International Studies


Bachelor of Arts in International Studies | College of Arts and Science

What is International Studies?

International Studies (ITS) is at its heart an interdisciplinary approach to studying the world. We believe that most global problems and issues are too complex to be understood through a single disciplinary perspective. Students therefore take a series of courses from many academic departments including economics, anthropology, geography, history and political science.

ITS students lead the university in receiving highly competitive scholarships such as Fulbright English Language Fellowships, Boren Awards, and Critical Language Scholarships and the major consistently sends it graduates to top graduate programs in security studies, international relations, law and international business.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Foreign language requirement

All of our students are required to complete four years of language training and study abroad as a necessary means of learning how to operate effectively in different cultural contexts and to gain conversational competency in another language.

Global context

Our interdisciplinary focus provides students with skill sets to understand the complexity of contemporary global issues and to empathize with perspectives from abroad in discussing solutions to these problems.

Study abroad

Overseas study is required for the major. Many students choose a foreign university program that includes a home stay for a deeper experience in a foreign culture. We encourage students to study abroad in a country that is consistent with their foreign language requirement.

Live in the culture

Many ITS students choose to live in the Clawson Hall Connections living Learning Community and many are engaged in campus activities that include personal engagement with the more than 2100 international students on the Miami campus.

Exchange programs

Exchanges are the traditional way to study abroad. Miami students will exchange places with a student from another country, who will come to Miami when the Miami student goes abroad. Miami has entered into agreements with many different universities around the world to exchange students, including Kansai Gaidai in Japan, American University of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates, Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico, and University of Seoul in South Korea. Miami is a member of ISEP (International Student Exchange Programs), so Miami students can do an exchange with many ISEP institutions around the world.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

The major includes an interdisciplinary core of study in world politics, international economics, world history, political geography, intercultural relations (anthropology), and foreign language.

In addition, you choose a concentration requirement. Functional concentrations include Conflict, Peace and Diplomacy, Global Cultural Relations, Global Environment, Global Human Rights and Justice, International Development, or Women in the World. Regional concentrations include Latin America, the Middle East, East and South Asia, Africa, Western Europe or Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. You'll take courses about those areas in three different disciplines.

Miami's program also requires four years of college-level foreign language study. We encourage students to study abroad in a location where that language is spoken. Many students earn concentration credits while studying abroad.

In your first year, you'll complete much of your Global Miami Plan for Liberal Education requirements, courses in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and formal reasoning.

Because this major is relatively flexible, many students choose to take another major along with it in a related field, such as economics, a foreign language, history, geography, political science, or diplomacy and foreign affairs. Others take a minor, which requires fewer hours than a major, to provide specialization.

What can I do with this major?

The most common areas of employment for international studies graduates are in public service (non-profit organizations and government), business (marketing, banking, and transportation), and education and language (translation and teaching). Those who want to work abroad usually spend several years in U.S. assignments before working overseas.

A recent survey of alumni shows job titles including director and marketing manager for a U.S./Japan joint venture company, director of an international school in West Africa, Peace Corps volunteer, director of travel services for NBC in New York, senior counterterrorist analyst for the F.B.I., chief of the translations branch of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and director of international student services at Xavier University.

Who can I contact for more information?

International Studies Program
Stanley Toops, Coordinator
110 Shideler Hall
Oxford, OH 45056

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