Boston College incorporates a global dimension into a wide breadth of programs and courses

Internationalizing learning is a core dimension of Boston College's global engagement. Courses with international content broaden our understanding of complex global issues and prepare us for life and work in an increasingly interconnected world. An international curriculum also shapes the culture of our campus and facilitates meaningful and enriching encounters with individuals and communities from abroad.

Courses with international content are offered in all eight schools and colleges, most prominently in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences’ International Studies Program. Moreover, units such as the Division of Mission and Ministry offer retreats, pilgrimages, and immersion experiences for students, faculty, and staff to enable reflection and transformation of the mind, heart, and spirit.


Undergraduate Programs

African and African Diaspora Studies

African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS)

AADS's mission is to introduce histories, cultures, and experiences of African descended peoples to the widest range of students; to support serious academic research on Africa and the African Diaspora; to give African descended students and their peers opportunities to examine the depth and breadth of African legacies on this continent and in all parts of our world; to link local Black communities more closely with BC.

asian studies

Asian Studies

Asia’s immense diversity and rapid pace of transformation have made it an engine of global change that is exciting, and indeed indispensable, to explore from multiple perspectives. A range of course work and events help students develop historical knowledge, cultural literacy, political acuity, and a willingness to cross borders to actively engage Asia as a world region.

Asian and American Studies

Asian American Studies

The Asian American Studies Program supports courses and programs that highlight the complex experiences of Americans of Asian ancestry. In courses, students learn about the extensive critical work that surrounds understanding of this fast-growing, complex, and important population.


German Studies

German Studies

German Studies is a small student-focused department in the College of Arts and Sciences, providing courses in German language, culture, business, and history from the Middle Ages to the present. In addition, the department offers opportunities for contact with German-speaking Europe and for study abroad in Austria and Germany as well as the possibility of teaching in Germany following graduation.

Global Public Health

Global Public Health

The Global Public Health program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program offered through collaboration among the Boston College Schools of Education, Nursing, and Social Work.

International Studies

International Studies

The International Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum to students interested in the international aspects of Arts and Sciences disciplines. Both a major and minor are available to qualified students. Course offerings are drawn from nearly all Arts and Sciences academic departments.  


Irish Studies

Irish Studies

The Irish Studies program at Boston College began in 1978 and is one of the leading international centres for Irish Studies. Boston College offers academic programs for students in Irish Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Irish Studies program also hosts lectures and conferences open to members of the Boston College community and the public. 


Islamic Civilization and Societies

Islamic Civilization and Societies

The Islamic Civilization and Societies program is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduates interested in the breadth and depth of the Islamic World, a vast region stretching halfway around the globe from Western Africa to the Pacific Islands.


Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies

Enrich your understanding of Jewish civilization, history, and religion from biblical to modern times from an interdisciplinary perspective, and take advantage of this unique opportunity to examine your own religious traditions and cultural heritage.

Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies

The Latin American Studies Program challenges students to cross disciplinary borders while exploring this culturally dynamic, vibrant, and critically important region of the world. Faculty from many academic areas collaborate in the endeavor: African and African Diaspora Studies, Communication, Economics, Education, Film Studies, Fine Arts, History, Law, Political Science, Romance Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Social Work, and Theology. Students in the minor also come from various backgrounds.


Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literature

Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literature

The Department of Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literatures provides graduate- and undergraduate-level courses of study through its four overlapping component programs:

  • Linguistics
  • Russian and Slavic Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Near Eastern Studies




Graduate Programs

Global Practice Concentration

Global Practice Concentration

Boston College School of Social Work is a leader in the education of global social work practitioners. The Global Practice concentration will prepare you, in both Clinical and Macro Practices, to work effectively in cross-cultural settings, to address global social issues, and to work toward the improved well-being of individuals, families, and communities around the globe.


Human Rights & International Justice Certificate Program

Human Rights & International Justice Certificate Program

The Certificate Program is open to graduate students enrolled in affiliated academic departments in all of the university’s graduate schools, including Masters, J.D., L.L.M., Ed.D. and Ph.D students.


