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Major in International Studies

The Bachelor of Arts, International Studies (BAIS) is based on the assumption that just as it is beyond the ability of one nation, or even a few nations, to solve trade, political, and environmental problems that have become transnational in character, it is also beyond the power of simply one or two academic disciplines to provide students with the comprehensive knowledge and experience required to function and lead effectively and creatively in the highly complex and rapidly changing environment we inhabit. Students collaborate closely with their academic advisors to select the functional and area tracks to correspond to their own academic and career interests.

Students are strongly encouraged to complement their major with a study abroad experience in countries where they can apply and expand their foreign language competency and enrich their study of international issues.

Graduates with a degree in International Studies will be in demand in such fields as government service, education, international business, international media and communications, law, nongovernmental organizations, international development organizations, and international consulting.

Requirements for the International Studies Major

Basic Courses (12 credits)
  • HIST 300/POLS 300 The World Since 1945
  • POLS 113 Introduction to International Politics
  • ECON - 280 The Global Economy
  • ECON - 220 Research Methods
Functional Tracks (16 credits)

Students choose one of the following functional (disciplinary) tracks. (See below for specific courses in each track)

  • Environment and Development
  • Global Politics and Societies
  • International Economics
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Culture, Societies and Values
Regional Tracks (20 credits)

All International Studies majors must complete a 20-credit

regional component from among the following existing regional Minors:

  • African Studies (See USF Catalog for requirements)
  • Asian Studies (See USF Catalog for requirements)
  • European Studies (See USF Catalog for requirements)
  • Latin American Studies (See USF catalog for requirements)
  • Middle Eastern Studies (See USF catalog for requirements)
Language Requirement (12 credits)

Students must fulfill the College's language requirement in a language specific to their chosen area.

Course Requirements for Functional Tracks

NOTE: Students may not "double count" elective or required courses within the International Studies major. The major requires the completion of at least nine (9) discrete courses totaling 36 credits--twelve (12) credits of Basic Courses plus sixteen (16) credits of Functional Track courses)

Functional Track: Global Politics and Societies (16 credits)

The political world today comprises nearly 200 nation-states varying greatly in size, military and economic power, and foreign policy objectives. These states, though legally sovereign, function in the context of a growing body of international norms and rules, and participate in a variety of organizations, both global and regional in scope. Adding to the complexity of international relations, the governments of these many states reflect a wide diversity of political philosophies, cultures, and leadership styles. These manifold differences pose a constant challenge to the maintenance of global peace and harmony and, therefore, to the security and well-being of the world's citizens.

The Global Politics and Societies track seeks to provide students with a deep understanding of the manifold forces at work in today's world. All students begin by learning about international history, especially since 1945. In addition, they analyze leading theories of international relations, the foreign policy behavior of states, and the roles of international law and organizations. Students also explore the influence of divergent political cultures on contemporary international relations, both globally and regionally.

This track is designed to be fully compatible with any one of the five accompanying regional track choices---Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East.

I. All students in this track are required to take the following course:

  • POLS - 300 The World Since 1945 /
  • HIST - 300 The World Since 1945

II. Two courses are required from the following list, all of which have a global scope:

  • POLS - 314 Theories of Citizenship and Globalization 
  • POLS - 332 Political Thought in Developing Countries
  • POLS - 338 Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • POLS - 350 International Law and Organizations
  •  POLS - 345 Global Economic Justice
  • POLS - 351 Global Conflict Resolution
  •  POLS - 360 International Environmental Politics 
  •  POLS- 352  Human Rights and Global Change
  • POLS - 353 Politics of Peace and War
  • POLS - 381 Feminist International Relations
  • POLS - 450 Political Economy of Developing Nations
  • POLS - 432 The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism
  • POLS - 315 Race and Ethnicity in Global Politics
  • POLS - 382 Politics of Aid and Development
  • SOC - 302 Global Inequalities and Social Justice
  • SOC - 233 Gender, Development and Globalization
  • SOC - 322 Globalization and Resistance
  • SOC - 325 Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC - 333  Nationalism and Citizenship

III. One course from the following list of courses that focuses on regional issues and global politics:

  • POLS - 348 Politics and Development in Africa
  • POLS - 354 International Relations of the Middle East
  • POLS - 355 U.S. Foreign Policy
  • POLS - 356 The Vatican in Global Politics
  • POLS - 357 The Integration of Europe
  • POLS - 359 International Politics of the Asia Pacific Rim
  • POLS - 342 Politics and Society in Europe
  • POLS - 349 Government and Politics of the Middle East
  • POLS - 331 Latin American Politics
Functional Track: Environment and Development (16 credits)

Environmental concerns were, for many years, regarded as local or national issues. However, with the recognition of phenomena such as acid rain, ozone depletion, and climate change, many concerns suddenly acquired a global perspective. Whereas defining the science underpinning these issues has been relatively straightforward achieving consensus on remediation or prevention has been a different matter.

