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Requirements

International Studies is a 12-course major composed of three elements:

  • a set of four core courses
  • a regional focus (four courses)
  • a thematic focus (four courses)

The language and introductory courses provide the foundation for the major. The thematic focus relates to the social scientific study of some aspect of relations among states and peoples. Potential majors can choose from themes such as Development Studies, Conflict and Conflict Resolution, Global Governance and International Law, and International Political Economy. Students with a major in International Studies may seek to develop their own thematic focus, but the onus is on the student to demonstrate that the theme is appropriate and that there are sufficient courses to support the theme. The thematic focus should provide the student with a significant degree of breadth and depth in the theoretical study of their theme.

In addition to the thematic focus, students with a major in International Studies are expected to develop a degree of regional expertise. They should have sufficient knowledge of the states in a particular region of the world so that they can effectively apply their thematic coursework to that region. The study of a language from their proposed region is central to the major. Students completing the major must pursue a minimum of foreign language study at the 300 level of their language. Students are also strongly advised to study abroad in their language, and (with the exception of varsity athletes) most have studied abroad for at least one semester. Experiencing the part of the world that is the focus of the major and achieving competency in the language is considered an important aspect of the major.

Students interested in the International Studies major should contact the program director to discuss their interests. Students must apply for the major through the Student Program Application system. This is a non-competitive application. 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.

Outline of International Studies Major Requirements

Core Requirements (4 courses):

  • Language at the 301 level
  • ECON 110 Principles of Economics
  • 2 of the following 3 courses:
    • POLS-102: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • POLS-103: Introduction to International Relations
    • ANTH-101: The Anthropological Perspective

ECON 110 and ANTH 101 must be taken within your first two years at Holy Cross.

Geographic Region:

  • One History Course from the region
  • Three electives related to the region (Your geographic region should correspond to the language you are studying)

Major Theme (4 courses):

  • 4 courses related to the theme

NOTE: The major curriculum must be approved through the application process, and changes in the curriculum must be approved by the director.

Students majoring in International Studies may count up to 2 courses from one semester abroad and up to 4 courses from a full year abroad toward the International Studies major requirements with the approval of the director.  Students pursuing a double major may count no more than two courses from the department of the second major toward the International Studies major.

The final authority on degree and major requirements is the College Catalog.

Sample Geographic Region Courses

Latin America

  • ANTH 266 Culture and Politics of Latin America
  • HIST 127 Modern Latin America
  • HIST 275 US-Mexican Border
  • HIST 277 Afro-Latin America
  • HIST 299 Latin American-US Relations
  • HIST 352 Rebels and Radical Thinkers
  • POLS 251 Latin American Politics
  • POLS 259 Natural Resources Conflicts in Latin America
  • POLS 326 Citizenship in Latin America
  • RELS 201 Catholicism in Latin America
  • RELS 289 Liberation Theology
  • RELS 290 Teologia Andina

Europe

  • AFST 260 Black Europe 
  • CISS 392 The Holocaust
  • ECON 210 Economics of the European Union
  • FREN 431 Contemporary France
  • HIST 114 Napoleon to European Union
  • HIST 243 20th Century British Society & Empire
  • HIST 255 Europe: Mass Politics & Total War 1890-1945
  • HIST 256 Europe and the Superpowers
  • HIST 261 Germany in the Age of Nationalism
  • HIST 262 Germany from Dictatorship to Democracy
  • ITAL 323 Introduction to Contemporary Italy
  • POLS 265 European Politics
  • PSYC 314 Science, Medicine and  the Holocaust
  • RELS 327 Holocaust: Confronting Evil
  • SPAN 303 Aspects of Spanish Culture

Africa

  • ANTH 273 Anthropology of Africa
  • ANTH 380 African Informal Economies
  • CISS   350 HIV/AIDS in Comparative Perspective
  • ECON 215 African Economies
  • HIST  196 African Colonial Lives
  • HIST 198 Modern Africa since 1800
  • HIST  296 South Africa and Apartheid
  • HIST  365 Nationalism in Modern Africa
  • POLS  270 African Politics

