2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies, leading to a B.A. degree

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Program Director: Dr. Janine Chi, Professor of Sociology
IST Core Faculty
    Professors: Coutinho, Hashim, Ouellette
    Associate Professors: Ray-Chaudhuri
    Assistant Professor: Runcie
IST Affiliate Faculty: campus wide with specific curricular contributions

International Studies is an inter-and-multidisciplinary major that integrates the perspectives of the social sciences, the arts and humanities, and, to some extent, the natural sciences. This approach provides our majors with an ethical and critically engaged understanding of the complex and interdependent character of our globalized world. 

Our graduates are global citizens who demonstrate broad cultural and intercultural competence, including proficiency in a second language and familiarity with a specific geographic, cultural, and linguistic region of the world. Through their multi-disciplinary training, they gain the knowledge and ability to conduct research that addresses global challenges.

Our curriculum prepares students for a wide range of professional paths, which include: law and policy, advocacy, diplomacy, and international business. Recent graduates have successfully pursued careers in foreign service, the intelligence community, non-profit organizations, the international policy-making community, and international NGOs [non governmental organizations] concentrating on development and public health. Graduates have also been admitted to competitive graduate programs domestically and internationally, such as international studies, law, global public health, environmental policy, and international business.

Program Goals and Outcomes  

  1. Students will develop sophisticated knowledge of historical and current international issues, policies, events, and trends.
  2. Students will learn and apply various theoretical and methodological frameworks to analyze issues critical to this multidisciplinary field and our increasingly global world.
  3. Students will develop research competence, thereby enabling them to think, write and speak critically about complex global, regional, and national problems.
  4. Students will demonstrate proficiency in a second language at the intermediate level.
  5. Students will demonstrate an understanding of other countries’ or regions’ cultural expressions in the context of globalization.
  6. Students will gain a more nuanced understanding of their own culture from an international and global perspective.


Recommendations for Study Abroad

In support of the program’s goals, students are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester or more, develop a facility in a second language beyond the intermediate level, and immerse themselves in the languages and cultures of non-English speaking countries. 

Majors interested in postgraduate studies and programs, such as Fulbright and Peace Corps, the following programs should be of particular interest:

  1. SIT (Argentina; Bolivia; Cameroon; Chile; China; Ecuador; Ghana; India; Indonesia; Jordan; Kenya; Madagascar; Morocco; Nepal; Peru; Rwanda; Samoa; Senegal; Serbia; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Vietnam)
  2. CIEE (Botswana; Chile; China; Ghana; Japan; Russia; South Korea) 
  3. IFSA (Argentina; India)
  4. IES (Ecuador; Morocco; South Africa)
  5. ISA (Fiji)
  6. SSA (Argentina; Cuba)
  7. SFS (Bhutan; Cambodia; Chile; Kenya; Tanzania)
  8. MILA (Bangladesh; Costa Rica; Cuba; Japan; Panama, South Africa)


Honors in International Studies

A student interested in conducting advanced original independent research through a close working relationship with a faculty member can apply for Honors beginning spring semester of their junior year. Requirements for admission to the honors program include: 1) 3.70 GPA in International Studies and an overall 3.33 GPA at the time of application; 2) a letter of support from a faculty advisor directing the student’s honors project, and 3) an application that includes a statement of purpose and proposal for the research project. Materials are due to the program director by the end of the junior year. For more information, please see program website.

Major Requirements

The major consists of seven core courses (including second language proficiency) and five courses in any of the three concentrations or a specialized concentration. 

A. Required Courses

1) Required Core Courses

2) Second Language: Proficiency at the Intermediate II Level

Students who test out of Intermediate II are encouraged, but not required, to continue their language study at the “Advanced” level. Students who choose not to continue their language studies beyond Intermediate II will take two additional electives within their chosen concentration.

3) Regional Competency

Two courses with different prefixes in one geographical region:


B. Concentrations

Global Development, Economy, and Exchange

This concentration provides students with a broad social, political, and historical understanding of the global economic phenomena and exchanges that underpin world development and social change. Courses in this concentration address international and transnational business structures, development policy and trends, and global marketing, as well as the different challenges facing transitional economies.


Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice

This concentration provides students with the opportunity to examine various forms of conflict and collective violence on local, national, and global scales as well as nonviolent methods of mitigating conflict with justice. Courses in this concentration center on historical and contemporary forms of displacement, systems of exclusion, and structures of inequality that stem from differential access to socio-political representation and economic rights.

Four Electives

At least three different prefixes and one prefix from the Humanities.

Global Health and Environment

This concentration explores the complex relationships between environmental changes, such as extreme weather and climate events, water and food (in)security, and environmental policies with health outcomes worldwide. Courses in this concentration address global and international environmental histories, sustainable development, as well as global health systems and practices.

Five Electives

At least three different prefixes and one prefix from the Humanities.

Self-Designed Concentration

In consultation with the Director of the program, a student will develop an appropriate group of five (5) interrelated courses from multiple disciplines (3 different prefixes and at least one in the Humanities) which reflect a coherent sub-area of the field of International Studies. Examples of past self-designed concentrations include comparative political psychology, human rights, gender and sexuality, indigenous issues, etc.

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