Courses from many departments are available to International Studies students. Because some of these courses have prerequisites and not all courses are offered every year, students are advised to carefully plan their program of study in consultation with their faculty advisor, our Peer Advisors, and/or our Director of Undergraduate Studies.
IS majors and minors should fill out their Course Plans as they enter the program and update them each semester. Bring your Course Plan with you to your advising meetings each semester, and compare it to your official course audit to make sure your classes are properly designated in the UIS registration system. Here are links to the IS Major Course Plan form and the IS Minor Course Plan form. (These forms must be downloaded and saved to your computer before you fill them out.)
See below for a list of pre-approved courses offered in Fall 2021 for the IS major and minor. You can also download our central list of pre-approved electives, which is most helpful if you want to search by class rather than concentration; it lists about 300 pre-approved courses and notes the concentrations to which is applies. (Note that the "master list" includes all pre-approved courses, in any semester, so the courses listed may not be taught in coming years.)
Course Audits are reports from the BC registration system (accessible through the Agora Portal) that chart a student's cumulative progress toward fulfilling graduation requirements. The IS Program's Advising Handbook describes how to read a Course Audit. If a class you've taken (e.g. an elective for an IS major concentration) doesn't appear in the proper part of your Course Audit, fill out a Course Substitution Form to say where it should be placed. Other important forms can be found at the Academic Forms & Diploma Information page at the Office of Student Services.
International Studies Core courses
Pre-approved Fall 2021 courses
The following courses are pre-approved for the core requirements of the IS major.
Introduction to International Relations
Sophomore Spring only. Register for one lecture (2501) and one discussion section (2502/2503) with SAME FACULTY MEMBER.
Where on Earth?
Sophomore Fall only. Register for INTL2200 (Global History) lecture+discussion and INTL2204 (Political Geography) lecture+discussion.
Principles of Economics
Register for a lecture + corresponding discussion section
Economics Elective (2000-level or above)
Ethics, Religion and International Politics
Students in the 1:30pm lecture must register for the 3pm or 4pm section; those in 3pm lecture must register for 5pm or 6pm discussion
Making Sense of the World Map
** Optional 1-credit course in Spring semester **
Conflict and Cooperation
Pre-approved Fall 2021 courses
The following courses are pre-approved for the C&C concentration in the IS major and minor. Students may petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies to consider courses that are not on this list toward their elective concentration.
C&C Foundation 2 Courses for Minors
C&C Foundation 1 Courses for Majors
C&C Foundation 2 Courses for Majors
C&C Electives for Majors and Minors
Pre-approved Fall 2021 courses
The following courses are pre-approved for the GC concentration in the IS major and minor.
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).
GC Foundation 2 Courses for Minors
GC Foundation 1 Courses for Majors
GC Foundation 2 Courses for Majors
Political Economy & Development Studies
Pre-approved Fall 2021 courses
The following courses are pre-approved for the PEDS concentration in the IS major and minor.
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).
PEDS Foundation 2 Courses for Minors
PEDS Foundation 1 Courses for Majors
PEDS Foundation 2 Courses for Majors
Senior Seminars and Thesis Courses
2021-22 course offerings
Senior Thesis writers enroll in INTL4952 (Prof. Hiroshi Nakazato)
** Your first semester of INTL4952 will count as an elective in your concentration; the second semester will fulfill your senior project requirement.
Human Rights in East Asia
Prof. Ingu Hwang
Tuesdays 3:00-5:25 in McGuinn 400
This course introduces students to the post–1945 development of global human rights talk, activism, and politics from an East Asian perspective. Through an examination of specific conflicts over self-determination and sovereignty, economic development and disparity, democratization, the legacies of decolonization, and global justice, the course delves into how and why actors in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea translated local struggles into international human rights agendas that gained attention on the global stage. In exploring this process of translation and appropriation, we will also analyze how these local conflicts transformed international human rights issues.
The United States, the Middle East, and the Media
Prof. Matt Sienkiewicz
Thursdays 3:00 - 5:25 in Higgins 260
This seminar focuses on the way that popular media represents, informs, and becomes a part of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Focusing on film, television, and streaming video, the course considers media texts ranging from American war movies to Israeli dramas to Palestinian situation comedies. Reading and viewing intensive, the seminar asks students to come to class ready to engage in deep, wide-ranging discussions of the books and media they have been assigned each week.
