Course Requirements

Individualized Concentration (5 courses)

In consultation with a faculty mentor, all international studies students devise a five-course concentration.  This concentration should provide students with a depth of knowledge on a particular theme, approach, region, and/or question of some international importance. Hence, a student might explore environmental movements (theme), Green Marxism (approach), Latin America (region), and/or theories of democratic transition (question). Concentrations must be approved by a faculty mentor in order to fulfill the major requirement.

  • Study Abroad: Up to two of the non-language courses you take during Study Abroad may be counted toward the concentration. These classes must be topical and fit with your concentration (for example no phonetics or grammar courses). Your faculty advisor will decide if any additional Study Abroad classes will be able to count towards the concentration.
  • Double Majors/Minors: Three classes can be taken from the double major or minor classes and applied to the concentration. The classes must have an International and Political/Social/Economic focus and relate to your concentration.
  • Foreign Language Courses: Topical language courses, such as courses focused on literature, civilization or genre can be applied to the concentration. Advanced language classes focused on phonetics or style cannot be applied.​

Language Requirement

Proficiency in a language other than English is required and can be demonstrated through passing grades in college coursework through the intermediate (second-year) level, up to and including 106. Students who enter the program with second language skills developed outside of formal college coursework may petition the director to demonstrate proficiency by examination in order to satisfy the language requirement. The assessment and proficiency tests can be taken on Campus Connection.

INT 201


This course focuses on the complex relationship between race, gender, ethnicity and nationality and explores how this relationship shapes the evolution of the modern state. The historical consolidation of the nation state and the development of national institutions are analyzed, using examples from both 19th- and 20th-century Europe and the contemporary Third World. This course is the first in the required three-course sequence. For that reason, it is open to declared majors and minors only. Other students may take the course on a space-available basis, with the permission of the director. PREREQUISITE(S): Sophomore major or minor status, or permission of the director.
Sophomore standing or above and status as an International Studies major or minor is a prerequisite for this class.

​Open Electives

Open elective credit is also required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours. International Studies majors have 60 open elective credit hours. Courses taken to meet the second language proficiency requirement count as electives. 


PSC 150


This course focuses on the way in which political systems other than that of the United States operate. The common features of governments are identified and examined with special attention to such topics as political elites, political institutions, mass political behavior, political change and revolution. Examples are drawn from a wide range of political systems.

INT 368


A course that offers students the opportunity to explore global cultural studies in greater depth. See schedule for current offerings.

GEO 241


An introductory-level course covering the fundamentals of GIS. Topics include GPS, remote sensing, data models (vector and raster), coordinate systems, and map design. Instruction is accomplished through lectures and hands-on computer lab exercises using ArcGIS.
LSP 120 or HON 180 or (MAT 130 or above) is a prerequisite for this class.

GEO 242


An intermediate-level course. Students conduct real-world GIS projects for community organizations in Chicagoland. Topics include data capture, manipulation, database design, data quality, and spatial analysis. Students will complete projects following best practices of GIS project management. Instruction is accomplished through lectures and hands-on computer lab exercises using ArcGIS.
GEO 241 is a prerequisite for this class.

GEO 243


An introduction to the fundamentals of remote sensing, the analysis of the earth through air or space borne sensors. Special topics include image interpretation, image processing, change analysis, environmental monitoring, and photogrammetry. Instruction is accomplished through lectures and hands-on lab exercises using IDRISI. A small lab fee will be charged.
LSP 120 or HON 180 or (MAT 130 or above) is a prerequisite for this class.