2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies, leading to a B.A. degree

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Program Director:  Dr. Janine Chi, Professor, Sociology
Professors:  Borick, Cragin, Hashim, Kish-Goodling, Marshall, Mello, Raymond, Tighe
Associate Professors:  Bergenstock, Knox, Kushner, Nagy, Ouellette, Stein, Sullivan, Takahashi
Assistant Professors:  Cronin, D’Haeseleer, Fadlon, Finkelstein, Miller, Ray-Chaudhury, Sadeghi, Teng
Visiting Assistant Professor: Burt
Senior Lecturer: Albert
IS Advisors:  Chi, Hashim, Mello, Ouellette

The international studies major integrates the perspectives of political science, economics, business, sociology, history, and a variety of other disciplines to provide the student with a structured approach to a comprehensive understanding of the complex and interdependent nature of political, social, and economic factors that shape behavior in the international system.  Seven structured concentrations are offered which permit the student to focus in a given area of interest: (1) Conflict and Peace Studies; (2) Environmental Issues; (3) Global Trade and International Business; (4) Global Interdependence; (5) Development Studies; (6) Global Public Health Studies; and (7) an Area Studies concentration.  In addition, students may develop a uniquely designed specialized concentration.  The major prepares the student for careers in foreign service, the intelligence community, international business, the international policy-making community, positions with international NGOs concentrating on development and public health, related research fields, as well as law and teaching.

Special Programs

Honors in International Studies

A student may work for Honors beginning in the spring semester of his/her junior year.  Students who fulfill the following conditions will be awarded honors at Commencement:

  • A 3.700 grade point average in international studies.
  • Enrollment in an independent study offered by a member of the departments participating in the international studies major during the fall semester.  The submission and approval of an Honors essay as the culmination of the independent study.  This essay must be of substantial length (approximately 50 pages) and be based upon an appropriate volume of primary and secondary research.
  • A grade in the independent study of no less than B+.
  • Passing of an oral defense of the project conducted by members of the departments participating in the International Studies major.

Recommendations for Study Away from Campus:

Students are strongly urged, in consultation with their faculty advisor, to plan their major early in their career at Muhlenberg so that space can be provided for important Study Abroad experience and/or out-of-classroom learning such as the Washington Semester and internships.

Recommended Language Courses:

International studies majors are strongly encouraged to demonstrate competence in a language other than English by double majoring or minoring in a language.  Alternately, if schedules do not permit a minor, students are strongly encouraged to take courses in a language through Advanced Conversation & Composition.  Students may complete one of the required writing intensive courses with one of the following:

In addition:

In addition, students may fulfill one general academic requirement in humanities with one of the following courses:


Finally, International Studies majors may find the following courses useful:

Recommended Math and Science courses:

It is strongly recommended that students in International Studies use the following course toward their Reasoning requirement:

It is strongly recommended:

It is strongly recommended that students in International Studies use the following courses to meet their Natural Sciences and Mathematics  requirement:

Major Requirements

The major consists of six core courses plus six courses in any one of the seven designated concentrations or a specialized concentration.


Optimally, students will follow one of the designated concentrations.  Where there is a compelling academic reason, students may make substitutions in any concentration or design a unique concentration (such as Indigenous Peoples in International Relations) in consultation with the faculty advisor and the director of the major.

Peace and Conflict Studies

International Environmental Problems

Choose four (4) of the following courses:

It is strongly recommended:

It is strongly recommended that students following the Environmental Issues concentration use any of the following toward their natural sciences and mathematics requirement:

Global Interdependence

Global Trade and International Business

Required Courses:

Choose four (4) of the following courses:

It is strongly recommended:

It is strongly urged that students following the Global Trade and International Business Concentration meet the Reasoning requirement with:

Development Studies

Choose two (2) of the following courses:

Global Public Health

Requires participation in a study abroad program.

Optional Courses:

Choose a total of four (4) from 1 and 2

1. Optional Courses at Muhlenberg:

(Choose at least 2)

2. Off-Campus Options:

Choose 1 Site & at least 2 courses from Public Health offerings at that site

  • A-Denmark International Studies (DIS)
  • B- Maastricht University
  • C-CIEE Botswana
  • D-CIEE Thailand
  • E-SIT Chile
  • F-SIT South Africa
It is strongly recommended:

It is strongly recommended that students following the Global Public Health concentration use one of the following courses toward their natural science and mathematics requirement:

Area Studies

Choose one (1) of the following Area Study Combinations.  All additional courses selected in consultation with the director of the major.



East Asia

Latin America

Middle East


Self Designed Concentration

In consultation with the Director of the major, the student will develop an appropriate mix of eight (8) interrelated courses from multiple disciplines which in combination reflect a coherent sub area of the discipline of International Studies:  examples of past self-designed concentrations include comparative political psychology, human rights, indigenous issues, etc.

A 2.00 grade point average in all required courses must be maintained to remain a major in the program.  Majors may satisfy the writing intensive course requirement in political science; history; economics; or languages, literatures, and cultures.

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