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Political Science

International Studies Major

Interdisciplinary Program

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, additional cultural and/or language studies focused on the individual student’s particular region or country of interest are strongly recommended in order to develop a cultural competence that extends beyond the shaping forces of political systems and local/regional/global history.

In addition to completing the core introductory and methodology courses in History and Political Science, students will focus part of their coursework on a specific region of the world by fulfilling two of their three required area studies courses in their choice of regional area: Latin America, Europe, or Asia.  Modern foreign language proficiency, equivalent to second semester intermediate level coursework, is required for International Studies majors.  Students are also strongly encouraged to choose one of the following experiential learning opportunities:  study abroad, a Washington semester, or a relevant internship.  In the senior year, the required capstone course serves to integrate the disciplinary perspectives in the major’s coursework, the theoretical and applied knowledge and skills acquired by students, and the program’s academic and career related goals.

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.

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
ECO 1201      An Introduction to Economics

Advanced Core Courses (3 courses)

POL 2510      International Politics or
POL3540       International Political Economy
HIS 3330       World History Since 1945
POL 2000      Political Science Methods

Global Dynamics Course (choice of 1 course from the list below)*

COM 3231       Intercultural Communication
ECO 3306       International Economics
ECO 3303       Economic Development
FIN 4406         International Financial Management
HIS 3380         Science, Technology, and Society
HSC 3103       Global Health
MGT 3357       International Management
MGT4450        Seminar: International Business
MKT 3320       Global Marketing
PHL 3030        Global Justice
POL3530         Democracy, Development, & Violence
POL 3540        International Political Economy
PSY3250         Cultural Psychology
RTS 3850        War & Peace
RTS 2990        Women in Islam
SOC 3330       Racial and Ethnic Minorities
SOC3250        Social Change
WGS 3110      Global Women’s Issues

Area Studies (choice of 2 courses in same geographical area)*

Latin America     

HIS 2340         Survey of Latin American History
POL 3521        Latin American Politics
POL 3531        Politics of the Developing Nations
SPA 3510/20   Culture and Civilization of Spain and the Hispanic World
SPA 3630        Studies in the Popular Culture of Latin America & Spain
SPA4080         Hispanic Literature in Translation        


FRE 3510/20   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         From Lenin to Putin: Russia in the Twentieth Century
POL 3524        Politics of Russia and the Post-Soviet States
SPA 3510/20   Culture and Civilization of Spain and the Hispanic World
SPA 3630        Studies in the Popular Culture of Latin America & Spain 


POL 3520        Modern China
POL 3523        Japanese Politics

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 – Students are encouraged to participate in 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.

If you are interested or would like more information contact Interim Director Harry Wessel at: