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International Studies, B.A.

Saint Louis University's undergraduate degree in international studies is offered through the College of Arts and Science's Political Science department. The program offers students the opportunity to focus both on a specific region of the world as well as a specific topic or theme including arts and culture, environment and health, economics and development, or war and peace.

Additional program highlights include:

  • A wide variety of courses will fulfill program requirements, from economics, political science and sociology to art history, philosophy and theology.
  • As part of a degree program, students will demonstrate proficiency in a modern language and complete a capstone experience.
  • Students also have the opportunity to study abroad and participate in international internships.

Curriculum Overview

The international studies major requires 36 credits, and the curriculum includes the following requirements:

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language as well as complete required courses in international politics, international economics, and cultural anthropology.

Beyond required courses, students will declare a regional focus (Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East) and complete nine credits of coursework in that area as well as a thematic focus (arts and culture, environment and health, economics and development, or war and peace) and complete nine credits of coursework related to that topic. A list of applicable courses will be published prior to each semester.

Students will complete an internship, field research experience or elective course. Finally, all students must complete a 3-credit capstone seminar which includes a rotating selection of 4000-level seminars.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Although not required, students are encouraged to study and complete internships abroad, and the international studies program includes a field research course that enables students to design and complete research projects relevant to their program of study.

Students can study abroad at SLU’s Madrid campus or at any of the nearly 40 SLU-affiliated programs on six continents. Students can also gain practical experience in their field through an international internship that complements their major.

Careers

An undergraduate degree in international studies prepares students for a global career and can make students more attractive to future employers. Some examples of fields where a degree in international studies can be beneficial include:

  • Foreign service and diplomacy
  • Private business and consulting in finance, technology, energy, etc.
  • NGO's and non-profits
  • International organizations and law
  • Public health
  • Migration
  • Education, academia, and research
  • Environment and climate change
  • National defense and intelligence

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to analyze cultural, economic, political and social aspects of contemporary international issues.
  2. Graduates will be able to describe how culture and national identity affect a person’s perspectives.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply a variety of methodologies to answer empirical questions about international phenomena.
  4. Graduates will be able to assess analytical arguments.
  5. Graduates will be able to assemble evidence from reliable sources to support their arguments.
  6. Graduates will be able to estimate the global or transnational impact of local actions.
  7. Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge of international phenomena to engage effectively as global citizens.

 International studies students must complete a minimum total of 36 credits for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Foreign Language3
Select one of the following:
CHIN 3020
Oral and Written Proficiency in Chinese II
FREN 3040
Society, Nation & the Arts in Pre-Revolutionary France
ITAL 4020
Oral Communication in Italian II
SPAN 3040
In Conversation with the Hispanic World
GR 4010
Fluency in German
RUSS 4010
Fluency in Russian
International Politics3
POLS 1600
Introduction to International Politics
International Economics3
Select one course with the International Studies - Economics attribute, such as:
POLS 1510
Politics of Developing World
POLS 2600
Introduction to International Political Economy
ECON 3790
Economies of Latin America
ECON 3850
Political Economy European Union
ECON 4300
International Trade
ECON 4310
Exchange Rates and Global Economics
ECON 4560
Economic Development
Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 2200
Cultural Anthropology
Regional Focus9
Three classes covering a single region of the world. Ideally, these will match the student's language focus. Courses that meet this requirement either (1) focus on multiple countries in the region or (2) focus on a single country broadly across time. Some sample courses that fulfill regional requirements are listed below.
Thematic Focus9
Three classes pertaining to a single theme. Thematic foci and sample courses are described below. Courses in this category focus on contemporary implications of the phenomena being studied.
Internship, field research, elective course3
Select one of the following:
ISTD 4910
Internship in International Studies
ISTD 4970
International Field Research
Any course with an ISTD attribute or ISTD subject code
Capstone Seminar3
A rotating selection of seminars designated ISTD 4960-4969.
The capstone seminars take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of an international phenomenon or area. Students complete research projects and examine the contributions of various approaches.
General Electives18-27
Total Credits120