International and Comparative Law

International & Comparative Law

The accelerating globalization of law and legal practice places important new demands on legal education. At BC Law, we understand that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice.  Our Global Law Program trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow.

Master's of International Higher Education

Master's of International Higher Education

The Master of Arts in International Higher Education program outlines the major trends and issues affecting this fast-growing field and provides the skills to understand and analyze policy, practice, and theory.




Selected globally focused courses across Boston College programs


Course Course Title

Introduction to African Diaspora Studies

A survey of the African continent and the Diaspora that would include geography, history, politics, economics, and literature. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to specific historical, cultural, social and political topics related to Africa and the African Diaspora. Because the scope of the course is so vast, we will explore important issues and themes to give students a desire to further pursue more specific classes in African and African Diaspora Studies. Boston College faculty members will be invited to lecture in their area of expertise specific to Africa and the Diaspora throughout the semester. 


Self-knowledge and discernment: the experience of pilgrimage

This course will provide some of the historical, philosophical, and spiritual resources needed to make our two weeks of walking the Camino de Santiago – one of the great pilgrimage routes of the Medieval Christian world - a time of reflection and discernment that we undertake as both as individuals and as a class community.  


Globalization I and II

“Globalization” is a fairly new term for the world-wide connections that are diminishing the significance of traditional geographical, cultural, and political boundaries. Global connections have increased rapidly in the past half-century, but global convergence has been a powerful force during the eight centuries covered by this survey. The year-long course examines three kinds of globalization: commercial, cultural, and political. While recognizing the Western world’s expansiveness as a key force for globalization, the course gives extensive attention to how people from other continents have also been major agents in initiating, promoting, and resisting globalizing forces.


Islamic Civilization

This course introduces the varieties of Islamic civilization from the seventh century to the modern world. It explores not only the tenets of faith and practice, and political, social, theological, and economic history, but also considers Muslim cultural and intellectual contributions, including by women, from Indonesia to Morocco and in the Western world. Students will read primary sources, listen to recordings, and view films. The course will emphasize the variety of experiences of Muslims and their contributions to the world.

ELHE 7202

Global & Comparative Systems/Higher Education

Colleges and universities are part of an international system of post-secondary education. This course offers a perspective on the organization and structure of higher education worldwide, as well as an analysis of central issues affecting academe internationally. Examples from other countries are related to the American context. Among the topics considered are global trends in the expansion and organization of higher education, international study and its impact, the political role of universities, student activism, the role and status of the academic profession, styles of academic leadership in other countries, and others.


Introduction to Musics of the World

This course will attempt to develop essential and critical listening faculties by employing a chronological survey of the elements, forms, and various types of music that the serious listener is exposed to today. The principal emphasis of the course will be on traditional Western art music from medieval Gregorian Chant to twentieth-century electronic music, but certain excursions into the world of non-Western musics, jazz, and American popular song will be included to diversify and enrich the experience of listening critically to music.


East Asian Security

This class offers an analytical perspective on the strategic conditions of post-Cold War East Asia. It examines the regional political structure, the strategic characteristics of the region’s great power relationship (U.S.-China relations), and the implications for the conflicts on the Korean peninsula, in the Taiwan Strait, and in the South China Sea and the role of alliance relationships in regional diplomacy. From these different perspectives, it attempts to understand the sources of state behavior and prospects for regional stability and instability.

MGMT 2140

International Management

The world has changed in fundamental ways over the last several decades, resulting in a more integrated, complex, and global economy. This has created new opportunities as well as new risks. How managers respond to changes in the global business environment have important implications to the firm?s competitive position and overall survival. Historically it was primarily large firms that operated internationally; however, nowadays firms of all sizes are internationalizing. Thus, no matter what firm you work for or business you start after graduation, you will benefit from a strong understanding of the global business environment. We will explore a broad range of topics important to the success of businesses outside the firm?s ?home country?, including cultural, social, political, and legal differences, international trade and investment policies, and international organizations. We will also look at issues surrounding international market entry options and competitive strategies. And finally, we will close with a review of the ways that business functions need to be adapted when operating across international markets. The course material will be presented via in-class learning, case discussion, and project work.

