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International Studies

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Interdepartmental Undergraduate Major and Minor, Administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Through a combination of coursework and study abroad, students who complete a secondary major or minor in International Studies can prepare for careers or advanced study in the international arena, such as foreign service, journalism, advocacy organizations, scientific or research institutions, business, nongovernmental development organizations (NGOs), humanitarian agencies, environmental organizations, human rights organizations, think tanks, international agriculture, and international engineering. Students in International Studies gain an understanding of global issues, learn to communicate across cultures, develop awareness of cultural ideas and attitudes, and are well positioned to become global leaders in their chosen field.

A secondary major and a minor in International Studies are available for undergraduates. The program requirements are structured around a combination of a designated Topical Module and a Geographic Region, both selected by the student. Each student’s program of study is designed to reflect opportunities at Iowa State University as well as the academic, intellectual, and professional interests of the student.

Secondary Major

A student seeking a secondary major in International Studies must successfully complete two core courses plus courses in a selected Geographic Region and Topical Module; demonstrate proficiency in a language relevant to the selected geographic region (see below); and participate in a required study, service, or work abroad program (see below).

Requirements for the Secondary Major in International Studies:

  • INTST 235 Introduction to International Studies
  • 9 credits of coursework (at least 6 of which are numbered 300 or above) from one of the following Geographic Regions:
    • Africa and the Middle East
    • Asia
    • Latin America
    • Western Europe
    • Russia, East Europe and Central Asia
  • 9 credits of coursework (at least 6 of which are numbered 300 or above) from one of the following Topical Modules:
    • Global Environmental Issues
    • Globalization and Economic Development
    • International Issues in Science and Technology
    • International Communication
    • International Conflict
    • Social and Cultural Change

Click here for courses approved for credit for the Geographic Regions and Topical Modules.

  • 3 additional credits of coursework selected from either the Geographic Region or Topical Module.
  • Proficiency in a world language that is relevant to the selected geographic region. This can be achieved by completing the 202 level (or higher) of the language or by passing an approved exam.
  • Study, service, or internship abroad for a minimum of 3 weeks, earning a minimum of 3 credits. The credits must be transferable Iowa State.

The major must include a minimum of 12 credits not used to meet any other department, college, or university requirement.

Minor

A student seeking a minor in International Studies must successfully complete two core courses plus courses in a selected Geographical Region and Topical Module; demonstrate proficiency in a language relevant to the selected geographic region (see below); and participate in a required study, service, or work abroad program (see below).

Requirements for the Minor in International Studies:

  • INTST 235 Introduction to International Studies
  • 6 credits of coursework (at least 3 of which are numbered 300 or above) from one of the following Geographic Regions:
    • Africa and the Middle East
    • Asia
    • Latin America
    • Western Europe
    • Russia, East Europe and Central Asia
  • 6 credits of coursework (at least 3 of which are numbered 300 or above) from one of the following Topical Modules:
    • Global Environmental Issues
    • Globalization and Economic Development
    • International Issues in Science and Technology
    • International Communication
    • International Conflict
    • Social and Cultural Change
  • Proficiency in a world language that is relevant to the selected geographic region. This can be achieved by completing the 202 level (or higher) of the language or by passing an approved exam.
  • Study, service, or internship abroad for a minimum of 3 weeks, earning a minimum of 3 credits. The credits must be transferable Iowa State.

Click here for courses approved for credit for the Geographic Regions and Topical Modules.

The minor must include a minimum of 9 credits not used to meet any other department, college, or university requirement.

Language Proficiency

Students with a major or minor in International Studies fulfill the Language Proficiency requirement through one of the following options:

  • Completion of two years of university-level language instruction in a single world language that is relevant to the selected geographic region, as demonstrated by completion of a foreign language course numbered 202 or higher. Students whose first language is not English must still meet this requirement if their first language is not relevant to their selected geographic region.
  • Passing an examination given by the Department of World Languages and Cultures or otherwise certifying proficiency equivalent to two years of college-level study. Students proficient in languages not offered at ISU may petition for special consideration.
  • Intensive study abroad experience that includes in-the-field-use of a language other than English. Individual prior approval of the International Studies Director is required for this option.

Study/Service/Work Abroad Experience

Students with a major or minor in International Studies are required to complete an international experience (study, service, or internship) of a minimum of three weeks in duration. Longer experiences are recommended but not required. Up to 12 credits of coursework taken abroad can be applied to the major it it is approved by the International Studies Program Director.

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Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.SS.


Overview of international studies, emphasizing cultural, geographic, economic, and political characteristics of major world areas and nations.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

Cr. 1-8. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: 12 college-level credits
Supervised instruction in an international setting, augmented by practical living experience.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

Cr. 2-4.



Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Multi-faceted exploration of a selected world region directed at developing a comprehensive understanding of a selected culture's role in contemporary society.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: INTST 235, junior classification or higher
Capstone seminar in international studies focused on economic development, women's issues, war and ethnic conflict, population, the environment, globalization, human rights, international trade and business and other issues. Students develop a project on a subject linked to their area of professional interest or academic specialization.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(Cross-listed with AGRON, GLOBE). Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: 3-credit biology course, Sophomore or higher classification, permission of Instructor
Interdisciplinary study and analysis of agricultural systems, sustainable management, and impact on plants and animal biodiversity. International field experience in evaluating different agricultural systems and impact on biodiversity may be required. A program fee is charged to students for international study abroad.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits.

Prereq: Permission of International Studies director and faculty supervisor
Designed to meet the needs of students who wish to study in areas other than those in which courses are offered or to integrate areas of study appropriate to special problems with international foci. No more than 3 credits of IntSt 490 may be used in the International Studies major or minor.

(Cross-listed with WLC). (1-0) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 2 credits.

Prereq: Minimum of 3 cr. of study abroad and/or internship abroad
Students returning from study abroad gain perspective on the personal, academic, and professional impact of their time spent abroad through readings and discussions. Students will be expected to make one presentation about the culture they experienced to an audience outside of ISU. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.