Why Study International Studies at IU Southeast?

Students who major in international studies will be able to make valuable contributions in many fields and can pursue careers in teaching, business, government, international agencies, nonprofit organizations, tourism, international media organizations, and international law.

Why Study Image

Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the world in which we live: one's position in the world, and how different cultural, economic, political and social systems operate and interrelate. IU Southeast provides several ways to discover the world: the International Studies major and minor and Study Abroad opportunities. International Programs also sponsors a variety of international events, hosts international visitors and serves the surrounding community.

Courses in the International Studies degree program will provide students with a frame of reference to better understand the world in which we live; one’s position in the world; and how different cultural, economic, political, and social systems operate and interrelate.

The goal of the program is to equip students so that they may adjust to the new international environment in which they will increasingly find themselves living. This is done through an interdisciplinary approach drawing on courses from varying academic disciplines and different world regions.

What is International Studies?

International Studies is a Bachelor of Arts degree program that equips students to live and work in the globalized world of the 21st century. Globalization is the idea that people are interconnected and interdependent with others around the world like never before in human history. To many people this may be a threatening phenomenon. When we call for help with our Internet service, we speak with someone in India and that may mean difficult communications and a loss of American jobs. Health concerns become globalized as we realize that new diseases can be transported from one continent to another in a few short hours on an airplane. Terrorism has become perhaps the most obvious of global threats, but other problems, like pollution, are also disrespectful of international borders.

However, globalization also presents us with opportunities. The global media and instantaneous telecommunications permit us to know within seconds what is happening on the other side of the world. Internet chat rooms make it easier to make connections with other individuals in diverse countries and learn about their music, political perspectives, and daily lives. Globalization also presents common citizens with devices to organize themselves and take on the global issues with which they are concerned, be it human rights, economic equality issues, or the environment. Globalization also makes it possible for a common person in southern Indiana to create an international business and run it out of his or her garage.

The degree of globalization that exists and the speed at which these changes have taken place have created a different world for people today. The changes in one or two generations are dramatic. Grandparents and even parents could survive without knowing things about other countries and cultures, but people today need to understand global issues and global diversity in order to function effectively and successfully in this new world. Specifically, the increasingly interconnected world in which we exist requires deeper knowledge and more complex perspectives from which to understand one's position in the world and how different cultural, economic, political, and social systems operate and interrelate.

International Studies is an interdisciplinary major that provides students with that foundation. Drawing from history, economics, political science, geography, and foreign language and culture studies, we examine both global and regional issues with the hope of understanding the forces that shape the global environment today and their relationship to the lives of people both at home and around the world. Majors complete three years of foreign language, 15 hours of core International Studies requirements on global topics, and 18 hours of courses in one of the following regional concentrations: Europe, Latin America, or East Asia.

Sample Four Year Plan

Here is a sample four year degree plan for a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree

Download a degree check sheet: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (beginning Fall 2012)

The major in International Studies requires 39 credit hours, including core requirements and requirements for one regional concentration.

Core International Studies Requirements (21 credit hours)
  1. Completion of the third year of foreign language study (6 credit hours)
  2. GEOG G201 World Regional Geography
  3. POLS Y109 Introduction to International Relations or POLS Y107 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  4. HIST H101 The World in the 20th Century
  5. ECON E333 International Economics or POLS Y376 International Political Economy
  6. COAS I400 International Studies Capstone Seminar

Students will complete a senior thesis or project within their area of concentration. This may be as an independent study for the purpose of writing a research paper or may be through a faculty-led seminar, if offered.

Regional Concentrations (18 credit hours, at least 12 at the 200 level or higher)
    • Group A: Language and Culture (one course)
      ENG L101, ENG L102, FINA A102, FINA A315, FINA A322, FREN F300, FREN F363, FREN F474, GER G363, GER G415, GER G418, GER G464, HUMA U101, HUMA U102, SPAN S407, SPAN S408, SPAN S411
    • Group B: History and Philosophy (one course)
      HIST H103, HIST J104, HIST H206, HIST H227, HIST H459,HIST B377-378, HIST B355, HIST B356, HIST B359-B360, HIST B361-B362, PHIL P211, PHIL P304, REL R152
    • Group C: Politics and Geography (one course)
      POLS Y331, POLS Y335, POLS Y349, POLS Y350, POLS Y354, GEOG G418
    • Group D: Two other courses in the concentration
    • Group E: One International Studies course outside the concentration
    • Group A: Language and Culture (one course)
      FINA A150, FINA A452, SPAN S275, SPAN S301, SPAN S302, SPAN S363, SPAN S412, SPAN S471, SPAN S472
    • Group B: History and Philosophy (one course)
      HIST F100, HIST F341, HIST F342, HIST F432
    • Group C: Politics and Geography (one course)
      POLS Y337, POLS Y333, GEOG G323
    • Group D: Two other courses in the concentration
    • Group E: One International Studies course outside the concentration
    • Group A: Language and Culture (one course)
      FINA A363, REL R153, ENG L107
    • Group B: History and Philosophy (one course)
      HIST G100, HIST G208, HIST G367, HIST G368 HIST G385, HIST G451, HIST G452, HIST G461, HIST G462, PHIL P271
    • Group C: Politics and Geography (one course)
      POLS Y334, HIST H207, HIST G387
    • Group D: Two other courses in the concentration
    • Group E: One International Studies course outside the concentration

Requirements for a Minor in International Studies

The International Studies Minor provides students with an opportunity to place studies in their major field within an international context.