BSLW 1148

International Law 

The course examines the legal relationships between individuals, business enterprises, and governments in the world community. Emphasis is on the private business transaction. Course objectives include how to assess the risks of doing business internationally and what legal steps may be taken to minimize or assign risk. Topics covered include different methods of transacting international business, from exporting and importing to direct foreign investment, issues in international contracting, the documentary transaction, and licensing intellectual property.

MGMT 2137

Managing Diversity

Students in this course will learn about contemporary empirical and theoretical research on the dynamics of international culture, gender, race, and other special differences in the workplace. They can also increase skills in diagnosing and solving diversity-related conflicts and dilemmas, and develop a capacity to distinguish a monolithic organization from one that treats diversity as a competitive advantage. Satisfies Core requirement for: Cultural Diversity

ARTH 2258

Twentieth Century Art 

The early twentieth-century European and American art world was a hotbed of visual experimentation. A study of French Fauvism and Cubism, Italian Futurism, German and Austrian Expressionism and Bauhaus, Russian Suprematism and Constructivism, Dutch Neo-Plasticism, International Dada and Surrealism, and American Modernism, will highlight the cross-national influences that led to radical artistic invention and new definitions of art.

CLAS 3387


If Herodotus is the Father of History, Thucydides is the father of the modern study of history. In this class, we will read generous selections from his history in Greek, and the entire work in English. Much of our attention will be given to untangling Thucydides? difficult Greek, but we will also spend as much time as possible exploring issues central to the work: the nature of power; the interplay of justice and expediency; the place of morality in international relations; the character of Greek warfare; Thucydides? views of religion, democracy, and finance; and historiography itself ? how to write it, and how to read it.

COMM 2262

Online Communication and Global Society 

This course offers a critical look at the history of the Internet and the ways in which online communication technologies are shaping our world. Merging conceptual approaches from the disciplines of cultural studies, globalization theory and international relations, the class will consider the role that new media is playing in shaping the art, entertainment, politics and economics of the new century. Case studies will include close looks at websites such Twitter, Facebook, World of Warcraft, Match.com and Alibaba.com, as well as considerations of social movements such as Occupy Wall St. and the the Arab Spring.

COMM 4442

Intercultural Communication 

This course studies communication as it relates to society and as it occurs inter-culturally and internationally. In those contexts, questions and issues will be pursued which reveal processes, effects, methods, and critical norms for evaluating interpersonal, group, and mass communication.

ECON 2207

The Global Economy

This course aims to deepen your understanding of real world economic issues, while providing you with a stronger analytical base. We will focus on international trade theory and policy, and issues in international finance.

ECON 3371

International Trade 

This course is an analysis of the foundations of trade and the principle of comparative advantage leading to a sophisticated study of protectionism. Current U.S. protectionist issues will be illuminated, as well as economic warfare, control of international factor movements, and interaction of trade and economic development.

ECON 3372

International Finance 

International financial markets, international trade and balance of payments issues will be studied by using analytical models of the open economy. Topics of particular interests are exchange rate determination, capital flows, trade flows, and other international linkages between economies. The course will apply the analytical tools of international economics to address macroeconomic aspects of current policy issues such as the global impact of the financial crisis, exchange rate policy, sovereign debt crises, and persistent trade deficits and international indebtedness.

ENGL 4002

Narrative Journalism in Peace and War 

This course will engage with modern and contemporary examples of so-called "long form" journalistic narratives (essays, books, graphic and visual texts) that, by applying literary techniques to nonfiction, tell us a story about contemporary social life. Discussing matters of literary form and technique as well as journalistic norms, we will cover nonfiction texts that address both social conditions on the home front (inequality, Wall Street adventurism, street crime, police culture, Disneyfication) and international conflicts (including war and terrorism), generally involving the U.S. Writers covered will include figures such as Michael Lewis, Joan Didion, George Packer, William Finnegan, Dexter Filkins, Suki Kim, Isabel Wilkerson, Geraldine Brooks, Mike Davis, Naomi Klein, Tracy Kidder, Thomas Frank, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Tony Horwitz, and others.

