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.

ISP Seminars and Pre-Approved ISP Electives

Spring 2019

Curriculum

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.

Ethics and Social Justice

This concentration considers religious and secular frameworks for relating ethics to contemporary international affairs, as well as specific areas of international politics where ethical questions are likely to arise, including sovereignty, terrorism, peacemaking, human rights, economic justice, and the use of force in war or humanitarian interventions. Students will have the opportunity to explore the role of religion and motivations of social justice in the interaction between state and non-state actors.

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

Foundation I in Moral Philosophy, Religious Ethics, or Political Theory

Choose one of the following (3 credits)

Course Number Course Name
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 Order
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 II in Social Sciences

Choose one of the following (3 credits)

Course Number Course Name
INTL 3540 Research Methods in International Studies
POLI 2415 Models of Politics
POLI 2422 Comparative Social Movements
ECON 2234 Economics and Catholic Social Teaching
HIST 4250 Human Rights as History
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)

Four electives from 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", see our “approved list of courses” on our website); 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.

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 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

The International Studies (IS) Program offers a flexible and rigorous interdisciplinary undergraduate major in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences that develops keen analytical skills and ethical reasoning amidst complex global dynamics.

Current freshman (Class 2022) who wish to apply for the major must complete a NEW online application form which will go live by January 15th, 2019. The IS Major applications are due February 1, 2019. We will hold an information session for freshman on Monday, December 3rd, 2018 in Higgins 300.

The class of 2022 and beyond may choose from three thematic concentrations:

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