We offer flexible and rigorous interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, helping students develop keen analytical and ethical reasoning skills amid complex global dynamics.

Academic Programs

IS Major

Students must apply and be accepted into the IS Program in order to become an IS major. There are five components to the major: taking core courses, selecting a concentration, learning a language, studying abroad, and completing a senior seminar or thesis.

IS Minor

All undergraduate students are invited to declare an International Studies minor. There is no application to be an IS minor; you need only submit a course plan that includes two foundation courses and four electives.

See the World Through BCISP

50+ countries

IS students choose from study abroad opportunities in 50+ countries.

58+ Fulbright Awards

Our majors have won 58+ Fulbright Awards since 2000, taking them across the world to study or teach.

Where can International Studies take you?

Across Disciplines

International Studies faculty are trained in many disciplines and teach in eight different departments. Approved courses for the IS major are offered across all of BC’s schools.

Into a Range of Careers

Our graduates work in a variety of fields including diplomacy, international business, social service, public policy, finance, law, consulting, education, public health, and humanitarian work.

Around the World

Our majors earn post-graduate fellowships at four times the rate of other BC grads. More than half of our graduates work or study abroad at some point in their careers.


Browse pre-approved course lists, course plans, and the core requirements for IS majors.

Frequently Asked Questions

question match your criteria

Can I focus on a specific theme as an IS major?
<p>Majors and minors in the IS Program select one of the following four concentrations, or tracks, to help them focus their interests:</p> <p>Cooperation and Conflict<br> This concentration considers fundamental theoretical and empirical questions about the study of cooperation and conflict in international affairs, including the causes of 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.</p> <p>Ethics and Social Justice<br> This concentration considers religious and secular ethical frameworks for international affairs, as well as areas of international politics that reveal specific ethical issue, including sovereignty, terrorism, peacemaking, human rights, economic justice, and the use of force in war or humanitarian interventions. Students will also explore the role of religion and motivations of social justice in the interaction between state and non-state actors.</p> <p>Global Cultures<br> 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 movements form by 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.</p> <p>Political Economy and Development Studies<br> 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.</p>
<p>Can I focus on a specific theme as an IS major?<br> </p>
Can I go abroad as an IS major?
<p>Yes! International Studies majors and minors are strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester abroad, but BC offers study abroad programs ranging from one week to an entire academic year. Nearly 90% of our majors study abroad for a summer or semester.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/study-abroad.html">Study Abroad Information for IS</a></span></p>
<p>Can I go abroad as an IS major?<br /> </p>
Can I use AP credit to help fulfill my IS major?
<p>In short, AP credits can be used to demonstrate language proficiency and can offer exemptions from a specific course that counts for our major, but AP credits will not reduce the number of courses needed to fulfill the core or elective requirments—they simply allow students to take a higher-level course in its place.</p> <p>For example:</p> <p>To test out of our core Economics requirement (Principles of Economics, ECON1101), students must have earned an AP score of 4 or 5 on BOTH the Micro Principles AP exam and the Macro Principles AP exam. Students testing out of ECON 1101 in this manner are still required to complete the IS core Economic requirement by taking two Economics courses at the 2000-level or above.</p> <p>Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 in only one of those two courses (Principles of Microeconomics or Principles of Macroeconomics) are required to complete ECON 1101 and a 2000-level Economics course, like all majors.<br> If you have any questions about AP credits and the IS major or minor, contact Prof. Hiroshi Nakazato, Director of Undergraduate Studies.</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/mcas/sites/isp/people/faculty-profiles/hiroshi-nakazato.html">Contact Professor Hiroshi Nakazato</a></span></p>
<p>Can I use AP credit to help fulfill my IS major?<br /> </p>
How do I apply to be an IS major?
<p>Enrollment in the major is by competitive application, submitted in early February of freshman year. Transfer students who enter BC in their sophomore year may apply during the summer.</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/major.html#admission">Major Admission</a></span></p>
<p>How do I apply to be an IS major?</p>
How do I enroll in the IS minor?
