International Studies

Majoring & Minoring

The International Studies Program integrates a disciplinary major with an area of concentration.

Major in International Studies: 9 Courses

The International Studies program is designed for students interested in understanding other societies, cultures, and states as well as global systems: economic, social, religious, intellectual, political, aesthetic, and environmental. The International Studies integrated major & concentration consists of the following components: Introductory course, language courses, track courses (Global Politics and Economy, Global Society and Culture, or Global Justice), study abroad, and capstone seminar).

Introductory course: Students will take one introductory course from the following: ANT35-104 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; PSC32-144 Comparative Politics; or one World History course from either HIS16-014, HIS16-024, HIS16-034, HIS16-044, or HIS16-094;

Language courses: Students are required to take three language courses beyond the general education requirement of three semesters (or an equivalent placement in the language). Two 2-credit courses are equivalent to one 4-credit course. Students will be asked to complete a language proficiency exam before graduation. Students may choose to take all three additional courses
(200-level or above) in the same language or may take two classes (200-level or above) in one language and one course in a second language while studying abroad (that second language must be spoken in the study abroad location). American Sign Language may not be used to fulfill the language requirement in the major.

Track courses: Students select four courses from one of three tracks: Global Politics and Economy, Global Society and Culture, or Global Justice. Courses with an international focus fit into tracks. Global Politics and Economy courses focus more on large structures, systems, and institutions. Global Society and Culture courses focus more on people and communities. Global Justice
courses are courses from either track that also have a Social Justice tag. Students planning to follow the Global Politics and Economy track should pay close attention to the pre-requisites for courses in Economics, Political Science, and especially Business. No more than two courses for a track may be taken from a single discipline. Courses not listed under the tracks below may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Study Abroad: This requirement is satisfied by studying abroad for at least one semester or one summer (for a minimum of six weeks) in a location where English is not the dominant language. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad for longer if they are able to do so. We highly recommend that students select programs conducted primarily in a language other than English.
Students may choose from a set of approved study abroad programs compiled by the International Studies Committee. Students wishing to participate in a program not on this list are expected to obtain approval from the International Studies committee a semester in advance of the experience. To comply with SU’s policy that 60% of major courses must be taken at Southwestern, in most cases students may not count more than three study abroad (or transfer) courses towards their IS major.

Capstone: Students will participate in an interdisciplinary capstone course, offered each spring. Students are strongly encouraged to take their capstone after studying abroad and completing the majority of their track courses. Capstone projects must relate to the student’s selected track. 

Major in International Studies: 9 courses

  • One Introductory course from:
    ANT35-104 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
    Any World History course (HIS16-0X4)
    PSC32-144 Comparative Politics
  • Foreign Language courses:
    Three 200+ level foreign language courses in the same language,
    Two 200+ level foreign language courses from the same language, and
    One foreign language course spoken in the study abroad location.
  • International Studies track courses: Global Politics and Economy, Global Society and Culture, or Global Justice
    Four courses selected from the list of approved courses within the chosen track*.
  • Capstone:
    INS38-894 Capstone

Note: No more than two courses for a track may be taken from a single discipline.

Minor in International Studies: 5 Courses 

The International Studies minor provides students outside of the integrated majors, and/or with an interest in global or comparative studies, the opportunity to pursue their interest in International Studies. In the minor, students explore international issues from a broad perspective by teaming a foreign language, and either focusing on a particular area of the world or taking courses from different geographical areas. Students minoring in International Studies are encouraged but not required to study abroad for a summer, semester, or year.

  •  One introductory course from approved list.
  • Three courses from those listed in the International Studies tracks.
  • One semester of a foreign language beyond the general education requirement of three semesters. If a student has tested out of this course, a fifth course from any of the tracks noted above will fulfill this requirement.
  • Three of the five courses in the minor must be taken at the upper-level.

Note: No more than two of the five courses may be from the same discipline.