The "Environment and Development" track in the International Studies major is designed to equip students to develop a critical appreciation of global environmental issues both from the point of view of the science underpinning the issues, and with regard to the longer-term social, economic and political implications.

I. Two courses are required from the following list which focus on the environment from the scientific perspectives of biology, ecology, the biosphere, atmosphere,hydrosphere,and geosphere:

  • ENVS/ENVA - 110 Introduction to Environmental Science w/Lab*
  • ENVS/ENVA - 210 Ecology and Human Impacts w/Lab

*This course must be taken as a prerequisite for ENVS 210.

II. Two courses are required from the following list which focus on the interaction of the environment and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences:

  • ECON - 230 Environmental Economics 
  • ECON - 473 Development Microeconomics *
  • ECON - 476 Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy*
  • POLS - 360 International Environmental Politics/
  • ENVA - 360 International Environmental Politics
  • POLS - 366 Environmental Policy /
  • ENVA - 366 Environmental Policy
  • ENVA - 320 Global Environments and Societies /
  •   SOC- 320 Global Environments and Societies
  • THRS - 361 Religion and the Environment /
  • ENVA - 361 Religion and the Environment
  • SOC - 360 Urbanization and Development
  • LAS - 310 Border Issues I
  • HIST - 342 Environmental History of Africa

*ECON 311 is a prerequisite for this course

Functional Track: Culture, Societies and Values (16 credits)

The Culture, Societies and Values track enables students to understand the complex interplay between religion and economic, political and cultural realities. The track explores the ways religion is experienced and/or imagined by individuals, groups, and institutions in the context of globalization.

II. Functional Track: Culture, Societies, and Values (16 credits)

Required Courses:

  • ANTH - 200 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • COMS - 204 Communication and Culture 

Elective Courses (8 credits) Select two courses from the following list:

  • ANTH - 210 Culture through Film
  • ANTH - 215 Women's Lives across Cultures
  • ANTH - 230 Anthropology and Global Health
  • ANTH - 235 The Anthropology of Food
  • ANTH - 250 Global Cities: Cultures and Communities
  • ART - 305 Modern and Contemporary Art
  • ART - 306 Women and Art
  • ART - 307 Asian Art
  • ART - 308 African Art
  • COMS - 314 Intercultural Communication 
  • COMS - 364 Communication for Justice and Social Change
  • COMS - 366 Ethnography of Communication
  • FREN - 330 Francophone Literature
  • GERM - 318 Jewish Literature and Culture in 20th Century Europe
  • GERM - 320 German Literature and Culture from 1945 to Today
  • HIST - 317 Transatlantic Encounters: Europe in the Americas 1492-1700
  • HIST - 341 Feast and Famine: The History of Food
  • MUS - 210 Music of the Americas
  • MUS - 211 Asian Musical Cultures
  • MUS - 212 Survey of African Music
  • MUS 305/ANTH 305 Anthropology of Music
  • PHIL - 220 Asian Philosophy
  • POLS - 315 Race, Ethnicity in Global Politics
  • POLS - 332 Political Thought of Developing Countries
  • POLS - 338 Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • PSYC - 307 Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • SOC - 233 Gender, Development and Globalization
  • SOC - 302 Global Inequalities and Social Justice
  • SOC - 320 Global Environments and Societies
  • SOC - 325 Critical Approaches to Race/Ethnicity
  • SOC - 361 Brazilian Culture and Society
  • SPAN - 355 Cultural Studies of Spain
  • SPAN - 360 Studies in Latin American Culture
  • THRS - African Theology and Cosmology
  • THRS - 280 Migrant and Diaspora Religion
  • THRS - 305 Feminist Theology from the Third World
  • THRS - 306 Theology in HIV/AIDS Contexts
  • THRS - 322 Liberation Theology
  • THRS - 363 Religion in Latin America
  • THRS - 365 Religion and Globalization
  • THRS - 366 Religion and Spirituality in Asia
  • THRS 368/JAPN 368 Japanese Religion and Society
  • THRS - 37a Hinduism
  • THRS - 376 Jews, Judaisms, and Jewish Identities
  • THRS - 379 Buddhist Paths in Asia and North America
  • THRS - 390 Religious Ethics - Islamic Feminist
Functional Track: International Economics (16 credits):

Why are some countries so rich and why have many remained so desperately poor? Has globalization helped the rich and hurt the poor? What is the effect of outsourcing? Should we restrict international trade and investments or should we embrace globalization and push for free trade, capital flows and liberalized migration? These are some of the questions which confront every person in the world. These questions are often the root causes of international conflict but they may also be resolved to mutual benefit of the contracting parties.

