The International Studies Program

Denis V. Kennedy

close up of male faculty member wearing a plaid shirt light blue, short brown hair smiling at the camera with trees in the background

Director of the International Studies Program
Associate Professor Political Science
Office: Fenwick Hall 303  Phone: 508-793-3716

Nancy Loyd Boyd

Administrative Assistant Political Science department nancy l loyd boyd

Academic Administrative Assistant
Office: Fenwick 325   Phone: 508-793-3361

Applying to the Program

Holy Cross students interested in the International Studies major should contact the program director to discuss their interests. After this meeting, students must apply for the major through the Student Program Application system. There is no cap on the number of majors or minimum GPA requirement for the major. The application is intended to assist students in developing an appropriate major curriculum related to their regional focus and major theme. 

Download the 2022 - 2023 International Studies Program Brochure (PDF)

Fall 2023 Application Dates

Applications accepted: August 29, 2023 through October 6, 2023.

Spring 2024 Application Dates

Application accepted January 23, 2024 through February 9, 2024.

Exploring the Major

Students considering the International Studies major should begin or continue language study as soon as possible. Prospective students should also enroll in one or more of the introductory courses (see major requirements) and/or pursue a history course related to their region of interest. Students should also contact the director of International Studies to discuss curricular options and to seek other faculty contacts who may be able to assist them with their particular curricular interests.


As a multidisciplinary program, the International Studies faculty reside in their home Departments of Economics and Accounting, History, Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, and Spanish. The Director of International Studies can assist students in identifying faculty advisors.

Study Abroad and Semester Away

While it is not possible to require study abroad for completion of the major, International Studies majors will be strongly encouraged to study abroad in their region or participate in a summer (Maymester) opportunity to travel abroad.

Ideally, students should study abroad in their second language; however, that may not be possible in every case. In some cases there may be a good rationale for a student to study in an English speaking country. For example, a student interested in terrorism might find it more appropriate to study at the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrew’s in Scotland, or a student interested in economic development might benefit from a year at the University of Sussex Department of International Development. A student interested in foreign policy may choose to intern at the State Department through the Washington Semester Program or a United Nations agency through the New York City Semester Program. However, the expectation is that majors will normally study abroad or participate in a semester away program. Students should discuss study abroad/internship opportunities with their faculty advisors.

Alumni Success

 While many of our graduates have gone on to careers in government, business, and the armed forces, recent graduates have also pursued careers in finance, policy analysis, and law. The major would also be appropriate for students interested in journalism, high school teaching, nonprofit organizations, and higher education.