What Can I Do with a Major in International Studies?

This interdisciplinary major provides a broad foundation for understanding and analyzing issues within an international context. More specifically, this major consists of four principle components:

  1. A series of core courses covering international politics, economics, anthropology, political geography, and diplomatic history;
  2. Student-selected regional or thematic emphases in which students take a minimum of twelve hours generally in three different fields;
  3. Achieving a fourth-year proficiency in a foreign language (third-year proficiency in certain languages);
  4. At least one semester of study abroad.

Students often combine their major in international studies with other majors such as anthropology, economics, history, geography, political science, or one of the foreign languages. Students may also be interested in area study minors (e.g., European area studies, East Asian studies, Latin American studies), skills minors (e.g., statistics, linguistics), and minors within a discipline (e.g., teaching English as a second language, geography, political science, foreign language).

Interests

An interest in understanding international politics, cultures, economics and issues. A desire to become fluent in another language, improve cross-cultural relations and to increase competency in using the English language. A view of the world from "global citizen" point of view

Competencies

Project Development

  • Designing projects
  • Organizing ideas/materials
  • Testing an idea/hypothesis
  • Observing people
  • Planning & administering programs
  • Reviewing/evaluating projects or ideas

Creativity

  • Developing/generating ideas
  • Problem solving
  • Developing new agendas for old problems
  • Interfacing with community areas

Human Relations

  • Understanding & interpreting other cultures
  • Sensitivity to cultural perceptions/viewpoints
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Clarifying others' thoughts and ideas

Communication

  • Translating ideas/languages
  • Explaining other cultures
  • Speaking to groups
  • Writing clearly
  • Composing & expressing thoughts
  • Rewriting/editing
  • Describing & evaluating issues/problems/events
  • Reading/understanding ideas

Research

  • Comparing ideas/translations
  • Analyzing data
  • Gathering information
  • Summarizing
  • Evaluating
  • Synthesizing
  • Examining all pertinent evidence

Opportunities - Careers

Government

  • Counselor
  • Activities coordinator
  • Overseas service agent
  • Program assistant
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Community agency administrator
  • Congressional staff member
  • Program coordinator
  • Immigration inspector
  • Intelligence researcher
  • Probate para legal
  • Foreign service officer
  • United Nations guide
  • Intelligence agent
  • Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Foreign area specialist
  • Consular assistant

Human Services

  • Activity coordinator
  • Affirmative action officer
  • Fund raiser
  • Philanthropic foundation administrator
  • Social welfare worker
  • Teacher/bilingual education/English as a second language

Communications

  • Associate editor
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Journalist
  • Translator
  • Visual aids reviewer
  • Lobbyist

Industry

  • Marketing assistant
  • Administrative assistant
  • Sales representative
  • Executive secretary
  • Creative director/assistant manager
  • Export documentation agent
  • Underwriter
  • Office administrator
  • Export manager
  • Sales coordinator
  • International money transfer specialist
  • Associate buyer
  • Assistant purchaser
  • Carrier/salesperson
  • Manager
  • International banker
  • International hotel manager
  • Consultant/cross cultural relations
  • Public relations representative
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Travel agent/tour guide
  • Export/import sales manager
  • Commodities broker
  • Insurance claims adjuster
  • Foundation representative
  • Staff development representative/international assignments
  • Banking associate

Non-Profit

  • Program coordinator
  • Researcher
  • Public relations liaison
  • Fund raiser

Note: Some of the listed career options may require additional education and/or training beyond the bachelor's degree.

Opportunities - Graduate/Professional School

Students may choose to continue their education in international affairs, or they may study other areas such as foreign language, education, business, law or one of the social sciences.

Opportunities - Experiential

The international education programs organized by Miami University include the Luxembourg Program, German Summer Study in Heidelberg and Berlin, Italian Summer Study in Urbino, French Summer Study in Dijon, Business and Economics Summer Study in London or Austria, and Summer Study in Ghana. Miami also participates in a variety of exchange agreements with foreign universities which Miami students may be able to attend. Other opportunities include living in an international environment in Wells or Clawson Hall, and becoming involved with the International Club and the International Association of Students in Economics and Business (AIESEC).

Sources of Additional Information

International Studies Program (124 MacMillan Hall, 529-5333)

  • Curriculum Requirements
  • Career Opportunities

Study Abroad (216 MacMillan Hall, 529-5628)

  • Program Selection
  • Preparation for Study Abroad
  • Opportunities upon Return

Career Services (200 Hoyt Hall, 529-3831)

  • Career Resource Center
  • Career Counseling
  • Career Assistance Center
  • Computerized Career Development Program
  • Dictionary of Occupational Titles
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook

Arts and Science Academic Advising (146 Upham Hall, 529-3031)

  • Miami Plan & College of Arts and Science Requirements
  • Course Selection
  • Career Decision Making

Developed by the College of Arts and Science Advising Office and the academic departmental offices with adaptations from Liberal Arts and Sciences - Skills - Career Opportunities, Career Planning and Placement Office, University of Michigan.