2023-2024 Catalog 
    Apr 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog

International Studies Major

Program Director: Dr. Franklin

The International Studies major provides an interdisciplinary curriculum in international politics, economics, societies, and cultures, as well as foreign languages.  It is designed for students preparing for careers in foreign policy and international affairs and for graduate study in international relations programs.  The major consists of at least 10 units, plus an international field experience and language instruction beyond the general education requirement.  

The International Studies Program is governed by an International Studies Committee composed of four faculty members, one each selected from the departments of Economics and Business, History, Politics and Government, and World Languages and Cultures. Current committee members are Program Director Jim Franklin (Politics and Government); Goran Skosples (Economics and Business); Jeremy Baskes (History); and Mary Anne Lewis Cusato (World Languages and Cultures). The International Studies Program Director must approve any modifications of the course requirements listed below.

Learning Objectives

Specific intended student goals are to:

  • Develop knowledge in the disciplinary categories of the field both broadly and regionally/comparatively as well as in related language and cognate courses;
  • Hone skills in critical thinking, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and written and oral communication; Value knowledge in a global context;
  • Cultivate the ability to build upon existing knowledge and synthesize interdisciplinary thinking via a capstone project;
  • Strengthen and implement intercultural skills outside the classroom through such opportunities as study abroad, travel-learning courses, theory-into-practice grants, on campus lecture series, Global Studies Institute events, on-campus international living experiences, student club participation (i.e. Model United Nations), and national and international internship opportunities

Major Requirements:

One class on international relations or foreign policy from:

Two courses in arts or humanities with international or non-U.S. focus from:


  • One course from:

  • Independent study with a professor with appropriate expertise that produces a major research paper (at least 15 pages) on an international or non-U.S. topic, and presentation at the student symposium or equivalent forum.

Field Experience:

Students must take part in an approved field experience of at least 8 weeks that involves study abroad, or an internship with an international organization.  Courses taken abroad can be applied to the above course requirements.

Foreign Language Requirement:

Two units beyond 111 (or demonstrated competency at this level) is the minimum requirement.  Students are strongly encouraged to continue until proficiency is attained. International students who have grown up speaking something other than English as their primary language do not have additional language requirements