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International Studies, BA

Offered in: CHICAGO

International Studies is a growing interdisciplinary field that offers students the opportunity to study politics, economics, history, sociology, anthropology and communication as parts of a complex and evolving global system. Rather than focusing just on relations between states in the international system, the International Studies major affords students the opportunity to create a focus on particular geographic areas of the world, the evolution of the international system itself, or on global race, gender and activism. Majoring in International Studies lays the groundwork for students to pursue a wide array of careers in international affairs, from work with intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations or the World Bank, to aid and development work with groups like USAID, democracy promotion for organizations such as Freedom House, international law at the Hague, advocacy groups like Witness or Human Rights Watch, environmental groups like the Sierra Club, or global solidarity campaigns including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.

Downtown Chicago is an ideal location for those pursuing International Studies at Roosevelt University. A growing, bustling and vibrant global city, Chicago is host to numerous international organizations, government offices, advocacy centers and think tanks, and plays host to countless international conferences. At Roosevelt, we study the international system with a focus on the pursuit and realization of social justice across national boundaries, producing graduates with fluency in contemporary debates in multiple, as well as the moral and ethical foundation to be leaders and global citizens.


Students should consult their advisor or the program coordinator (Philip Hultquist – before registration each semester to assure that requirements are met and that the electives constitute a coherent program that is tailored to the student’s interests.

Students who wish to pursue specialized topics may do so by independent study; however, no independent study may be undertaken until the core sequence has been completed. Each independent study course must have the approval of the program coordinator. Only one independent study course may be taken for credit in the major.

Students are strongly encouraged to undertake study abroad. Roosevelt’s Office of International Programs will assist students in selecting and applying for study abroad programs. The program coordinator will assist in selecting courses once the student has been admitted to a program. Study abroad courses and programs vary, so students should consult the program coordinator to see how study abroad courses fit in the International Studies curriculum.

Students are also strongly encouraged to supplement their International Studies education by learning a foreign language, though there is no formal requirement to do so.

Students may also deepen their learning and gain valuable work experience through internships with an agency or organization that deals with international issues and populations. Stipulations for internships are the same as for independent study.


Students who major in International Studies must complete 12 courses (36 semester hours) in the program, each with a grade of C or higher. This includes a set of five required core courses and seven electives.

Students must complete 15 credits at the 300-level in the major. For their electives, students must take five courses in one of the three tracks, as well as one course from each of the other two tracks. At least five courses in International Studies must be taken at Roosevelt University.

Please note that not all International Studies courses are listed here. International Studies faculty members frequently add new courses that count towards the International Studies major. Other International Studies courses not listed in the catalog may only be offered once but can still count toward the major. You can find these courses by searching for classes using the International Studies attribute. Most study abroad classes can count for the major as well (see above). In all cases, students should consult with the program coordinator or their academic advisor to discuss how these courses will be integrated into their major or minor.

Core courses
  ANTH 240 Cross-Cultural Anthropology .....3
  ECON 101 Principles of Economics I .....3
  HIST 112 The World since 1500 .....3
  POS 102 Introduction to Comparative Politics .....3
  POS 103 Introduction to International Relations .....3

Choose one track for primary concentration (15 hours); at least one course is required from each of the other two concentrations.

Track A: Regional Studies
  HIST 240 Introduction to Africa .....3
  HIST 241 Africa Under European Domination .....3
  HIST 309 19th Century Europe .....3
  HIST 315 Latin America to Independence .....3
  HIST 316 Latin America since Independence .....3
  HIST 321 20th Century Europe .....3
  HIST 341 Topics in European History .....3
  HIST 342 Topics in World History .....3
  POS 344 Indian Politics .....3
  POS 354 Power and Politics of the Middle East .....3
  POS 358 International Politics of the Middle East .....3
  POS 359 Egyptian Politics .....3
  SPAN 312 Hispanic History and Culture .....3
Track B: Developments in the Global System
  ECON 214 Economics of Globalization .....3
  ECON 333 Comparative Economic Systems .....3
  ECON 374 International Development .....3
  ECON 376 International Trade .....3
  ECON 377 International Finance .....3
  HIST 305 Modern Imperialism .....3
  HIST 306 The World Since 1945 .....3
  HIST 325 Diplomatic History of the United States .....3
  HIST 335 History of Nationalism .....3
  PHIL 219 World Religions .....3
  POS 302 Problems in U.S. Foreign Policy .....3
  POS 303 Comparative Democratization .....3
  POS 339 Political Violence and Terrorism .....3
  POS 342 Insurgency, Counterinsurgency and Civil War .....3
  SOC 344 Sociology of Globalization .....3
Track C: Race, Rights, Gender and Activism
  HIST 225 Immigration in the Americas .....3
  HIST 317 The French Revolution and Napoleon .....3
  HIST 320 Major Revolutions in Modern History .....3
  POS 327 Sexuality, Gender, International Human Rights .....3
  POS 345 Global Digital Activism .....3
  POS 380 International Law: Human Rights .....3
  POS 388 International Peacekeeping .....3
  SOC 211 Contemporary Global Issues .....3
  SOC 329 Whiteness in a Global Context .....3
  SOC 342 Global Race .....3
  SPCH 345 Crosscultural Communication .....3
  WGS 304 Topics in International Feminism .....3

General Education Requirements

Academic Communities of Practice

  ACP 101 First-Year Seminar (required for students who enter RU with fewer than 12 semester hours) .....3
  ACP 110 Primary Texts .....3
  ACP 250 Grounds for Change .....3

English Composition (minimum grade of C- required)

  ENG 101 Composition I: Critical Reading and Writing .....3
  ENG 102 Composition II: Introduction to Academic Research .....3


  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Art History, English (excluding 101 and 102), History, Languages, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, Speech and Women's and Gender Studies .....9


  MATH 110 Math 110 or above (Math, Computer Science & Technology, and Science majors have different requirements -- see advisor). .....3

Non-Western Requirement

  Non-Western course (can be used for Humanities or Social Sciences general education requirements) .....3

RU Mission-Related Course (minimum grade of C- required)

  LIBS 201 Writing Social Justice .....3


  One biological science and one physical science required; at least one must be a four-hour lab (not applicable for science majors) TOTAL: at least 7 science hours. .....7-8

Social Sciences

  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Journalism, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies .....9

These quantitative requirements also apply to degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences:

  • Students may apply no more than 60 semester hours of 100-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must apply no fewer than 60 semester hours of 200- and 300-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must have at least 18 semester hours (of the 60 semester hours above) at the 300 level.
  • Students may transfer in no more than 66 semester hours from community colleges.
  • Students must take their final 30 hours at Roosevelt University. Note that some majors have additional requirements for RU hours.
  • Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to graduate. Note that some majors have additional GPA requirements.
  • Students must have a minimum of 90 hours in Arts and Sciences.
  • Students may apply no more than 51 hours in the major (BA) or 57 hours in the major (BS)