HIST 2840

World War I 

A century on from a war that ravaged populations across the globe, radically altered international politics, and changed the landscape of philosophy and culture, nations and historians are still trying to make sense of what happened. In this course we will explore some of the classic historical problems of the First World War, such as how it started and what its aftermath wrought, but we will also examine the war?s deeper impact ? how did the memory of the war shape subsequent generations? How has its legacy complicated the development of the Middle East and Asia through the 20th century? Finally, we will investigate the efforts of the belligerent nations to commemorate the war?s 100th anniversary from 2014-2018 as an example of how World War I, then and even now, shapes national identities.

HIST 4834

History of the US-Mexico Borderlands 

There are 1,954 miles of border that unite and separate the United States and Mexico. It is the busiest international land boundary on earth, as well as the longest border between the developed and the developing worlds. The border is a place of contrasts; a geographic space where humans have faced incredible challenges for generations while creating complex and vibrant cultures. This class will analyze the parallel cultural, political and economic developments in the histories of northern Mexico and the southern United States from the nineteenth century through today.

HIST 4804

Divided Korea 

The Korean Peninsula has remained one of the most internationally contested areas since its division in 1945. This course explores the local and international political conditions that led to the ideological split between the communist North and the capitalist South and its subsequent consolidation into two fiercely opposed regimes over the course of the Cold War and post-Cold eras. Using a combined chronological and thematic approach, this course will address the political, economic, social, and cultural impact of this division on Koreans and on the world.

INTL 1221

Reflections on Being Abroad 

This on-line course is designed for students of all majors who are currently abroad and are committed to reflecting more deeply on their study abroad experience. The course permits students to consider where they are in life, what they hope to gain from their time abroad, and how their current experiences may shape their future personal, academic, and professional trajectories. The course also trains students to observe and document the culture(s) in which they are studying, and in turn to produce an interactive, mixed media presentation, which captures one aspect of their host setting. From the course, students will gain valuable insight and skills which will benefit them well beyond their study abroad experience.

INTL 2207

The Global Economy 

This course aims to deepen your understanding of real world economic issues, while providing you with a stronger analytical base. We will focus on international trade theory and policy, and issues in international finance.

INTL 2260

International Environmental Science & Policy

This course examines both the science underlying today's international environmental problems and the policy decisions that drive human actions and responses. The natural environment underlies every other human system: economic, political, cultural/religious, etc., and when it is perturbed, every system above it feels the effects. We will study the science behind climate change, deforestation, ocean/wildlife issues, and food security and look at how U.S. domestic laws, international treaties and conventions, international organizations like UNEP, and NGOs shape the way humanity deals with these problems.

INTL 2262

Online Communication and Global Society 

This course offers a critical look at the history of the Internet and the ways in which online communication technologies are shaping our world. Merging conceptual approaches from the disciplines of Cultural Studies, Globalization theory and International Relations, the class will consider the role that new media is playing in shaping the art, entertainment, politics and economics of the new century. Case studies will include close looks at websites such Twitter, Facebook, World of Warcraft, Match.com and Alibaba.com, as well as considerations of social movements such as Occupy Wall St. and the the Arab Spring.

INTL 2546

World Politics: Conflict & Cooperation 

This course examines the principle sources of the behavior of countries in international politics, including the nature of the international system and the decision-making process within states. It examines such issues as the sources of power, the causes and implications of the security dilemma, the dynamics of alliances, the causes of war, international political economy, and the dilemmas of world order.

