Requirements listed below are for those students who declared the major starting Fall 2021.
For previous requirements, see the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (pre-Fall 2021) page.

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in international studies requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including at least 43 s.h. of work for the major. Students must complete at least 15 s.h. of work at the University of Iowa. They must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. Students also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

The major in international studies is flexible, combining core international studies coursework with courses drawn from across the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Students work closely with an academic advisor to plan their program of study.

Students are encouraged to study or intern abroad. They should work with their academic advisor to determine how credits earned via UI-approved study abroad or international internships can fulfill the global perspectives, world cultures and societies, and/or language requirements for the major. To benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of international studies, students choose from a wide range of courses.

To ensure that students take courses from varied disciplines, they may count a maximum of 12 s.h. from any department or program toward the global perspectives and the world cultures and societies requirements as well as the language requirement.

Students may apply up to 12 s.h. of coursework from each additional major, minor, or certificate they earn toward the international studies major. Transfer credit approved by the International Studies Program may be applied to the major.

Students have the option to complete a 15 s.h. concentration. They choose global perspectives courses and world cultures and societies courses approved in one of the three concentrations: global business and communication, international human rights and public service, or international sustainable development.

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Bachelor of Arts in international studies, visit the UI General Catalog. 

Coursework Requirements
Title Hours
Foundation courses 10
Global Perspective courses 12
World Cultures and Societies courses 12
Language Requirement (see below) 6
Capstone Course (see below) 3
Total Hours 43

 

Download a copy of the 2021+ IS BA advising worksheet.

Foundation Courses

Students learn the core, multidisciplinary intellectual and interpersonal international studies skill set, and its' applications for travel, employment, and understanding global issues. These courses are:

  • IS:2000 - Introduction to International Studies
  • IS:2009 - World Travel for Cross-Cultural Skills for International Business, Education, and Service
  • IS:2020 - World Events Today

and one of these 1 s.h. courses:

  • IS:1000 - Designing your International Studies Major, or
  • IS:2500 - Working Internationally.

Global Perspectives Courses

Students learn about global trends, comparisons, and interactions. Students choose 12 s.h. from an approved list of courses from different academic disciplines. (6 s.h. must be numbered 2000 or above.) Approved courses are in the International Studies Course Database (Fall 2021+) and the UI General Catalog.

World Cultures and Societies Courses

Students gain place-based knowledge. Students choose 12 s.h. from an approved list of courses from different academic disciplines. Approved courses are in the International Studies Course Database (Fall 2021+) and the UI General Catalog.

Language Requirement

All students must complete a minimum of two world language courses beyond that required by the GE CLAS Core. This additional language requirement may be met either by completing two fifth-semesters-level courses in the same language used to fulfill the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement or by completing two courses, or the equivalent, of a second world language at any level.

In fulfilling the language requirement, most students are eligible to receive an additional 4 s.h. of ungraded credit under the Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP). This credit may be applied to the minimum 120 s.h. required for graduation, but it does not count toward requirements for the international studies major.

Capstone Course

Students apply their knowledge in internationally focused experiences by choosing either IS:3010 - Designing an International Studies Project or IS:3012 - Community Engaged Learning with Refugees and Immigrants.

Optional Concentrations

Students have the option to complete a 15 s.h. concentration. They choose global perspectives courses and world cultures and societies courses approved in one of the three concentrations: global business and communication, international human rights and public service, and international sustainable development.

Global Business and Communication

This concentration enables students to understand the complex forces which shape global commerce on the macro and micro levels. Students use multidisciplinary perspectives to understand the economic and cultural impacts of globalization processes, including on globalized systems and cultures of business, communication, and media. It offers social scientific and humanistic approaches to global business and communication. This background enables students who earn the concentration to stand out among entry-level business applicants; students develop the knowledge and skills needed for engaging in ethical and effective intercultural communication and action in the global business world, which are valued by multinational corporations and businesses worldwide.

Approved courses for this concentration can be found in the International Studies Course Database (Fall 2021+) and the UI General Catalog.

International Human Rights and Public Service

This concentration is designed to provide a combination of philosophical and practical knowledge related to social justice and human rights. The study of human rights is inherently multidisciplinary, and students have the opportunity to become familiar with international human rights standards, their application, and implications through coursework in a variety of disciplines. Students are expected to understand how to discuss and address human rights concerns from a number of distinct perspectives and to apply critical thinking skills to complex problems. Students also develop an understanding of the ways that cultural and political-economic systems reflect specific place-based contexts as well as complex world histories of colonization, resistance, migration and globalization. They gain knowledge and skills that are directly applicable to public service careers in government and nongovernmental organization, in the United States and abroad, as well as graduate programs such as law and public policy.

Approved courses for this concentration can be found in the International Studies Course Database (Fall 2021+) and the UI General Catalog.

International Sustainable Development

Students learn about the multiple dimensions to social change and human development in areas of the world categorized as developing societies, including poverty reduction; health; the environment and sustainability; climate change; food security; communication for development; cultures of developing societies; and historical, cultural, and critical perspectives on the idea of modern development. They gain an understanding of development as a cultural and political-economic process which directly influences the environment. Students also study the ways in which direct and indirect policy making by social, economic, and political institutions affect environmental issues. In this way, they develop an appreciation of the complexity of development and environmental problems in the globalized world. This concentration gives students the knowledge and skills needed for jobs or graduate education in international development and sustainability work after graduation.

Approved courses for this concentration can be found in the International Studies Course Database (Fall 2021+) and the UI General Catalog.