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International Studies Major

international studies program

Many students choose to pursue an International Studies (IS) major to prepare themselves to meet the challenges of the complex and interconnected world of the twenty-first century. The major consists of three elements:

The major is open to a select group of students after they have completed one year of study at Boston College. Admission is determined by the Academic Board of the International Studies program. Applications are submitted in early May, with sealed transcripts sent after all freshman grades are available. The IS office will request transcripts for students.


Curriculum

Major Course Plan

International Studies Core - 22 credits in at least seven courses

  • INTL 2500 Introduction to International Studies
  • ECON 1131 Microeconomics
  • ECON 1132 Macroeconomics
  • POLI x4xx One of the designated Comparative Politics courses
  • INTL 5563 Ethics, Religion, and International Politics
  • Two courses from the following list of History, Culture, and Society course options, or other courses approved by the International Studies program. NB: If you have AP credit for HS core OR have already completed another HS core sequence not listed below (e.g., Modern History), DO NOT take another HS core sequence. Select another approved course below or contact the IS program for upper-elective alternates.
    • COMM/INTL 2262 Online Communication and Global Society
    • ENGL 4503 Global Englishes
    • HIST 1005-1006 Asia in the World I and II
    • HIST 1019-1020 Democracy, Rights and Empire I and II
    • HIST 1023-1024 Eurasia in the World I and II
    • HIST 1055-1056 Globalization I and II
    • HIST 1059-1060 Islam and Global Modernities I and II
    • HIST 1063-1064 Latin America in the World I and II
    • HIST 1077-1078 Globalization I and II
    • HIST 1083-1084 Globalization I and II
    • HIST 1087-1088 Globalization I and II
    • HIST 4496 U.S. Foreign Policy II/1945-present
    • SOCY 1003 Introductory Anthropology
    • SOCY 1040 Global Sociology
    • SOCY 1073 States, Markets, and Bodies
    • THEO 1161-1162 The Religious Quest

Disciplinary Base - six courses (18 Credits)

Select a Disciplinary Base in Economics; Political Science; Ethics and International Social Justice; or Global Cultural Studies:

Economics
  • ECON 2201 Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 2202 Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 1151 Statistics
  • ECON 2228 Econometrics or ECON 3308 Game Theory in Economics
  • Two electives chosen from the following:
    • ECON 2207 The Global Economy
    • ECON 2273 Development Economics
    • ECON 2275 Economic Development: Experience of El Salvador
    • ECON 3302 Topics in the Economics of Gender
    • ECON 3371 International Trade
    • ECON 3372 International Finance
    • ECON/INTL 3374 Development Economics and Policy
    • ECON 3375 Economic Growth and Development
    • ECON/INTL 3376 International Economic Relations
    • ECON 3377 The World Economy from Gold Standard to Globalization
Political Science
  • POLI 1041 Fundamentals of Politics (POLI 1021 or any POLI x6xx course may be substituted)
  • POLI 1042 Introduction to Modern Politics (POLI 1061 or any POLI x3xx course may be substituted)
  • INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies or another methods course, generally POLI 2415 Models of Politics or statistics taught in other departments, or similar courses offered abroad
  • Three electives in International or Comparative Politics (24xx-44xx and 25xx-45xx level courses)
Ethics and International Social Justice

Foundational courses - choose one course from each of the following two areas:

  • Foundation in Moral Philosophy, Religious Ethics, or Political Theory - choose one of the following:
    • PHIL/THEO 1160 The Challenge of Justice
    • PHIL 3377 Ethical Theory
    • PHIL 4427 The State of Nature & Nature of the State
    • PHIL 5500 Philosophy of Law
    • PHIL 5524 Ethics: An Introduction
    • POLI 2606 Intro to Modern Political Philosophy
    • POLI 2631 Ethics and Politics
    • POLI 2649 Liberty and Order
    • THEO 4405 Christianity and Politics
    • THEO 4496 The Moral Dimensions of Christian Life
  • Foundation in the Social Sciences (providing an introduction to this approach) - choose one of the following:
    • INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies
    • INTL 4540 Qualitative Research Methods
    • POLI 2415 Models of Politics
    • POLI 2422 Comparative Social Movements
    • ECON 2234 Economics and Catholic Social Teaching
    • ECON/INTL 3376 International Economic Relations
    • SOCY 1003 Introduction to Anthropology
    • SOCY 1087 Social Movements
    • SOCY 1093 Comparative Social Change
    • SOCY 2210 Research Methods
    • SOCY 2215 Social Theory
    • NURS 1210 Public Health (w/relevant thematic concentration)

Electives - select electives according to one of the following options:

Four electives of at least 12 credits in the area of normative philosophical, theological, or normative political approaches to international affairs. Pre-approved clusters are available; courses not listed and independent clusters must be pre-approved. The twelve credits of electives should be from one cluster.

The International Normative Ethics cluster draws mostly from philosophy, theology, and related courses in other departments. The other thematic clusters draw mostly from the social sciences, including history.

Global Cultural Studies

Foundational courses - choose one course from each of the following two areas:

  • Theoretical Perspectives on culture and/or the arts - choose one of the following:
    • ARTH 1109 Clues to Seeing
    • COMM/INTL 2262 Online Communication and Global Society
    • ENGL/INTL 4503 Global Englishes
    • ENGL 4551 Contemporary Lit and Cultural Theory
    • ENGL 3230 Literature and Social Change
    • FILM 3312 World Cinema
    • FILM 3382 Film Criticism and Theory
    • SOCY 1003 Introductory Anthropology
    • SOCY 1073 States, Markets, and Bodies
    • SOCY 1093 Comparative Social Change
  • Research Strategies and Methods for the Study of Culture - choose one of the following:
    • INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies
    • INTL 4540 Qualitative Research Methods
    • SOCY 2210 Research Methods
    • SOCY 2215 Social Theory
    • SOCY 5509 Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology
    • SOCY 5511 Ethnography and Field Research
    • SOCY 5518 Participant Observation

Global Culture and the Humanities option

Four electives that examine or compare cultures through works of literature, the fine arts, theology, and/or philosophy, involving themes such as a comparative study of artistic production, literature, religious belief, epistemology, or a study of the insights and cultural functions of literature and the arts.

Global Culture, History, and the Social Sciences option

Four electives in the social sciences, history, and/or communications that focus on a thematic topic such as the study of technology, race, sexuality, business, aging, myth and symbolism, identity, or kinship in an international context.

Area option

Four electives focusing on the study of culture in one geographic region.

Senior Year Requirements - one or two courses (3 credits)

Seniors have the option of doing either a one-semester Senior Seminar or a two-semester Senior Thesis:

  • INTL 4941 International Studies Senior Seminar
  • INTL 4951-4952 Senior Thesis (six credits over two semesters; INTL 4951 can count as an elective if needed)


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