INTL 2871

Industrialization & Democratization in Korea

This introductory course surveys the political and economic transformation of South Korea from decolonization through the high growth era to today's global neo-liberal age. It traces how a war-ravaged country became a prosperous and industrialized nation. In exploring this transformation, it also examines the relationship between Korea's industrialization and its democratization: How did US Cold War modernization impact the Korean state's economic strategy and it's political development? Why and how did Korean society campaign for social and political justice during the economic high growth era? The course also considers the reconfiguration of South Korea's political economy sine the 1990s.

INTL 3371

International Trade 

This course is an analysis of the foundations of trade and the principle of comparative advantage leading to a sophisticated study of protectionism. Current U.S. protectionist issues will be illuminated, as well as economic warfare, control of international factor movements, and interaction of trade and economic development.

INTL 3510


This course examines the political, economic, social and cultural implications of the increasingly integrated world system. The course focuses on conflicting assessments of international institutions (IMF, World Bank, WTO) and political governance; the impact of economic integration; and the effects of globalization on state sovereignty, democracy, and social cohesion. Specific case studies will include: globalization and the environment; globalization, gender, and work; globalization and immigration/migration; globalization and the illicit economy, and anti-globalization social movements and activism.

INTL 3540

Research Methods in International Studies 

This course is designed specifically for students in the Political Science and the History, Culture, and Society (HCS) tracks of the International Studies major. It lays the groundwork for understanding qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Students interested in quantitative research methods are urged to take additional courses offered in other departments to augment the material covered here. This course complements and supplements IN 497 Senior Thesis, but the two courses are independent.

INTL 5563

Ethics, Religion and International Politics 

An examination of the role of religion in international politics and of ethical approaches to international affairs. Special emphasis will be given to religion as a source of conflict, religious communities as transnational agents for justice, protection of human rights, and peace; the historical development and contemporary formulations of ethical norms for the use of force; and ethical and religious contributions to reconciliation and solidarity.

POLI 2441

Comparative Politics of Development 

Why are some countries rich and others poor? How do politics and power shape development outcomes? These questions have long puzzled academics and policy-makers. In this course, students will study the historical, institutional, and political explanations for economic development. In the first half of the semester, we will examine the effects of colonialism, geography, natural resources, and conflict on economic growth. The second half of the semester explores the domestic and international politics that influence development outcomes. This includes the impacts of foreign aid, international intervention, and globalization.

POLI 4593

International Relations of the Middle East 

Media coverage of the Middle East increases by the day, but in-depth knowledge of the region and its politics remain in short supply. Why has the Middle East seemingly experienced so much conflict? How do ethnic and religious identities, domestic politics, and the balance of power between nations help explain state behavior in the region? What explains variation in the political situation of Middle Eastern states since the beginning of the Arab Spring? This course will address the international relations of the Middle East from World War I to today. The course will focus on the most powerful states in the region-Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey-in addition to foreign powers that have historically played a significant role in the Middle East, such as the United States and Great Britain. They are the key actors in the past and present wars, negotiations, alliances, revolutions, movements, interventions, and peace treaties that are the focus of the course.

THEO 1341

Peaceful Conflict Resolution Methods 

This course considers conflict resolution methods in several different types of contexts: personal and family, organizational and work, international peace-making. Among the methods analyzed and practiced in role playing exercises are: methods for resisting win-lose behaviors, methods for developing win-win solutions to conflicts, dialogic methods for developing creative solutions to conflicts, and third party facilitation, mediation, and arbitration methods. Personal skill development as well as careers in conflict resolution are explored. In addition, different types of personal philosophical and spiritual approaches to conflict resolution are considered.


Global Health and Theological Ethics 

The course engages theological ethics in promoting global health as an urgent good and right that is integral to a vision of just society. Global health challenges (from HIV/AIDS to poverty and underdevelopment) are studied by highlighting international examples (from Asia, Africa, and the Americas) that help to identify the theological agenda and to implement it. Public health concerns and universal health coverage are part of this agenda worldwide. The course’s theological analyses and proposals rely on Catholic and Protestant insights (from social doctrine to philosophical and theological bioethical discourse).