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International Studies Major and Minor

The bachelor of arts in international studies is an interdisciplinary program. The major is administratively housed in the department of political science.

International Studies Major

A major in international studies consists of 10 required courses and four courses in an area of concentration.

The required courses are:

  • ECON 101, 102,  and 310

  • PSCI 207, and 350

  • PSCI 338 or HIST 345

  • THEOL 207

  • IS 498 Senior Seminar

  • One advanced language course (typically the 300 or 301 level of SPAN, FREN or GERMN)*

  • One advanced culture course (often the 301 or 302 level of FREN, GERMN or SPAN)*

    *Must be approved by the coordinator of the international studies major.

► See the course descriptions.

A concentration may be taken from one of three areas: international business and economics, international politics or international cultures. The concentration in international cultures may include courses in language, in literature or in a geographic area. Students with a concentration in international politics or international business and economics are urged to take a course in social science statistics. Courses in the international cultures concentration must be related by a visible rationale approved by the coordinator of the international studies major.

As part of the international studies major, students are strongly advised to undertake an internship in the international field (government, the private sector, international organizations, institutions or societies), to study abroad for a summer or semester, or to work on a project related to the international field. The internship may be substituted for a three-credit course in the student’s area of concentration.

International Studies Minor

The international studies minor consists of the following courses, for a total of 18 credit hours:

  • ECON 101

  • ECON102

  • PSCI 207

  • ECON 310

  • PSCI 338 or HIST 345

  • THEOL 207


By the time they graduate, international studies majors are expected to meet the following specific goals and objectives.

► Understand the basic political, economic and socio-cultural processes of the contemporary international system. Students will be able to:

  • Describe the functioning of state and non-state actors in the international system.

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the international economic system.

  • Achieve linguistic fluency in a foreign language.

  • Be able to discuss the diversity of cultural expression and interaction of cultures in the modern world system.

► Learn how to conduct or undertake critical analysis and empirical research in the field of international affairs. Students will

  • Understand the basic principles of research methods.

  • Demonstrate competency in the use of evaluative tools for quantitative and qualitative research.

  • Develop, research, write and present an original senior capstone research project.

► Address the ethical and moral challenges to the international system. Students will be able to

  • Understand the traditions of Catholic social thought.

  • Demonstrate awareness of emerging moral and ethical issues in the international system and the dialectic that is sometimes generated by competing views.

► Be prepared for careers in government, international business, non-governmental organizations or further academic study at the graduate level. Students will

  • Complete a capstone senior seminar course.

  • Gain professional skills through internships, simulations, foreign study, or participation in other co-curricular activities.

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