Meet Your 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. 

Anchored in political science  and history, this interdisciplinary program will provide you with deep insights into the political and historical forces that have shaped the countries and regions you’ll study.

As an international studies major, you will:

  • Focus your studies on one region of interest:  Europe, Latin America, Asia or the Middle East.
  • Improve your knowledge of the historical, political, economic, socio-cultural, philosophical, ideological, technological and strategic factors that shape relations among nations.
  • 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 or study-abroad program.

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 cultural specialist, director of international programs, foreign correspondent, government policy adviser, journalist, management consultant or political scientist

If you choose to minor in a related field, like economics or political science, you’ll stand out in the job market.

What You’ll Take

This bachelor’s degree program requires a minimum of 124 credits. As part of the overall 124 credit minimum, you’ll take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 38-credit and 10-course-minimum requirement in the international studies major. 

Major Requirements

Core Introductory Courses (complete all three courses)

HIS 1131 World History, 1500 to Present
POL 1500 Comparative Politics
POL 1900 International Politics

Advanced Core Courses (complete three courses) 

ECO 1201
POL 3540

An Introduction to Economics 
International Political Economy 
HIS 3330 World History Since 1945
POL 2000 Political Science Methods 



Global Dynamics Courses* (choose one)

COM 4531                     Intercultural Communication
ECO 3303 Economic Development
ECO 3306 International Economics
HIS 3335 World Environmental History, 1300-Present
HIS 3550 Global Empires, Race, and Nature, 1750-1945
HIS 3380 Science, Technology and Society
HSC 3103 Global Public Health
PHL 3030 Global Justice 
POL 2200 Globalization
POL 3160 United States Foreign Policy   
POL 3530 Democracy, Development and Violence
POL 3540 International Political Economy
POL 3541 Cyber Security: The Intersection of Technology and Policy
PSY 3250  Cultural Psychology 
RTS 3850 War and Peace: Religious Perspectives 
SOC 3330  Race and Ethnic Minorities 
WGS 3110         Global Women’s Issues: Gender, Activism and Social Justice

Area Studies* (choose two courses in same geographical area)

Latin America

HIS 3440                Survey of Latin American History: From Pre-Contact to the Present
POL 3521 Latin American Politics
POL 3531 Politics of Developing Nations
SPA 3510 Culture and Civilization of Spain I
SPA 3630               Studies in Popular Culture of Latin America and Spain
SPA 4080 Hispanic Literature in Translation


FRE 3510 France and Its Civilization I
FRE 3520 France and Its Civilization II
HIS 3378 History of Modern Britain
HIS 3390 Modern European Social History  
HIS 3410 Twentieth Century Europe 
HIS 3412 Hitler, Mussolini, and the Fascist Challenge in Europe, 1900-1950
HIS 3471 From Lenin to Putin: Russia in the Twentieth Century
POL 3522 British Politics
POL 3524 Politics of Russia and the Post-Soviet States
POL 3526 Politics of the European Union
SPA 3510 Culture and Civilization of Spain I 
SPA 3630 Studies in Popular Culture of Latin America and Spain  


HIS 3331 Slaves and Spice: A History of the Indian Ocean
POL 3520 Modern China                   
POL 3523             Japanese Politics

Middle East

HIS 3365 The History of Muslim Communities, 600-1600
HIS 3366 History of the Modern Middle East
POL 3525 Politics of the Middle East


* Some global dynamics and areas studies courses may require prerequisites. If you wish to use one of these courses to fulfill a major requirement in international studies, you are responsible for either taking the prerequisite(s) or obtaining a waiver from the professor teaching the course. 

Senior Capstone Course

In your senior year, you must also complete an integrative seminar or directed study. This includes writing a major research paper.

Additional Requirements

  • Language Requirement : You are required to have modern foreign language proficiency through the second semester of intermediate level.
  • Experiential Learning : You are required to participate in a program- approved study abroad experience, a Washington semester or a relevant internship experience. 
  • Related Minors : We strongly encourage you to minor in a related discipline, such as economics, sociology, art history, communication or business. These disciplines will give you additional knowledge and help you in your individual career goals. We also encourage you to minor in language or cultural studies to develop your understanding of culture’s influential role in human behavior. Coursework in related fields will help you better understand how individuals and societies relate across national boundaries.