The interdisciplinary character of the major and minor in International Studies requires that students carefully coordinate their course of study across many academic departments. Early planning is essential to a successful program, as schedules can conflict and not all courses are offered every year.

We encourage faculty and students alike to download our IS Program Advising Handbook, which offers a concise account of the requirements for IS majors and minors; answers to common but specific questions about university and Morrissey College (MCAS) rules such as double-counting courses and taking classes pass/fail; and an addendum with campus resources for a wide range of issues. Another important advising document is the IS Major Course Plan and the IS Minor Course Plan, in which students lay out their specific plan to complete their major/minor requirements. You can also find much more information about MCAS and University requirements at the MCAS Academic Advising Center site.  

Students majoring in International Studies are assigned a faculty advisor with expertise in their area of concentration. When faculty take research leaves from the university, their student advisees are temporarily reassigned to other IS faculty or staff. Students who have concerns about their advisor should contact IS Program Director Prof. Erik Owens.

Students minoring in International Studies will have a primary faculty advisor in their major program or department, but are invited to consult informally with any IS faculty member or with our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Hiroshi Nakazato.

Each year the IS Program hires a diverse team of Peer Advisors to help guide fellow students through the many decisions and processes required to make your way into and through the IS Program. We encourage current and prospective students to reach out to the peer advisors for answers, advice and support by dropping by the IS Program office (Connolly House room 202) without an appointment during walk-in hours, or by emailing the Peer Advisors collectively at ( 

**For the remainder of Spring 2020 semester, all Peer Advising will take place online, by appointment. NEW: Book an appointment directly at and a peer advisor will send a Zoom link for the meeting. (You can also email us at with the subject line "Peer Advising" to tell us when you're free to talk, and one of the Peer Advisors will reach out to you with a link to connect via phone or videoconference.)

Meet the 2019-2020 Peer Advisors

Grace Cavanagh is a junior IS major concentrating in Cooperation and Conflict, with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Raised in upstate New York, she is working on her Spanish and will study abroad in Granada, Spain, during the spring 2020 semester. This past summer she interned for the U.S. State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru and received a Eagle Intern Fellowship from the BC Career Center. Grace serves on the executive board of the new International Studies Student Association, leading its research and career programming.  She took the pilot version of the IS Program's new “Where on Earth?” course in Fall 2018, and spent several sessions in the Global Engagement Portal. At Boston College, Grace is also a part of the Mock Trial program, the University Chorale, and 4Boston.

William (Hak Min) Kim is a senior IS major concentrating in Cooperation and Conflict, and minoring in Asian Studies. Born in Korea, he grew up in California and recently moved to Washington State. William He is a native speaker of Korean and has studied Spanish; he studied abroad in Singapore during the spring 2019 semester. This summer he interned in the Capitol Hill offices of U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. At BC, William is part of the Jenks Leadership Program, and has been involved with the Asian Caucus, the 2017 EagleMUNC (Model UN Conference), and the FACES anti-racism program; in January 2018 he participated in the Jamaican Magis service/immersion trip. 


Liana Lopez is a senior IS major concentrating in Political Economy and Development Studies (PEDS). An international student from the Philippines, she studied abroad in Madrid during the spring 2019 semester. She has interned in Manila at the Asian Development Bank, a corporate law firm, and a research-oriented public policy nonprofit organization. Liana serves as an International Assistant at BC, helping other international students adjust to the BC culture, and is an active member of the Philippine Society of Boston College (PSBC). She is a native speaker of Tagalog, and has reached advanced proficiency in Spanish. She is passionate about research and public policy in developing countries, particularly in the sector of higher education.

Piper McGavin is a senior IS major concentrating in Political Science (a track recently phased out and replaced with Conflict and Cooperation), with a minor in French. An international student from Toronto, Canada, she studied abroad in Geneva during the spring 2019 semester, and attended the 2019 IS Summit in England. The previous summer Piper took a BC course on “Food, Power, and Politics” with Prof. Nakazato in Italy. A pre-law student and e-board member of the Bellarmine Law Society, Piper has interned at a corporate law firm in Toronto, and at the NGO International Bridges to Justice, in Geneva. She leads the Political Affairs team of EagleMUNC, a nonprofit organization made up of BC students.

Mahima Menghani is a junior IS major concentrating in Political Economy and Development Studies (PEDS), with a minor in Finance. She has a special interest in understanding the workings behind corporate compliance and its intersection with federal and international laws. Raised in Massachusetts, she is a native speaker of Hindi and is proficient in Spanish. In July 2019 Mahima used an Advanced Study Grant to conduct research in Gujarat, India that examined the sociological consequences of economic development through elder care homes. During the Fall 2019 semester she is studying abroad in Copenhagen. At BC, Mahima led a team of 26 undergraduate researchers for Prof. Peter Krause’s Project on National Movements and Political Violence.


Patrick O’Connell is a senior IS major concentrating in Political Economy and Development Studies (PEDS), and also a French major. A native of Wisconsin, he studied abroad at Sciences Po in Paris for the 2018-19 academic year, and is fluent in French. Patrick has worked as an intern in the office of Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (MA-4), and recently served on Prof. Peter Krause’s research team for the Project on National Movements and Political Violence. This year he is writing a senior thesis about Québécois nationalism, for which he received an Advanced Study Grant in 2018. On campus, Patrick is involved with the Appalachia Volunteers as a Trip Leader, and was the Political Director of the College Democrats of Boston College in 2017. 

The International Studies Program receives a wide range of administrative assistance from the Interdisciplinary Programs staff in the Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences. Our colleagues in Interdisciplinary Programs include:

Ms. Patricia Joyce
Assistant Director, Interdisciplinary Programs
Gasson Hall 104

Ms. Joan Reilly
Administrative Assistant, Interdisciplinary Programs
Connolly House 112

Boston College offers many resources for additional counseling, advising, and support, and we encourage students to reach out to the following programs: