing (especially when an individual student’s goals would best be served by a language not offered at Merrimack.) 

The core of the major consists of seven (7) courses which address the need to introduce students to the field of international studies through courses whose scope is global, whether historical or political.  Consequently, all students will be required to take World History since 1500, as well as World History Since 1945.  In addition, students must take Comparative Politics and International Politics or International Political Economy.   Students are also required to take An Introduction to Economics.  Given the importance of equipping students with appropriate tools for their exploration of world civilizations and global issues, all majors will also be required to take the Political Science methods course.  In order to broaden their educational experience, students will take a global dynamics course that focuses on cross national issues from an another disciplinary perspective.

Students will take three (3) courses in addition to the core.  To encourage students to acquire a better-than-superficial knowledge of a specific region, students will take two related courses that focus on a region of the world—Latin America, Europe or Asia.  Finally, the major requires that all students take an integrative capstone course, which will be either a Senior Seminar or directed study course.  The specific nature of this integrative seminar and/or directed study experience has yet to be determined, but it will include a major original research paper.

In addition to the ten courses above and the requirement of  proficiency in a modern foreign language at the second-semester of intermediate level, International Studies majors are also required to participate in a program-approved study abroad, Washington Semester program, or a relevant internship.