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 International Studies Student Association. Be sure you understand the major’s requirements for coursework and language proficiency.
We encourage freshmen to enroll in a first-semester 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 complete it that also count for the University Core requirements, and others that will give you a good foundation for our program. Some examples of courses we recommend for first-year students:
- A full year of language study
- A comparative politics course in the political science department (this will count toward your IS major);
- Principles of Economics (this will count toward your IS major);
- An interdisciplinary "Complex Problems" or "Enduring Questions" course in the BC Core that has a strong international dimension; some Fall 2020 examples include "Geographies of Imperialism"; "Planet in Peril"; "Violence and Representation in the African Diaspora"; "Beyond Price: Markets, Cultures, Values"; "Making the Modern World"; "Environmental Migrations."
- Other courses that inspire you!
Remember that the IS major is just one part of your university experience; we understand that your first semester may not put primary focus on IS-related courses, but taking some of the above will help you determine if you are interested in these topics and if you're ready to flourish in the rigorous academic program we offer.