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International Studies

International Studies 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. They learn about the world through a multiplicity of lenses. All of our students study abroad as a necessary means of learning how to operate effectively in a different cultural context.

Our Goal

"We strive to give students a solid liberal arts background in conjunction with an international emphasis and foreign language skills."

The International Studies (ITS) major at Miami is one of the nation's oldest of its kind. ITS is a program in the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies and offers an interdisciplinary major drawing from concepts and courses in:

  • anthropology
  • geography
  • history
  • economics and international business
  • political science
  • language studies
  • area studies

The distinctive nature of our program is based on:

  • the rigorous language requirement (3-4 years)
  • integrative nature of the coursework

Learning Outcomes

At graduation, we expect that our majors can

Develop Interdisciplinary Explanations of Global Problems

Propose Contextual Policy Solutions

Operate Effectively in a Foreign Culture

Write and Present Professionally

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Go Further

This multidisciplinary program is for students desiring a broad foundation for understanding and analyzing important issues within an international and multicultural context.

Its flexible curriculum provides a basis for graduate work or careers in government service, international business, academia, tourism, public service, cultural relations, and law.

Overseas study is required as a part of this major.

A Capitol Experience

Grayson Kirk Lectures

The Grayson Kirk Distinguished Lecture Series was endowed by the Tinker Foundation in honor of Dr. Grayson Kirk, Miami University class of 1924.

After graduating, Dr. Kirk went on to become one of the pioneers in developing international relations as a field of political science and served as president of Columbia University for many years. This lecture series brings in public figures and recognized scholars to address international issues.

Read more about Dr. Kirk's life in the Columbia University Record's December 5, 1997 obituary for Dr. Kirk.

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to study Korean to fulfill my language proficiency requirement in ITS. However, I noticed in the Miami Bulletin that Korean is not offered at the 300 level. The ITS requirements state that I need 6 credits at the 300 level. How can I meet the requirement?

For languages like Korean and Hindi, etc. that are not offered at the 300 level, students are expected to choose a study abroad program that includes upper level language courses so that the requirement can be completed while abroad.

Do I have to study abroad for an entire semester, or can I do 2 summer programs instead?

The ITS program requires an entire semester of study abroad. There is a petition process for the rare exception to the semester study abroad requirement. If you wish to file a petition, you should first meet with the program director or the chief program advisor to see if you qualify.

I am an upper class student who has decided to change my major to ITS. Can I still graduate in 4 years?I am an upper class student who has decided to change my major to ITS. Can I still graduate in 4 years?

That generally depends on where you place in foreign language. If you begin a new language at the 101 level, you will need 6 to 8 semesters to complete that requirement. You will also need to spend a semester abroad.

I have a double major in French and ITS. Do I have to take the ITS capstone, or can I take the French capstone instead?

You have to take the ITS capstone. You should check with the French department to see if they also require you to take theirs or if they will accept the ITS capstone. Many double majors have to take 2 capstones.

I am an international student from China. Do I also have to study abroad?

As an international student, a semester at Miami University counts as your study abroad but students are encouraged to consider a study abroad experience.