International studies majors must have an adventurous spirit and a high level of personal motivation. They study in distant countries, learn foreign languages, carry out independent research, and think rigorously across disciplinary boundaries.
International Studies majors take a focused set of courses from different disciplines to develop an holistic understanding of one of four thematic areas - international development, transnationalism, global environment, or cultural studies. Majors apply their thematic knowledge to the sustained study of a particular region of the world, where they spend at least a semester abroad studying, living in, and experiencing a foreign culture.
The major has three complementary goals. It asks students: (1) to analyze the challenges of an increasingly global society using the foundations of the liberal arts; (2) to specialize in a particular place and study its language, history, culture and society; (3) to understand that place and its challenges in a larger global context.