International Studies (IS) is a flexible and interdisciplinary major. It is designed to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of some of the modern world’s most persistent and challenging problems. Students learn about global issues in local, national, and international contexts. They develop the analytical skills and cultural competencies necessary to launch into fulfilling careers that make a difference. Students in the International Studies program typically begin by taking one introductory course on each of three themes: Peoples, Challenges, and Systems. They draw connections between these in the core course, Foundations of International Studies, and they take electives drawn from disciplines across campus as they develop an emphasis on any one of seven focus areas: Development & Sustainability, Foreign Relations & Security, Global Health, Culture & Identity, Trade & Commerce, European Studies, or Human Rights. No matter the chosen focus area, all International Studies majors must also complete a learning abroad program or an international internship.
The Student Experience
Our team of experienced advisors helps guide students all along the way. The major’s core course is an opportunity to meet other students in the major, start friendships, and network with like-minded peers. Every year, International Studies also helps host an expansive slate of globally-oriented events, including the annual Dolowitz Lecture in Human Rights. These are also great for meeting friends, brainstorming about key issues, and networking. Academic enrichment possibilities include collaborative research projects with faculty, and opportunities to publish or present research in international studies-related journals and conferences.
After graduating from the program, students are prepared for a wide range of careers across public and private sectors both domestically and internationally. They can work locally or abroad as translators, interpreters, or ambassadors. They can start their own companies or pursue careers in international business, marketing, account management, or consulting. Students can also enter the field of education as ESL instructors or teachers. Opportunities abound in industries such as tourism too—as travel writers, guides, and event planners among many other possibilities. International Studies is also excellent preparation for graduate study to support careers in (for example) law, government, business, social work, human resources, higher education, consulting, and the Foreign Service.