Major

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.

Admission

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.

  • Spring 2018 IS seminars and pre-approved IS electives
  • Fall 2017 IS seminars and pre-approved IS electives

 

Curriculum

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 (for non-POLI track IS Majors, the POLI 1091 Intro to Comparative Politics is fine).
  • 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.
    • AADS 1101/HIST 2180 Africa Since 1850
    • AADS 1150 Intro to Sub-Saharan African Politics
    • COMM/INTL 2262 Online Communication and Global Society
    • ENGL 4503/INTL 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 1113 African Diaspora and the World I
    • HIST 1114 African Diaspora and the World II
    • HIST 2051 Modern China*
    • HIST 2284 Gender & War In Eastern Europe*
    • HIST 4133 Mid-East Nationalism Compared*
    • HIST 4134 Ottoman Empire*
    • HIST 4249 Sex, Sexuality & Gender in the West*
    • HIST 4482 Ghana/US Historical & Cultural Connections*
    • HIST 4296 After the End of History*
    • HIST 4496 U.S. Foreign Policy II/1945-present
    • ICSP 3310/THEO 5500 Women & Gender in Islam
    • PHIL 4477 Ethical Principles in Comparative Perspective
    • SLAV 2065 Society & National Identity in the Balkans
    • SOCY 1003 Introductory Anthropology
    • SOCY 1036 Intro to Latin American Societies
    • SOCY 1039 African World Perspectives
    • SOCY 1040 Global Sociology
    • THEO 1161-1162 The Religious Quest
  • *Upper elective alternatives
 

Disciplinary Base - Six Courses (18 Credits)

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

Beginning with the Class of 2021, select a Disciplinary Base in Political Economy and Development Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, or Ethics and International Social Justice.

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 3373 Impact Evaluation in Developing Countries
    • 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
    • ECON 3381 History of the Financial Crises

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 4440 Historical Introduction to Western Moral Theory
    • PHIL 4477 Ethical Principles in Comparative Perspective
    • 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 3557 Catholicism and Social Responsibility
    • 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
    • POLI 2415 Models of Politics
    • POLI 2422 Comparative Social Movements
    • ECON 2234 Economics and Catholic Social Teaching
    • SOCY 1087 Social Movements
    • SOCY 1093 Comparative Social Change
    • SOCY 2210 Research Methods
    • SOCY 2215 Social Theory
    • SOCY 5597 Contemporary Race Theory
    • NURS 1210 Public Health (w/relevant thematic concentration)

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

Select four electives of at least 12 credits in the area of normative philosophical, theological, or normative political approaches to international affairs. Pre-approved thematic clusters are available (e.g., "Global Ethics" or "Human Rights"); 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 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
    • ENGL 2123 Language and Ethnicity (also LING 2379 or SOCY 2275)
    • SOCY 2210 Research Methods
    • SOCY 2215 Social Theory
    • SOCY 3318 What's in a Number? Literacy in Social Statistics
    • SOCY 5509 Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology
    • SOCY 5511 Ethnography and Field Research
    • SOCY 5518 The Craft of Ethnography

Electives—Select according to one of the following options:

  • 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 (12 credits). Pre-approved thematic clusters are available (e.g., "Comparative Literature Studies"); courses not listed and independent clusters must be pre-approved. The four electives of at least 12 credits should be from one cluster.
  • 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 (12 credits). Pre-approved thematic clusters are available (e.g., "Global Media Studies"); courses not listed and independent clusters must be pre-approved. The four electives of at least 12 credits should be from one cluster.
  • Area Option. Four electives focusing on the study of culture in one geographic region (12 credits). Specific geographic regions have been pre-identified; students may also select courses from a narrower sub-region (e.g., in "Western Europe," students may choose to focus only on Spain and France).

 

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)

 

List of Approved Courses

In addition to the four disciplinary bases currently being offered to IS Majors (Political Science, Economics, Ethics and Int’l Social Justice and Global Cultural Studies), the class of 2020 may choose from two new thematic concentrations:  1) Political Economy and Development Studies, and 2) Cooperation and Conflict. 

Thematic Concentration - Six Courses (At least 18 credits)

Select a concentration in one of the following areas: Political Economy and Development Studies, or Cooperation and Conflict.  At least two departments must be represented in the six courses.  Some courses (mainly upper-level economics classes) will require additional prerequisites.   

Political Economy and Development Studies

This concentration considers the interplay between politics and economics in determining interactions among states, markets, and societies, both in the developed and developing world.  Students will gain an understanding of the economic, political, and moral stakes in international public policy issues and develop the ability to analyze policy choices.  A central focus of the concentration is improvement in human well‐being, especially, though not exclusively, in the context of developing countries including those in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America.

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

FOUNDATION I

 

Course Number Course Name
ECON/INTL 2207 The Global Economy
ECON/INTL 2274 Development Economics
INTL  2534 International Political Economy
INTL  22xx Explorations in Development Studies (future course)
SOCY 1040 Global Sociology
SOCY 5562 Environmental Sociology
SOCY xxxx Global and Transnational Sociology

 

FOUNDATION II

 

Course Number Course Name
ECON 2228
Econometrics
ECON 3308 Game Theory in Economics
POLI 2415 Models of Politics
INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies
SOCY 2200 Statistics
SOCY 2210 Research Methods

 

Four electives chosen from the following clusters: Political Economy Cluster or Development Studies Cluster (students may choose courses from both clusters). View Approved List of courses.

 

Cooperation and Conflict

This concentration considers fundamental theoretical and empirical questions about the study of cooperation and conflict in international affairs, including the causes of world wars, revolutions, and terrorism; the consequences of international and domestic actors’ attempts at reconciliation; the role of arms control, intelligence, international institutions, global governance, and grand strategy; and sources of state and individual security and insecurity. Every war is unique, every peace different, and students will have ample opportunity to study historic and contemporary cases from around the world. At the same time, students will approach war, peace, and security as general social phenomena and examine shared features and dynamics across cases and theoretical perspectives.

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

 

FOUNDATION I

 

Course Number Course Name
HIST 2255 History of Terrorism
HIST 4250 Human Rights as History
INTL 22xx Explorations in Peace and Security Studies (future course)
INTL 3510/POLI 3510 Globalization
INTL 3521/POLI 3521 International Law
PHIL 2259/THEO 2327 Perspectives on War, Aggression, & Conflict Resolution
POLI 2506 UN and International Security
POLI 2512 Causes of War
POLI 2532 International Organizations
POLI 2541 Global Governance
POLI 3527 Terrorism and Political Violence
SOCY 1092 Peace or War: United States/Third World
THEO 2164 Challenge of Peace

 

FOUNDATION II

 

Course Number Course Name
ECON 1151 Statistics
INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies
POLI 2415 Models of Politics
SOCY 2200 Statistics
SOCY 2200 Research Methods

 

Four electives from our Approved List of courses.

Current freshman (Class 2021) who wish to apply for the major must complete and submit one copy of the International Studies Major application to Gasson Hall 109 by 2:30 p.m. on Monday, May 7, 2018. Please see the specific instructions in the application.

The class of 2021 and beyond may choose from three thematic concentrations:

  1. Political Economy and Development Studies
  2. Cooperation and Conflict
  3. Ethics and International Social Justice

Thematic Concentrations – Six Courses (At least 18 credits)

Select a concentration in one of the three areas listed in the previous paragraph. At least two departments must be represented in the six courses. Some courses (mainly upper-level economic classes) will require additional prerequisites.

See new track for Class of 2021

IS major application for Class of 2021