Department Description

International Studies is a truly interdisciplinary major. Drawing from history, political science, and economics, this major provides a balanced social science approach to global issues and trends. Substantial work in a foreign language reinforces and enhances the student's overall understanding of world events and problems.

The major is designed to allow the student to explore all the contributing disciplines while focusing more heavily on one of the three.

The International Studies major is flexible in a number of ways.

First the major is flexible enough to allow students to design a course of study directed toward different career opportunities - academic, governmental, non-governmental organizations, and international service work.

Additionally, suitable course work is also flexible, allowing students to take advantage of opportunities that emerge. Topics courses, study abroad options, independent study, and the Washington semester are examples of such opportunities. International Studies majors often avail themselves of the wider range of course offerings available through the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC). Offerings at Hamline, Macalester, St. Catherine's and Augsburg significantly extend the range of options for majors.

The International Studies major also works well in combination with a second major or minor(s) for a strong broad-based knowledge of the world. Students may direct their choices within the major to focus on a particular region of the world. For example, a student interested in the Middle East may choose Arabic for language, study abroad in Egypt and choose courses in foreign policy or history of the region.

Requirements for the Major

Core Courses

  • POLS 104              American Government in Comparative Perspective
  • HIST 112               History of the Modern World Since 1550
  • GEOG 113            World Geography
  • ECON 251            Principles of Macroeconomics
  • IDSC 481               Senior Seminar in International Studies


Twenty-eight credits from a list of courses in economics, history and political science.  A student must choose at least 16 credits from one discipline (the area of concentration).  The remaining 12 credits must include courses from each of the other two disciplines.


Course offerings include:

  • ECON 252            Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 341            Economics of International Finance
  • ECON 342            International Trade
  • ECON 345            Economics of Development and Growth
  • ECON 346            Country and Area Studies in Economics
  • ECON 349            Comparative Economic Systems
  • HIST 210               Modern Latin America, 1800 to the Present
  • HIST 225               The Making of Modern Europe (1750-1914)
  • HIST 226               Modern Europe Since 1914
  • HIST 241               History of Modern China
  • HIST 244               Modern East Asia
  • HIST 253               Cities of the Middle East
  • HIST 333               East-Central Europe: From Monarchy to the European Union
  • HIST 344               Japan: History through Literature
  • HIST 350               History of the Ottoman Empire
  • HIST 371               History of US Foreign Policy
  • HIST 372               Vietnam and the United States
  • POLS 225              Introduction to World Politics
  • POLS 320              American Foreign Policy
  • POLS 321              Comparative Foreign Policy
  • POLS 326              International Law and Organization
  • POLS 328              International Security
  • POLS 350              Comparative Politics of the New Europe
  • POLS 352              Politics of the Developing World
  • POLS 354              Politics of Post-Soviet States
  • POLS 356              Politics of South Asia
  • POLS 424              Senior Seminar in International Politics
  • POLS 454              Senior Seminar in Comparative Politics


At least 12 credits beyond the core curriculum requirement in a modern foreign language.  St. Thomas offers study in Spanish, French, Gaelic, German, Arabic, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.  ACTC offerings extend the possibilities to study other languages.