Global Citizenship in Theory and Practice
Prof. Erik Owens
Global citizenship is a concept and set of practices that, for some, resonates strongly as an ethical ideal to which we ought to strive in an interconnected world, but for others signals an abdication of our responsibilities to our close neighbors or fellow-citizens, or a neo-colonial impulse to remake the world. If global citizenship is at least in part a response to globalization, what is its future in a world of rising nationalism, climate crises, and global pandemics? In this course we will consider multiple angles of entry into the discourse and scholarship about global citizenship that are rooted in political theory, ethics, sociology, education, religious studies, history, and more.
John Maynard Keynes in His Time and Ours
Prof. Jonathan Kirshner
John Maynard Keynes was the most influential economist of the twentieth century—and the most misunderstood, with his vast, nuanced writings on innumerable topics commonly reduced to the mechanistic (and often controversial) practice of “postwar Keynesianism.” But Keynes was so much more than that, and he was immersed – as a scholar, government official, and public intellectual – in the great issues of his time. These included the fragility of the international economic order, the contentious politics of central banking, the causes of catastrophic global financial crises, the challenge of secular stagnation, the implications of economic inequality, and role of international institutions in the global economy—each of which has remarkable parallels to the great issues of today. In this seminar, we will read Keynes’ own writings and consider how they engaged the daunting problems of his time, and how they can be applied to the pressing political-economic challenges of ours.
New Courses offered in 2021-22
New Fall 2021 courses:
[none listed yet]
New Spring 2022 courses:
21st Century Vatican Diplomacy (INTL2520): 3 credits
Prof. Peter Martin
The Holy See maintains interests in every corner of the globe and a striking political influence in the world today. Foreign governments value the impact that partnerships with the Holy See produce for common foreign policy priorities. In this course, students will learn how the Holy See engages with other nations and international organizations on global and regional issues and explore the mechanics of such engagement. The course is taught by a former U.S. diplomat accredited to the Vatican from the point of view of the practitioner, focusing on the day-to-day diplomacy of the most recent pontificates.
Re-Thinking IR Theories (INTL 3501): 3 credits
Prof. Hiroshi Nakazato
T/Th 10:30-11:45, major restricted, juniors/seniors only
International Relations (IR) theories are built on assumptions of how the world works. In particular, IR theories are models of how the world works and like any model, they simplify the complicated and complex reality of global, international, regional, state- and sub-state systems and interactions. Moreover, these IR theories are social constructions, and as socially constructed theories, they inherently emphasize and privilege certain epistemological and ontological (i.e., philosophies of knowledge and existence) aspects over others. Specifically, as critical scholars of IR theories have noted, these theories prioritize WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) actors and structures, whether states, IGOs, NGOs, nations, groups, or individuals. In this course, we deconstruct existing IR theories and their myths and consider what is missing or overlooked or under-emphasized. The course includes modules on Race, Gender and LGBT studies, Modernization and Development Theories, Neo-Imperialism, Environmentalism, and others. In addition, global-level IR theories not normally taught in undergraduate US courses in International Relations are also considered: for example, the English School, Postmodernism, and Critical IR Theory.
Drugs & Money: Opoids in Global History (INTL/HIST 4477)
Prof. Stacie Kent
Amidst the current U.S. opioid epidemic, this course investigates how the pursuit of profit has intersected with constructions of health, illness, and social vice. Where and how have states and societies supported or tolerated widespread narcotic use? By the same token, what social, economic, and political processes transform use into social shame or criminal behavior? The course will look at the centuries-long opium trade between British India and China, the early history of commercial opioids around the world, and compare two U.S. epidemics in their global and local dimensions crack cocaine in the 1980s and opioids in the 2000s.
Making Sense of the World Map (INTL2208): 1 credit
Prof. Andrew Grant
Every other Thursday 4:30 to 6:50pm
This bi-weekly one-credit course for majors or minors in the IS Program increases map literacy so that students can quickly frame global problems by referring to legacies of colonization, settlement, nationalism, language, religion, and environmental change insofar as they can be reflected in world regions. We will have regular map quizzes in addition to light reading and group work. [Preference given to IS students who have already taken "Where on Earth?"]