Anne W. Hamilton, coordinator
International Studies Program
Political Science Department
About the Program
The International Studies major is an interdisciplinary program, which combines a broad core curriculum with one of four emphases: foreign language and area studies, business, public diplomacy, and international economics. It includes a study abroad requirement and internship opportunities. Students have the opportunity to personalize their course of study. A minor is not required.
The College of Letters and Sciences is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Graduates with International Studies degrees have many career options. These include positions in international organizations, such as the United Nations, and the U.S. government, e.g., the US Foreign Service, the Peace Corps, and the international divisions of departments such as Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture. Non-governmental organizations, such as the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace are other options, as are research positions in interest groups dealing with international issues and think-tanks in major cities.
Globalization has greatly expanded the range of careers for which International Studies graduates are trained. Their foreign language, written communication skills, and global perspectives are valuable assets to multinational corporations and other organizations. Even businesses that do not have operations overseas need the skills that International Studies majors develop. For example, human resource departments in institutions in U.S. cities with diverse populations need employees with the communication skills and appreciation for world cultures that International Studies students have.
The courses in the international studies major are taught by faculty in geography, political science, history, women's studies, anthropology, philosophy, religious studies, economics, business, communications, and languages and literatures. Majors are exposed to a wide range of viewpoints, of professors from three out of the four colleges of the university. Lists of faculty may be found in the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Catalog.
The major is housed in the Department of Political Science. Its coordinator, Anne Hamilton, has international career experience, having worked in the United Nations Secretariat, in the US Foreign Service, and in the US Department of Commerce. An International Studies Advisory Committee (with representatives from departments in the Colleges of Letters & Sciences, Arts and Communication, and Business and Economics) provides oversight to the program.
High School Preparation
Preparation for the degree should begin in high school with particular emphasis given to strengthening communication and analytical skills. Students are encouraged to begin foreign language training at the high school level and to take advantage of opportunities to study and experience different cultures.
An internship is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Students may enroll in up to 12 credits of internship coursework. Recent examples of student internships include placements with the FBI, in community service positions and English language instruction abroad. Majors work with the International Studies coordinator to identify and secure internship positions appropriate to their course of study.
International studies graduates have found employment in a variety of governmental offices, non-profit organizations and businesses, both local and international. Others have gone on to graduate or professional schools.
There is no organization specifically for majors on campus, although there are foreign language clubs, an Amnesty International Club, an international students club, and others. There is an International Studies newsletter, Global Pathways, in which student writing is featured.
Suggested Course of Study
The International Studies major is an interdisciplinary program, which combines a broad core curriculum with one of four emphases: foreign language and area studies, business, public diplomacy, and international economics. The major requires 54 credits of coursework, 21 in required courses and 33 in the chosen emphasis. Students have the opportunity to personalize their course of study. A minor is not required.
Required courses (21 credits):
- International Relations (Polisci 351)
- Cross-cultural Communication (Speech 424)
- Capstone seminar (Intrna 488)
- International economics (Econ 401) OR Comparative Economic Systems (Econ 359)
- Human Geography (Geog 230) OR Sociology of Globalization (Sociolgy 385)
- Cultural Anthropology (Anthro 218) OR Introduction to Eastern Religions (Religst 211) OR Introduction to Western Religions (Religst 212) OR History of Contemporary Women from 1800 (Histry 326)
- Three credits of Travel-Study or Study Abroad experience
Emphases (33 credits):
I. FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND AREA STUDIES
- A. 15 credits in courses related to a region (Europe, Africa and Middle East, Latin America, or Asia); no more than nine credits in any one discipline
- B. Six additional credits of language study (beyond unique requirement)
- C. 12 credits of electives, from list of courses approved for International Studies major
- A. Equivalent of one of the existing Professional Minors in Business Studies
- B. 9-12 credits of electives, from list of courses approved for the IS major
III. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
- A. Principles of Public Relations (Speech 202) and Public Relations Tactics I (Speech 203)
- B. 6-9 credits from the following courses:
- Public Relations Tactics II (Speech 204)
- Public Speaking (Speech 240)
- Public Relations Strategies (Speech 302)
- Introduction to Organizational Communication (Speech 327)
- Communication Conflict Resolution (Speech 328)
- Persuasion (Speech 345)
- Communication Theories (Speech 422)
- Communication and Public Opinion (Jour 430)
- Mass Communication in Society (Speech 431)
- Mass Communication in Society (Jour 431)
- C. 9-12 credits from the following courses:
- Political Geography (Geogrpy 332)
- International Law (Polisci 350)
- American Foreign Policy (Polisci 457)
- Peace Studies: Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management (Polisci 463)
- D. 9-12 credits of electives, from list of approved International Studies courses
IV. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS
- A. Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 201) and Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 202)
- B. Select 15 credits from the following courses:
- Comparative Economic Systems (ECON 359)
- Growth and Development in the World Economy (ECON 360)
- History of Economic Thought (ECON 404)
- International Finance and Banking (ECON 406)
- Economics of Globalization (ECON 431)
- 3-6 credits of other Economics courses
- C. 9-12 credits from the list of approved courses for the International Studies major. The major also includes a unique requirement of 16 credits (or the equivalent) in the same foreign language and a 2.5 GPA.
See the Undergraduate Course Catalog for the complete list of approved courses (> 150) in the major.