International Studies Major

As an international studies major, you’ll develop your cross-cultural understanding and learn to interact with others in our increasingly complex and diverse global community. 

This interdisciplinary academic program will provide you with deep insights into the political, social, economic, and historical forces that have shaped the world in which we live.

As an international studies major, you will:

  • Study global forces in religion, politics, history, and economics that shape relations among countries, with particular attention to one area of concentration
  • Focus your studies on one area of concentration:
    • Global and Regional Systems of Governance and Societies
    • Global Economy, International Business, and Development
    • Global Peace, Justice, and Ethics
    • Global Health and Environment
  • Improve your knowledge of the historical, political, economic, socio-cultural, philosophical, ideological, technological and strategic factors that shape the world today.
  • Enhance your research abilities by finding, evaluating and interpreting relevant primary and secondary sources, and by conducting, analyzing and interpreting original research.
  • Learn how to apply your knowledge by presenting a convincing case for a course of action that addresses a significant international issue or challenge.

Hands-On Learning

You’ll broaden your global perspectives by studying a foreign language and taking part in experiential learning opportunities, such as an internship, study abroad program, or a semester in Washington, DC.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the international studies program, you’ll be well equipped to further your education at graduate school, as well as pursue a career in international business, government, law, media, education or nonprofit organizations. You might pursue a career as a director of international programs, foreign correspondent, government policy adviser, journalist, management consultant, or political scientist.

This program pairs well with any other major or minor, and offers lots of opportunity for synergy among courses. If you choose to minor in a related field, like economics or political science, you’ll stand out in the job market. Our graduates have gone on to have careers in the government, private sector, and non-profit organizations.

If you choose to further your education in graduate school, know that our students have been admitted to the top graduate programs in the world. Some of the graduate schools our students have been admitted to include:

  • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Graduate Institute of International Studies (IHEID), Geneva, Switzerland
  • Tufts University
  • George Washington University
  • American University
  • Boston University
  • University of Maryland
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Kings College, London
  • European University Institute

Courses You’ll Take

Important Note About Foreign Language Requirement: As of Oct. 2022, the foreign language requirement (listed below in the catalog) will no longer be required for the program.

International Studies Major Curriculum

International Studies Major Requirements

General Education Requirements

In addition to the major requirements below, you will also need to complete Merrimack’s general education requirements.

To see more details about the major, please visit


Sample Curriculum Guide

Wondering when you’ll take certain courses? Use the Curriculum Guide—a sample four-year schedule—to get a sense of what your path to graduation looks like.