Middle East

  • HIST 291 Making of the Modern Middle East 1
  • HIST 292 Making of the Modern Middle East 2
  • POLS 235 Islamic Political Thought
  • POLS 272 Politics of the Middle East
  • RELS 147 Judaism
  • RELS 107 Islam
  • RELS 270 The Quran
  • RELS 315 Islamic Philosophy & Theology

Asia

  • ECON 221 Econ. Development of Modern China
  • HIST 155 World War II  in East Asia
  • HIST 280 Modern India
  • HIST 282 Modern China
  • HIST 286 Modern Japan
  • PHIL 255 Asian Philosophy
  • POLS 274 China from Mao to Market
  • POLS 276 South Asian Politics
  • POLS 278 International Politics of East Asia
  • RELS 106 Buddhism
  • RELS 107 Islam
  • RELS 161 Religions of China and Japan
  • RELS 216 Readings: Asian Sacred Texts 
  • RELS 265 Modern & Contemp. Hinduism
  • RELS 305 Mahayana Buddhism
  • RELS 311 Zen Buddhism
  • RELS 312 Theravada Buddhism

Russia and the former Soviet Union

  • HIST 253 The Soviet Experiment
  • HIST 254 The Soviet Union after Stalin
  • HIST 256 Europe and the Superpowers
  • HIST 327 Cultures of the Cold War
  • HIST 329 Collapse of Communism
  • POLS 252 Politics of Post-Communism

Sample Theme Courses

International Political Economy

  • ECON 210 Economics of the European Union
  • ECON 215 African Economies
  • ECON 220 Economics of Inequality
  • HIST 212 History of Capitalism in US & World
  • POLS 275 International Political Economy
  • POLS 288 Politics of Globalization
  • RELS 199 Capitalism and Catholicism
  • RELS 335 Economics and Ethical Values
  • SOCL 280 Global Culture and Society
  • SOCL 281 Sociology of Travel & Tourism
  • SOCL 210 Corporate & Consumer Social Responsibility

Conflict & Conflict Resolution

  • CISS 392 The Holocaust
  • ECON 216 Economics of War and Peace
  • HIST 155 World War II in East Asia
  • HIST 255 Europe: Mass Politics & Total War 1890-1945
  • HIST 256 Europe and the Superpowers
  • HIST 327 Cultures of the Cold War
  • HIST 352 Rebels and Radical Thinkers
  • PHIL 278 Philosophers on War & Peace
  • POLS 278 International Politics of East Asia
  • POLS 281 Global Governance
  • POLS 282 American Foreign Policy
  • POLS 284 Human Rights
  • POLS 287 Humanitarianism
  • POLS 289 International Law
  • POLS 290 National Security Policy
  • POLS 320 Political Violence
  • POLS 333 Ethics & International Relations
  • RELS 209 War & Peace: Christian Tradition
  • RELS 279 Religion and Violence
  • RELS 289 Liberation Theology
  • RELS 327 Holocaust: Confronting Evil
  • SOCL 205 Social Class and Power
  • SOCL 260 Women, Poverty, and Religion
  • SOCL 376 Women and Non-Violence

Development Studies

  • ANTH 253 Gender & Development
  • ANTH 380 African Informal Economies
  • CISS 250 Introduction to Global Health
  • CISS 255 Critical Issues/Global Health
  • ECON 215 African Economies
  • ECON 221 Econ. Development of Modern China
  • POLS 257 Politics of Development
  • POLS 275 International Political Economy
  • POLS 287 Humanitarianism
  • RELS 355 Economics and Ethical Values
  • SOCL 260 Women,Poverty, and Religion
  • SOCL 280 Global Culture and Society
  • SOCL 281 Sociology of Travel & Tourism

Global Governance & International Law

  • ECON 210 Economics of the European Union
  • POLS 275 International Political Economy
  • POLS 281 Global Governance
  • POLS 282 American Foreign Policy
  • POLS 284 Human Rights
  • POLS 287 Humanitarianism