Our program includes a major and a minor in International Studies. All students take INT 200 (Introduction to International Studies) which provides the foundation for major course work. INT 200 develops knowledge of the world and how it works through the use of elementary interdisciplinary thinking with emphasis on integrating historical, cultural, political, economic and technological factors in the analysis of global issues and the factors influencing countries' foreign policies. Students also learn about alternative perspectives on global issues through research on a selected country and adoption of that country's outlook during the semester. Students apply critical thinking skills to current problems by using qualitative and quantitative sources to research the culture, politics, economics and foreign policy of a selected country and advise current leaders on how to deal with issues facing the country. They work collaboratively as a team member to present comparative analyses of one of the factors involved in influencing their countries' foreign policies. They also analyze their countries' position on a current conflict, present their positions in a multilateral diplomatic summit and practice coalition building to advance preferred outcomes through simulated negotiations.
Intermediate-level course work builds on the knowledge and skills developed in INT 200 to deepen knowledge of interdisciplinary factors at work as students take basic courses and upper-division electives in History, Economics, Geology, Political Science, Sociology, Religion, Art, English and others departments which make up the major. Students also achieve competency in a foreign language and are encouraged to study abroad (about 80% of majors do) or do related field experience. The capstone seminar is an interdisciplinary usually team-taught course organized around current global issues. It requires in-depth interdisciplinary research at the advanced level on current issues (students often use their foreign language knowledge for research) and helps students integrate what they have learned in other courses and explore the implications for global society. Students who choose a minor in International Studies select a reduced number of courses which allows them to develop a more global perspective in areas related to their major.
Students who major in International Studies and have a more focused interest may do a concentration in their choice of upper division elective courses. Possible concentrations are:
- International Business and Economics
- Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
- History, Society and Culture
- Latin American Studies
- Asian Studies
- European Studies
Today's global problems are complex and the answers elusive. The emphasis for students is on how to analyze international phenomena critically using the collective wisdom of the component fields. Because of the breadth of the subject matter included in the International Studies major, the curriculum is sufficiently flexible to allow a wide variety of different concentrations depending on the student's particular interests. For those who want greater depth, the major also provides for an upper division concentration.
Please click in here to visit BW's Alpha Mu chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the Honor Society for International Studies.