International Studies Minor

Connolly House

All undergraduate students are invited to declare an International Studies minor. There is no application to be an IS minor (unlike the major); you need only submit a course plan as noted below. 

This page outlines requirements for completing the International Studies minor. 

  • IS minors take two foundation courses and four electives in one of four concentrations, for a total of 18 credits (15 of which must be unique to the IS minor).  Students may need to use the new digital course substitution form to ensure that your approved elective is counted toward your minor on your academic audit/transcript. 
  • Minors must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in one modern language in addition to English (even if their BC school, such as CSOM, does not require it), and they are encouraged to study abroad. See “Becoming an IS minor” for more details.
  • To declare an IS minor, students must downolad and fill out the IS Minor Course Plan, save it to your computer, and email it to Ms. Patricia Joyce (, Assistant Director of Interdisciplinary Programs. Please develop your course plan in consultation with IS Program Peer Advisors, IS faculty members, or the Director of Undergraduate Studies

  • There is no formal deadline, but we encourage you to declare your minor as soon as you think you'd like to pursure it, so that you can take advantage of the many IS Program activites/events and meet other IS minors and majors. 

Foundation 1 Courses

IS minors must choose one of the following approved Foundation 1 courses:

  • Globalization (INTL 3510 /POLI 3510)
    Note: This is NOT the History core sequence(s) with the same name.
  • World Politics (INTL 2546)
  • Introduction to International Politics (POLI 1081)
    Note: This course is only for POLI majors; it may be a double-count for IS minor purposes only. It cannot be taken by IS minors with other majors (e.g., a HIST major/IS minor may not take POLI 1081).

Foundation 2 Courses

Foundation 2 courses for minors are specific to each concentration, so are listed by concentration in the Courses section of our site.


IS minors focus their interests in one of four interdisciplinary concentrations, in which they will take one foundation course (which we name as “Foundation 2,” because it builds on the Foundation 1 course) and four electives from an 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.

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.

Global Cultures

This concentration considers two dimensions of culture-making and community in a globally connected world. In the “Cultures at Work” cluster, students examine professional cultural production, engaging with critical inquiry into culture as both a complex meaning-making activity and as commodities central to the global economy. In the “Cultures and Social Movements” cluster, students examine how communities and projects for change form through cultivating and deploying shared social, cultural, religious, political, and economic resources. Global Cultures concentrators may elect to complete a 1-credit elective internship either in the creation of a cultural product or in grassroots mobilization and other participatory approaches to issues of global importance and cultural representation.

Please note: Majors and minors who concentrate in Global Cultures should take only those electives that are pre-approved for their cluster ("Cultures at Work" or "Cultures and Social Movements"). Students can seek approval to count other courses -- including courses from the other cluster -- as electives by sending a course abstract and/or syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Prof. Nakazato) before the first week of that class (and ideally during registration period).

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. Students choose a cluster within the concentration that emphasizes either political economy (PE) or development studies (DS).  

Please note: Majors and minors who concentrate in Political Economy and Development Studies can take electives approved for EITHER the PE or DS cluster and count them for their own cluster.  Students can seek approval to count other courses as electives by sending a course abstract and/or syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Prof. Nakazato) before the first week of that class (and ideally during registration period).

Language Requirement

All students completing the IS minor must demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a modern foreign language as required by the Morrissey College, even if you are a student outside the Morrissey College. See the language requirement page for details on what these terms mean and how you can satisfy the requirement.

Study Abroad

IS minors are encouraged, but not required, to study abroad for a semester, summer term, or year. Those who do not -- either because they are international students at BC, or for economic, personal, or athletic reasons -- can take advantage of other opportunities to engage with international students, use their language skills, and meet people and groups from around the world (through the Global Engagement Portal, for example). See our Study Abroad page for more details.