Students have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. International studies honors students must maintain a cumulative University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and a g.p.a. of at least 3.33 in all coursework for the major and in all coursework that may be applied to the major.

To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete a minimum of 46 s.h. for the major (an additional 3 s.h.) and complete the Honors Thesis. 

Students who complete the Honors in International Studies curriculum build skills (such as researching, writing/editing and presenting), and relationships (with faculty mentors who share their passion for a research topic) which will last a lifetime. Graduating with Honors in International studies demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence which can be a valuable distinction when applying for post-graduation opportunities.

For a list of all requirements, please download the IS BA Honors Academic Worksheet (2020+) or IS BA Academic Worksheet (2021+) found on the Undergraduate Academic Advising page.

The Honors International studies advisor is Dr. Ari Ariel (

Honors Coursework Requirement

Honors Track(s) (Only Applies to Honors Students in the Fall 2020 Requirements)

Students complete 21 s.h. in a single International studies track (including a minimum of 15 s.h. in courses numbered 2000 or above). Or they may select courses from two International Studies tracks, completing 12 s.h. in the first track (including a minimum of 9 s.h. in courses numbered 2000 or above) and completing 9 s.h. in the second track (including a minimum of 6 s.h. in courses numbered 2000 or above). Students may not count their foundation courses toward track requirements.

Honors students completing the certificate in Global Health studies, international business, or Latin American studies or the minor in global health studies, Latin American studies, or Russian and Eastern European studies may not choose an international studies track that corresponds with those certificate(s) or minor(s). Those who choose the two-track option may not choose a first track that corresponds with those certificate(s) or minor(s).

Honors Thesis / Capstone Requirement

Fall 2020 Requirements: Honors students must choose Program Option B for the major and complete IS:3010 - Writing and Research for the World and  IS:4991 - Honors Thesis in International Studies and present their research at a venue approved by the International Studies Program.

Fall 2021 Requirements: Honors students must choose IS:3010 Writing and Research for the World for their capstone option, and complete IS:4991 Honors Thesis in International Studies. Students also are encouraged to present their research in a public venue, such as the Spring Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF).

What Are the Semester-Specific Deadlines for IS:4991 - Honors Thesis International Studies?
Spring 2023 Honors Thesis Deadlines

University of Iowa Honors Program

In addition to honors in the major, students may pursue honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program. University honors students must maintain a 3.33 g.p.a., complete 12 s.h. of coursework designated as honors courses, and complete 12 s.h. of an experiential learning project. Visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the University's honors program.

NOTE: Membership in the UI Honors Program is not required to earn honors in the international studies major.