Sep 26, 2023  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies Major

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Requirements for the concentration:

International Studies (IS) is a multidisciplinary major.  An IS major includes courses from several academic disciplines (departments and programs). 

1) 11 units, including INTL 106  (the IS Program’s introductory course), INTL 305  (the senior seminar) and INTL 301 -INTL 302  or INTL 300   (senior thesis).

2) Areas of Concentration. Each IS major chooses two areas of concentration – two departments, typically – in which they will take two 200 level courses and one 300 level course.  History, Political Science, Geography, Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, and Education are common choices, although many students choose disciplines other than these.  IS majors tend to have a social science focus, but not always.  IS majors have had concentrations in Religion, Hispanic Studies, Philosophy, English, and many others.

3) Social Science Requirement.  Each IS major is required to take a 200 level course in three of the following four disciplines departments: History, Political Science, Economics and/or Geography.  (Note: INTL 255  , Political Economy of Globalization, can count as an economics course for the purposes of this requirement.)  This social science requirement can be met – in part or entirely – by double counting one or more courses in a student’s two areas of concentration.  

4) If the completion of the requirements listed above leaves a student with fewer than 11 units in IS (it typically will), the student must take (and/or engage in) other approved courses/experiences consistent with the themes, focuses (regional or other) of their unique IS major.

5) An IS major is required to submit a major proposal outlining their proposed course of study in IS.  This proposal is typically submitted in the fall of a student’s sophomore year, or around the time that a student declares their IS major.

Recommendations for the concentration:

1)Language Competency: IS majors are strongly encouraged to achieve competency at (or above) the 3rd year level in at least one language other than English. 

2) IS majors are strongly encouraged to live and study outside of the United States at some point during their time as a Vassar student. Typically, this will be a JYA Program.  (Note: JYA courses may count toward the completion of the IS major – subject to approval.) 


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