Students that choose the International Economics track will study these issues, look at the empirical data and learn about answers economists have to these questions. This track providesa solid foundation in the economic side of international studies.

I. The following two courses are required of all students in the International Economics track:

  • ECON - 111 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON - 112 Principles of Macroeconomics

II. Students select two (2) courses from the following list:

  • ECON - 311 Intermediate Microeconomics *
  • ECON - 312 Intermediate Macroeconomics *
  • ECON - 318 Game Theory *
  • ECON - 370 International Economics
  • ECON - 372 Economic Development
  • ECON - 471 International Finance
  • ECON - 473 Development Microeconomics
  • ECON - 476 Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy
  • ECON - 477 International Political Economy
  • ECON - 478 Population and Labor Economics
  • ECON - 479 Advanced Topics in International Economics
  • POLS - 345 Global Economic Justice
  • POLS - 450 Political Economy of Developing Nations

*Of the two courses required in category II, students may take only one of these courses (ECON 311, 312, and 318). Note that some of the courses in Category II require prerequisites.

Note: By selecting three (3) Economics courses from the list, (including ECON 311 or 312) students earn an Economics minor.

Functional Track: Peace and Conflict Studies (16 credits)

This track examines the forces producing war and violence at the local and the global levels, including disputes between nations, weapons proliferation, international terrorism, economic inequality as well as criminal and domestic violence, civil war, hate crimes and ethnic conflict. Students will analyze domestic and international institutions and social, political, and economic arrangements that promote or undermine peace. Students also consider the role of social movements and revolutionary ideas and learn how ordinary people have changed the course of the world.

The approach of Peace and Conflict Studies is multidisciplinary, drawing on the humanities as well as the social and natural sciences. Students are taught to think critically, to examine and incorporate conflicting perspectives, and to debate broader principles underlying attitudes towards peace and conflict. In short, students learn the tools necessary to become engaged global citizens that can contribute, directly or indirectly, to peace and justice in the world.

I. Required of all students choosing the International Peace and Conflict Studies emphasis:

  • POLS - 353 Politics of War and Peace

II. Three (3) from the following list of courses that have to do with the origins of and means for addressing conflict:

  • ECON - 318 Game Theory
  • HIST - 341 Feast and Famine: A History of Food
  • LAS/MS - 350 Human Rights and Film
  • POLS - 315 Race and Ethnicity in Global Politics
  • POLS - 341 Nonviolence in Theory and Practice
  • POLS - 345 Global Economic Justice
  • POLS - 348 Politics and Development in Africa
  • POLS - 351 Global Conflict Resolution
  • POLS - 352 Human Rights and Global Change
  • POLS - 354 International Relations of the Middle East
  • POLS - 381 Feminist International Relations
  • POLS - 432 The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism
  • SOC - 227 Violence in Society
  • SOC - 322 Globalization and Resistance
  • SOC - 325 Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC - 350 Social Movements
  • THRS - 305 Feminist Theology in the Third World
  • THRS - 384 Religion and Nonviolence
  • THRS - 318 Religious Nonviolence and the Politics of Interpretation: The Case of Israel and Palestine

(NOTE: See the specific department sections in this Catalog for individual course descriptions.)

Program Goals for the B.A. in International Studies

    • Students will be able to analyze complex international issues using the theories and methodologies of multiple disciplines within the social sciences, humanities, and sciences so as to better respond to the transnational problems of the 21st century.
    • Students will gain the conceptual and analytical tools to understand how politics, economics, history, culture, and the environment shape global interactions and international relations.
    • Students will be able to assess the impacts of globalization on world cultures, economics, human rights, and the environment from a comparative perspective.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the language, history, major issues, and problems facing at least one region (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East) and be able to relate this knowledge to the broader global context.
    • Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and service ethic to enable them to promote just societies, human rights, and environmentally sustainable development.