Regional Focus 

Asia (attribute International Studies-Asia)
ENGL 3500
Literature of the Postcolonial World
ENGL 4670
Contemporary Postcolonial Literature and Culture
HIST 1710
China and Japan Since 1600
IB 3040
Asian Business
POLS 2560
The Politics of Asia
POLS 3500
East Asian Political Economy
THEO 3710
Arts of Hinduism and Buddhism
THEO 3720
Intuition, Spontaneity, and Flow: Daoism in Comparative Context
Africa (attribute International Studies-Africa)
ARTH 2120
Art in Africa
ARTH 2320
Art of the African Diaspora
ENGL 3540
Literature of the African Diaspora
FREN 4290
Women and Global Issues
FREN 4670
Postcolonialism and Violence, Issues of Representation in Francophone Culture, Literature and Film
POLS 2520
Introduction to African Politics
POLS 3650
International Relations of Africa
Europe (attribute International Studies-Europe)
ENGL 3170
European Drama
ENGL 3250
British Literary Traditions to 1800
ENGL 3260
British Literary Traditions after 1800
ENGL 3300
Eastern European Literature
ENGL 3390
Literature and Film of World War II
FREN 4180
French and International Relations: Global Simulation
FREN 4870
Exoticism in French Literature
GR 3250
German Culture Studies II
HIST 3120
French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815
HIST 3140
Twentieth Century Europe: Era of World Wars, 1914-1945
HIST 3280
Russia to 1905
HIST 3290
Russia Since 1905
HIST 3740
The British Empire
ITAL 3300
Madonnas, Witches, Rebels: Women and Gender in Italy
ITAL 3650
Italy Beyond Borders: Social Justice in Modern Italian Culture
ITAL 3700
Global Italy: Migration and Multiculturalism
POLS 2530
Soviet and Post Soviet Politics
POLS 3567
Political Development in Contemporary Spain
POLS 4500
Russian Political Culture
POLS 4630
The European Union: Politics and Political Economy
RUSS 2630
Soviet Agents/Spies on Screen: Filming Espionage in the East and West
RUSS 3250
Russia From Peter to Putin: Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Culture
RUSS 4510
The Russian Orthodox
SPAN 4790
Spanish Culture & Civilization
Latin America (attribute International Studies-Latin America)
HIST 3170
Colonial Latin America
IB 3020
Latin American Business
LAS 3000
Introduction to Latin American Studies
POLS 2570
Introduction to Latin American Politics
POLS 3810
Latin American-U.S. Relations
SPAN 4240
Short Stories: History, Histories. Deciphering Latin-American Societies and Cultures
SPAN 4280
Early Latin American Novel
SPAN 4320
The African Experience in Spanish America
SPAN 4380
Cultural Stereotypes: Latin Am
SPAN 4400
Strangers in a Familiar Land: Displacements in Latin America
THEO 3415
Christ and Color: Liberation Theology
Middle East (attribute International Studies-Mid East)
ARTH 2100
Art of Jerusalem and Three Faiths: Past and Present
ARTH 2140
Islamic Art and Society
ARTH 2350
Excavating Culture of Three Faiths
HIST 2730
Crossroads of the World: The Middle East and North Africa Through History
IB 3150
Middle Eastern Business
POLS 2590
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
THEO 2715
Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City
THEO 2755
Islam: Religion, Culture, and Society
THEO 3335
Christians In Middle East

