The International Studies Program came to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from International Programs (IP) in 2011. Our core mission has always been to provide UI students with interdisciplinary, internationally-focused knowledge and skills that they can use to effectively and ethically engage with diverse people, and navigate the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world. Throughout our history we have drawn on the wide expertise of internationally-focused faculty to provide students with a diverse and comprehensive education in international studies.

The International Studies BA was first offered as a major in 2003. While our focus remains the same, our form has changed over time. When we came to CLAS, we split off the IS "International Politics and Relations" and "War, Peace and Security" tracks into an IR major housed in Political Science. 

In 2021, we streamlined the format of our major. Pre-2021 students chose to specialize in a track focused on a specific topic or world region, as well as one of three program options. 2021+ students will build community via a shared set of IS foundation courses and capstone options, while choosing from a multidisciplinary array of courses focused on varied "Global Perspectives" and "World Cultures and Societies." Students may also choose to pursue an optional concentration in "Global Business and Communication," "International Human Rights and Public Service," or "International Sustainable Development."