<p>Enrollment in the IS minor is open to all students who file a course plan, which outlines how they will meet the minor's requirements, before the end of the Drop/Add period in October of their junior year. We also welcome declarations of the IS minor in freshman or sophomore year. We encourage prospective IS minors to&nbsp;read about the minor requirements&nbsp;and&nbsp;visit with a Peer Advisor&nbsp;or faculty advisor to help the craft their course plan. When completed, the course plan should be submitted to Ms. Patricia Joyce in Gasson 104.</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="https://www.bc.edu/content/bc-web/schools/mcas/sites/isp/undergraduate/minor.html">Minor Requirements</a></span></p>
<p>How do I enroll in the IS minor?<br /> </p>
How many classes does the major require?
<p>The IS major requires a total of 45 credits in 13 approved courses, plus certification of language proficiency. Nearly 90% of our students also study abroad. The curricular components of the IS major include:</p> <ul> <li>The IS Major Core (24 credits earned in 6 courses)</li> <li>An elective concentration (18 credits earned in 6 courses)</li> <li>Language proficiency (Advanced proficiency in one modern language or intermediate proficiency in two modern languages. The language requirement is co-curriculuar: language classes do not count as courses in the IS major, though the proficiency they foster is a requirement.)</li> <li>Study abroad (Students can transfer up to 2 classes or 8 credits from abroad in one semester, or 12 credits across a full year, usually toward their elective track.)</li> <li>Senior seminar or senior thesis (3-credit senior seminar or 6-credit senior thesis—in which 3 credits could apply to an elective concentration)<br> <br> </li> </ul> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/major.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon">IS Major Components</span></a></p>
<p>How do I apply to be an IS major?</p>
How many classes does the minor require?
<p>The IS Minor requires&nbsp;six courses: two foundation courses, then four electives chosen from among four concentrations: Conflict and Cooperation; Ethics and Socail Justice; Global Cultures; or Political Economy and Development Studies.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/minor.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon">IS Minor Components</span></a></p>
<p>How many classes does the minor require?<br /> </p>
How many people are accepted into the major?
<p>Increased investment from the University has allowed the IS Program to expand to its current maximum of 105 students per year. Over a six-year period, the number of students accepted has risen from 88 students in the class of 2016 to 95 in the class of 2019, to 105 in the class of 2022. At present that corresponds to a major cohort of about 280 students in total (across three class years).<br> </p>
<p>How many people are accepted into the major?<br> </p>
Is there a language proficiency requirement?
<p>Yes. Both IS majors and IS minors have a language proficiency requirement, but they differ:</p> <p>All&nbsp;IS majors, regardless of their school (MCAS, CSOM, LSOE, CSON), must demonstrate&nbsp;advanced proficiency&nbsp;in one modern foreign language&nbsp;or&nbsp;intermediate proficiency in two modern foreign languages&nbsp;by the time of their graduation. Advanced proficiency will be met by taking at least two courses beyond the intermediate level of a modern foreign language.&nbsp;</p> <p>All IS minors, regardless of school (MCAS, CSOM, LSOE, CSON), must demonstrate&nbsp;intermediate-level proficiency in one modern foreign&nbsp;language.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/major.html#tab-language_requirement">IS Major Language Requirements</a></span></p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/sites/isp/academics/minor.html#tab-language_requirement"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">IS Minor Language Requirements</span></a></p>
<p>Is there a language proficiency requirement?<br /> </p>
Where can I find the course substitutions form and other forms?
<p>Locate forms for course substitutions, withdrawals, pre-approvals, internships, and more on the Student Services site.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold"><a href="/content/bc-web/offices/student-services/registrar/academic-forms.html">Student Services Site</a></span></p>
<p>Where can I find the course substitutions form and other forms?<br> </p>
Where can I get support for academic, health, or other issues?
<p>In addition to the academic advising conducted by our&nbsp;faculty advisors,&nbsp;program staff, and&nbsp;Peer Advisors, we encourage students to take advantage of the many&nbsp;campus resources listed here&nbsp;related to academic support; mental health; physical health/disability; gender and sexuality; mindfulness and spiritual counseling/communities; and support groups.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="/content/bc-web/resources/for-students.html">Campus Resources for Students</a></span></p>
<p>Where can I get support for academic, health, or other issues?<br> </p>
Which courses are approved for the IS program?
<p>Review the list of approved Fall 2024 courses or a complete list of all approved courses offered in any semester.</p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold"><a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gJQ0r41JbVNY8GGm4ZUagsS3DbCWvWcTF8lYB5BbOkE/edit?usp=sharing">Fall 2024 Courses</a></span></p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold"><a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10hhhDgEm9gVAxKF89mziRSpVx5HsZGqjL9NRGzy3Avs/edit?usp=sharing">Complete List of Courses</a></span></p>
<p>Which courses are approved for the IS program?<br> </p>

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