The International Studies Program offers major and minor courses of study.

Admission is by competitive application at the end of freshman year. Approximately 150 students are accepted into the major each year. Criteria for admission include academic achievement (overall GPA, rigor of the academic program, and other noteworthy aspects of academic performance), demonstrated personal and intellectual commitment to the field, quality of the student's personal statement, and foreign language proficiency (where applicable to the proposed course of study).

International Studies Major

The major in International Studies consists of seven core courses drawn from several departments: a six-course disciplinary based in either economics, political science, or history/culture/society, and a Senior-year seminar.

Information for First Year Students

Freshmen or transfer students who are considering applying for this major are advised to take one or more foundation courses, appropriate for the International Studies Program, to build their academic background and demonstrate their academic skills in topics related to the major. View courses that will count toward the IS major, as well as fulfill core requirements.

International Studies Minor

The minor requires two core introductory courses and four elective courses as determined by the student's chosen thematic concentration. IS minors must also satisfy language proficiency.

Language Requirement

The Academic Advisory Board of the International Studies Program has approved a policy change that all students completing the IS Major, regardless of school, must demonstrate advanced proficiency in one modern foreign language or intermediate proficiency in two modern foreign languages. Advanced proficiency will be met by taking at least two courses beyond the intermediate level of a modern foreign language. This policy affects all students entering the major starting in Fall 2017. Students entering the major before Fall 2017 must demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a modern foreign or classical language as required by the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.


Students interested in the major or minor programs should consult the application requirements. The Carroll School of Management also offers its own International Studies minor for CSOM students. The deadline for submitting applications for the IS major is early May, at the end of a student's freshman year. The application form and further details about the program are available online at Students wishing to declare an IS minor must fill out an application no later than drop/add peroid of the first semester of their junior year.


Students are advised to check course offerings carefully in planning their program as not all courses are offered each year.

For Study Abroad Approvals

Please send Ms. Joyce an e-mail with your IS major (minor) information along with your concentration (and cluster for GCS and EISJ), the name of the university, the number of credits, a brief description or a syllabus of the courses you want to take, how you want to apply them to your major/minor, and a brief statement of how these courses fit with your major/minor.*

We accept up to 12 credits per academic year (for the IS major only) and a maximum of eight credits in a semester. For the IS minor, we only accept up to eight credits total even if a student is abroad for the two semesters.

In addition, if we approve your courses, keep a copy of the email approval. When you return from abroad you will fill out a Degree Substitution form to have your degree audit properly credited with your approved abroad courses. The forms are available in Gasson 104. Attach a copy of the e-mail approval to the degree sub form. Please fill out the degree sub forms only when your grades have been posted and BC has assigned a UXSA number to your audit. Be sure to mark the degree sub form with your major/minor concentration/cluster.

*Please note: You need to be aware of the number of credits that will transfer back from abroad. You need a specific amount of credits to complete your major (or minor) – some courses only transfer back as two credits; therefore, you must watch your degree audit carefully to be sure you are meeting the requirements for the major (i.e., core: seven courses of at least 22 credits; disciplinary base, six courses of at least 18 credits); (for the minor: two courses of at least six credits).