Thematic Focus

Arts and Culture in an Age of Globalization (attribute International Studies-Arts)
Ideas move rapidly across boundaries. This information takes a variety of forms – words, images, sounds – and moves across a variety of media. Participating in this great cultural exchange requires students to transcend disciplinary boundaries – bringing together art and politics, music and religion, language and history – in order to understand the creation and global diffusion of shared meaning across time.
ARTH 1090
Global Masterpieces in Art
ARTH 2120
Art in Africa
ARTH 2320
Art of the African Diaspora
ARTH 2100
Art of Jerusalem and Three Faiths: Past and Present
ARTH 2140
Islamic Art and Society
ARTH 2350
Excavating Culture of Three Faiths
ARTH 3720
Modern Art in Spain and France
ASTD 2300
Americans Abroad
ENGL 3310
World Literary Traditions I
ENGL 3330
World Literary Traditions III
ENGL 3500
Literature of the Postcolonial World
ENGL 3540
Literature of the African Diaspora
ENGL 4680
Major Post-Colonial Writers
ENGL 4690
Topics in 20th/21st Century British, Irish, & Postcolonial Literature & Culture
FREN 4220
French and Francophone Media : Qu’est-ce qui se passe ?
FREN 4290
Women and Global Issues
FREN 4670
Postcolonialism and Violence, Issues of Representation in Francophone Culture, Literature and Film
FREN 4870
Exoticism in French Literature
MUSC 1170
World Music
RUSS 3440
Art, Media, & Power in Post-Soviet Russia
SPAN 4060
History of the Spanish Language
SPAN 4110
Language and Linguistics
SPAN 4350
Counter Hegemony Discourses in Latin America
THEO 2710
Religions of the World
WGST 4860
Global & Transnational Feminism
Global Health and the Environment (attribute International Studies-Health)
Many of the most critical contemporary issues – from climate change, to pandemics, to sustainable development – transcend national boundaries, and solutions must also transcend boundaries. Addressing these issues requires students to understand the scientific facts, the ways societies adapt to those realities, and the political process through which change could occur.
ANTH 2460
Global Mental Health
BIOL 1200
Ecological Issues and Society
BIOL 1340
Diversity of Life
BIOL 1385
Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
BIOL 3280
Ethnobotany
EAS 1080
Introduction to Environmental Science
EAS 1090
Climate Change
EAS 1310
Water-Our Precious Resource
EAS 1600
Sustainable Energy
EAS 2530
Climate and Climate Change
HIST 1740
Peoples and Pandemics in History
HIST 3660
History of Nature in America
PHIL 3420
Environmental and Ecological Ethics
POLS 4840
Global Health Politics and Policy
PUBH 2100
Introduction to Global Health
PUBH 2300
Contemporary Issues in Global Health
SOC 1180
World Geography
SOC 2360
Health Inequalities in the U.S.
SPAN 4150
Spanish for the Health Professions
Global Economy and Economic Development (attribute International Studies-Economy)
Trade links people and places that are very distant and sometimes different from each other. While global markets can be a force for progress and rising living standard, they can also be a source of conflict and forced homogenization, as some prosper at the expense of others. To participate effectively in this global economy, students need to understand its past, present, and potential from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
ANTH 2080
Urban Issues: Poverty and Unemployment
ECON 4300
International Trade
ECON 4310
Exchange Rates and Global Economics
ECON 4560
Economic Development
FREN 4180
French and International Relations: Global Simulation
FREN 4290
Women and Global Issues
IB 3100
Geopolitics of World Business
IB 3160
Cultural Differences in International Business
IB 3140
International e-Business
IB 4120
International Business Strategies
IB 4900
Global Immersion in International Business
IB 4910
International Business Internship
LAS 3000
Introduction to Latin American Studies
POLS 1510
Politics of Developing World
POLS 2560
The Politics of Asia
POLS 2570
Introduction to Latin American Politics
POLS 2600
Introduction to International Political Economy
POLS 3500
East Asian Political Economy
POLS 3600
Problems of Globalization
POLS 3800
The Structure of Poverty: Globally and Locally
POLS 4630
The European Union: Politics and Political Economy
POLS 4840
Global Health Politics and Policy
SOC 3180
Immigration
SPAN 4160
Business & Prof Spanish
War and Peace in the Contemporary World (attribute International Studies-War)
International conflict leaves untold human suffering in its wake, including refugees unable to return home, damaged social and political institutions, and environmental devastation. Understanding the roots and forms of conflict and the mechanisms that allow people to live together without violence enables students to work toward a more peaceful and just world.
ENGL 3390
Literature and Film of World War II
ENGL 3400
War in Literature
FREN 4180
French and International Relations: Global Simulation
FREN 4670
Postcolonialism and Violence, Issues of Representation in Francophone Culture, Literature and Film
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
LLC 3250
Migrants and Borders on Screen: The Cinema of Migration in Mediterranean Europe
POLS 2590
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
POLS 2640
International Terrorism
POLS 2691
Theory and Practice of Human Rights
POLS 3620
International Organization and the Management of World Problems
POLS 3630
International Security and Conflict Resolution
POLS 3640
International Law
POLS 3650
International Relations of Africa
POLS 3810
Latin American-U.S. Relations
POLS 4610
International Relations: Theory and Practice
POLS 4630
The European Union: Politics and Political Economy
POLS 4650
War, Peace, and Politics
POLS 4692
Theories of World Politics
SOC 3180
Immigration
SPAN 4350
Counter Hegemony Discourses in Latin America

Study Abroad

International studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. The program director will work closely with them to locate courses in study abroad programs that will fulfill international studies requirements.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a 2.00 GPA in the major.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
POLS 1600 Introduction to International Politics 3
Foreign Language Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Spring
ANTH 2200 Cultural Anthropology 3
Foreign Language Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
International Economics Course 3
Foreign Language Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
Area of the World Course 3
Foreign Language Course 3
International Studies Theme Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Area of the World Course 3
Foreign Language Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
Area of the World Course 3
Foreign Language Course 3
International Studies Theme Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Internship, field research, or course with an ISTD attribute 3
International Studies Theme Course 3
A&S Core Course or Elective 3
A&S Core Course or Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ISTD 4960-4969Capstone 3
A&S Core Course or Elective 3
A&S Core Course or Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits120

Students can complete all or part of the international studies degree in Madrid, Spain. 


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