Degree Requirements

With the option to take courses across more than a dozen disciplines, international studies majors have a great deal of latitude in constructing their programs of study. Nevertheless, there are several requirements to keep in mind. See also FAQ page.

Core International Studies Courses

Students must complete core international studies courses (NEW: Effective WN 2014 course subject is changing to INTLSTD):

  • CICS 101 (INTLSTD 101): Introduction to International Studies
  • CICS 301 (INTLSTD 301): Topics of International Studies
  • CICS 401 (INTLSTD 401): Advanced Seminar

For the core courses for International Studies majors doing a sub-plan in Comparative Culture and Identity please see the sub-plan requirements.

Grade Grievances: If you have concerns about or are considering disputing a grade you have received in one of the core international studies courses (INTLSTD 101, 301, or 401) please review the International Studies Grade Grievance Policy.

Subplan Requirements

Select one of four sub-plans:

  • International Security, Norms and Cooperation
  • Political Economy and Development
    Students planning on electing the Political Economy and Development sub-plan must complete ECON 101 first. Students in this sub-plan must take one ECON course from the sub-plan list.
  • Global Environment and Health
  • Comparative Culture and Identity 
    Students who declared major in Winter 2013 or after, within the Comparative Culture and Identity sub-plan must take INTLSTD 205. All students in this sub-plan must take one of the following COMPLIT courses: COMPLIT 222 (offered in Winter only), COMPLIT 240 (offered in Fall only), or COMPLIT 322

..and complete at least four courses from that sub-plan's list of approved courses,
with the stipulation that:

  • at least one of those four courses is at the 400 level, and that
  • the four courses are spread across at least two academic subjects, and that
  • the minimum combined credit hours of those four courses is 12

Foreign Language Requirement

All IS majors must attain six term proficiency (three years) in a language other than English, during their course of study. To clarify what constitutes proficiency in frequently chosen languages, please see this list for the following languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, Japanese, Korean, German, Czech, Polish, and Russian. Please contact a PICS advisor if your language is not listed.

Regional Course Requirements

IS Majors will also be required to complete at least one course focusing on a world region/country related to the foreign language of choice. This course cannot be double counted with a sub-plan course.

Minimum credit hours: 3

What counts as a regional course?

Upper level language courses beyond the 6th term language requirement that have a focus on culture,history, arts. etc. may work as a regional course as well as relevant study abroad courses. Examples:

Language: Spanish    Region: Latin America

Courses: POLSCI 347 Politics and Society in Latin America; SPANISH 328 Studies in Hispanic Popular Culture; STDABRD 240 Spanish Culture

Language: French    Region: Western Europe

Courses: FRENCH 369 Literature, History, and Culture of Modernity; WOMENSTD 317 Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800

Language: Japanese    Country: Japan

Course: HISTART 292 Introduction to Japanese Art and Culture


Research Methods Requirement

At least one quantitative research methods course is required.
Select one quantitative research methods course from the following list.

Minimum credit hours: 3

ECON 309: Experimental Economics    

ECON 401: Intermediate Microeconomic 

ECON 405: Intro to Statistics

POLSCI 391: Intro to Modeling Political Processes

POLSCI 490: Game Theory & Formal Models

POLSCI 499: Methods of Political Analysis       

SOC 210: Elementary Statistics

SOC 310: Intro to Research Methods                                     

STATS 250: Intro to Statistics & Data Analysis   



The electives are designed to allow students to further personalize their major. Students will elect three advanced courses which will be expected to build upon the the theme of their sub-plans. The selected courses should thus contribute to the coherence of the student’s overall concentration. Students may select additional sub-plan, regional, or relevant study abroad courses, however there is no preapproved list of electives. Because there is no preapproved list, students must seek and obtain the approval of elective courses--on a course-by-course basis--from a PICS advisor. It is strongly advised that this approval be obtained before taking the class.

Minimum credit hours: 9

Minimum Grade Requirement

Students shall receive no grade lower than C- in any of the required courses listed above