Majors & Minors

International Studies

Southwestern’s interdisciplinary program in international studies empowers students to broaden their perspectives on other cultures and become global citizens.


Abby Dings

Associate Professor of Spanish & Chair of International Studies

Abby Dings

Associate Professor of Spanish & Chair of International Studies

International Studies
International Studies (Credit: Drop of Light |

An increasingly global society calls for an increasingly global citizenry. Technological advances have allowed commerce, information, and ideas to transcend traditional borders and barriers. The world’s economies, cultures, and populations, in turn, have become more interconnected and interdependent. Consequently, the ability to understand and interact comfortably within multiple worldviews and global systemseconomic, social, religious, intellectual, political, aesthetic, and environmental—is increasingly necessary.

Through Southwestern University’s program in international studies, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills for becoming an informed global citizen through coursework, foreign-language study, and study abroad. Although the major and minor are deeply interdisciplinary, you’ll explore a range of international issues through the lens of a specific major, such as art history, history, political science, or anthropology. You’ll have the opportunity to focus on a particular geographical region in depth, such as East Asia, Europe, or Latin America, or study the interrelationship of nations across the globe. You’ll gain proficiency in the language used in that region through immersive study. And you’ll even get to experience firsthand what it’s like to live and engage in your selected region through a semester or more of study abroad. 

Southwestern students who have majored or minored in international studies have gone on to pursue careers in law, government, nonprofit organizations, business, and international agencies. International studies also provides a strong foundation for those interested in graduate study in the humanities and social sciences.


Featured Alumni Stories

Madge Vásquez ’94

Mission: Possible

Southwestern alumna Madge Vásquez ’94 is now the CEO of nonprofit Mission Capital.

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Amy in Tainan City

Alum Teaches English in East Asia

After two years teaching English in Japan, and surviving the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Southwestern International Studies graduate goes to Tainan City, Taiwan to study Chinese.

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International Studies News

Brielle Read ’20 in Desierto De Atacama, Chile

A World Traveler

Fulbright Scholar Brielle Read ’20 has been traveling the world and making a difference since the tender age of 14.

Katherine Tanner ’13 and Bradley Ottmers

Think Globally; Act Locally

International studies and political science major Katherine Tanner ’13 helps nourish a community as “the heart” of Hat & Heart Farm.

Southwestern University

Changing Course

Five transfer students explain why—and how—they made the switch to Southwestern.