Requires 21 credit hours, including:
(At least 15 of the 21 credits must be from 200-level courses or higher.)

  • 2nd year of a foreign language (6 credits)
  • 2 courses from Items 2-5 of the International Studies Major Core Requirements (6 credits)
  • 3 courses from one of the International Studies Regional Concentrations - one course each from Groups A, B, and C.

Advising information may be obtained from Advisor Dana Gohmann or Misti Whitaker.

Dana Gohmann
Academic Advisor
School of Social Sciences
Phone:(812) 941-2391
Office: Crestview 137
Email: dgohmann@ius.edu

Misti Whitaker
Academic Advisor
School of Social Sciences
Phone:(812) 941-2391
Office: Crestview 135
Email: mdwhitak@ius.edu

Please call the main Social Sciences office at(812) 941-2391 for an appointment.

Prospective International Studies majors should complete the college preparatory curriculum in high school.

Students should take:

  • at least two years of a foreign language
  • courses in government, economics, world history, and geography
  • be familiar with international current events

International Studies students usually have an interest in intercultural understanding and seek opportunities to learn about different people and places in hopes of decreasing the boundaries of culture and location.

Study Abroad

Students are required to study abroad. An alternative international engagement activity reserved for those majors with a demonstrated inability to study abroad is available. Study in approved study abroad programs can be applied to fulfillment of other requirements in the major. Students should speak with an International Studies faculty advisor for more details. See the following link for more information about study abroad: http://www.ius.edu/intprograms/studyabroad.php

An International Studies degree is very flexible and can be used in various fields both inside and outside the United States. Almost any vocation can be internationalized and International Studies majors will be at the forefront as more and more careers gain international elements. Already more than 60 percent of local businesses have some sort of international component.

International Studies majors may pursue careers in:

  • public and international affairs
  • diplomacy
  • government service
  • international organizations
  • interest groups
  • non-governmental organizations
  • intelligence agencies
  • the military
  • business
  • international development assistance
  • journalism
  • teaching
  • law

Specific jobs may include:

  • foreign service officer
  • human rights worker
  • international lawyer
  • international political analyst
  • foreign correspondent
  • international news analyst
  • high school teacher
  • foreign exchange coordinator
  • college professor
  • translator
  • interpreter
  • CIA agent
  • immigration and customs officer
  • tropical disease specialist
  • international investment banker
  • international marketing agent
  • international account representative

Moreover, International Studies majors acquire a range of broadly marketable skills during their course of study, including:

  • presenting ideas orally and in writing in English and another language
  • cross-cultural communication
  • research
  • problem solving
  • data analysis
  • organizing information
  • thinking "outside the box"

Internships and Other Steps to Transition to Your Career

Students are encouraged to pursue internship opportunities prior to graduation and may want to enroll in COAS-Q 400 Job Search Strategies for Liberal Arts Students. IU Southeast Career Development Center can assist with both of these opportunities which are designed to help students in making a smooth transition from college to career. With the internships, the Internship Coordinator will assist you in finding a position in an internationally-related site. The internships can be taken for credit and are an excellent way to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and abilities for working in an applied setting and that you can integrate your studies with your work activities. The Job Search Strategies course is a one-credit course that will give you assistance in the details of marketing yourself, including resumes and cover letters, interviewing strategies, etc.



Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Jean E. Abshire
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Program Coordinator of Political Science
Phone: (812) 941-2514
Office Location: CV 017
View Bio
Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Quinn Dauer
Assistant Professor in History and International Studies
Phone: (812) 941-2866
Office Location: CV 036
View Bio
Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Angelika Hoelger
Assistant Professor of History and International Studies
Phone: (812) 941-2865
Office Location: CV 200B
View Bio
Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Yu Shen
Professor of History and International Studies
Phone: (812) 941-2533
View Bio
Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Cliff Staten
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Coordinator of International Studies
Phone: (812) 941-2691
Office Location: CV 020
View Bio
Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Lucinda Woodward
Assistant Professor of Psychology and International Studies
International Programs Co-Director
Phone: (812) 941-2365
Office Location: CV 014
View Bio

International Studies majors have the unique opportunity to work closely with teacher-scholars from a variety of disciplines, allowing these students to draw from a broad pool of support, knowledge, and skills. Students can strengthen their intellectual powers and knowledge through close interaction with faculty and fellow students.

Many opportunities for extracurricular involvement are of interest to International Studies majors. Student organizations, such as the International Student Organization, the Multicultural Student Union, and the United Nations Club, are available to majors.

Students are welcome to participate in the teams for Model United Nations Security Council, Model Arab League, and Model European Union. Finally, International Studies majors are encouraged to participate in the full range of International Program events offered on the campus, which include the International Speakers Series, the annual Modern Languages Foreign Film Festival, the monthly International Film Series, and the annual International Festival.

International Studies majors also have rich opportunities for experiential learning. They are strongly encouraged to participate in one or more of the nearly 100 study abroad programs offered through Indiana University. The programs are offered in countries around the globe and provide opportunities to study in English or to perfect skills in a foreign language. Our students are also assisted with gaining internationally-oriented internship positions, either at home or included with study abroad. These internships offer students the chance to gain marketable job skills, all the while earning credits toward graduation.