BC students who wish to become IS majors must submit an application in early February of their freshman year. (For the class of 2024, the application deadline is February 1, 2021.) The application will ask you to choose one of our four concentrations; list your primary thematic and/or geographic interests and the languages you speak and/or intend to study; and to write two short essays, one about a global issue you see as in need of better understanding or urgent action, and another that speaks to the reasons you are applying.

How do I apply to become an IS major?


What can I do to increase my chances of being accepted into the major?

The responses you give on your IS major application are the most important factor we use to admit students into the major, but your grades and the courses taken your first semester play a role as well. To prepare for your application, we encourage students to read about the IS major requirements and talk with current IS majors -- you might consider starting with our Peer Advisors, or with members of the new International Studies Student Association. Be sure you understand the major’s requirements for coursework, language proficiency.

We also encourage freshmen to enroll in a class or two that takes up international issues and/or is taught by an IS faculty member. Your application will ask you to list a faculty member who can give you a reference, so we encourage you to get to know a faculty member, rather than simply list the professor who gave you the best grade of the semester. There are no specific courses you need to have taken to apply for the IS major, but there are some introductory courses you will need to take to complete it that also count for the University Core requirements (e.g. Principles of Economics). A comparative politics course in the political science department could be a useful way to test the waters. But we encourage freshmen to take interdisciplinary Core Renewal courses or others that meet University Core requirements, even if they don’t count for IS major requirements; the IS major is just one part of your university experience, and we understand that you won’t necessarily focus on that your first semester.

The IS Program holds several public information sessions on campus each fall for interested freshmen, and we show some version of this slide presentation, which has detailed information about program requirements. Interested students can also review the IS Major Course Plan to get a sense of the academic curriculum they would need to fit into their time at BC.

The IS minor is open to all BC undergraduates who submit an acceptable course of study, ideally by October of their Junior year, before the last day of drop/add.

Our minors must earn 18 credits from six courses (including two foundations courses and four electives in one of four concentrations); they must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in one modern foreign language (even if their home school at BC doesn’t require it); and they usually study abroad. Please note that the Carroll School of Management no longer offers its own International Studies minor for its students, but CSOM freshmen are welcome to apply to the IS Program minor in the Morrrissey College.