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Bachelor's in International Studies (BA)

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.
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Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Type: Major, Minor

Concentrations in this major include: 

  • Regional Studies
  • Developments in the Global System
  • Race, Rights, Gender and Activism

What Differentiates Us

A Uniquely Diverse Classroom Experience

A Uniquely Diverse Classroom Experience

International studies at Roosevelt University is unique because of the interactions between our dedicated faculty and diverse student body. Students from all around the world and from a diverse set of U.S. backgrounds meet in our classrooms to teach and learn from each other, guided by devoted faculty with expertise around the globe and a mission to educate socially conscious global citizens.

A Focus On Social Justice

A Focus On Social Justice

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, as well as the moral and ethical foundation to be leaders and global citizens. While most courses will require students to grapple with challenging issues in social justice, we also offer a specific track (Race, Rights, Gender and Activism) that places, at its center, the crucial role of identity and the quest for liberation.

Study in A Global Hub

Study in A Global Hub

Downtown Chicago is an ideal location for those pursuing international studies. 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. Although there is no substitute for study abroad (which we highly encourage!), students are likely to find themselves in Chicago-area field trips to events at the Chicago Cultural Center or one of the many consulates in the area. As Chicago's neighborhoods provided the beginnings for so many immigrant families, there are countless ways to experience cultural events and museums, such as the Ukrainian National Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art, or the Polish Museum of America.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

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. At least five courses in international studies must be taken at Roosevelt University.

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. The tracks are:

  • Regional Studies
  • Developments in the Global System
  • Race, Rights, Gender, and Activism

Students are highly encouraged to supplement their major in international studies with language study (at least the 101-104 sequence of any language) and plan for a study abroad. Roosevelt offers many opportunities including semesters abroad to most regions in the world and short-term, faculty-led trips.

Additionally, we offer independent study courses that can be arranged with the faculty of your choosing to learn a topic not currently offered or to dig deeper into a question that the student finds interesting. These courses can fit as needed into the appropriate track. Students may earn credit and hands-on experience through internships with local organizations that have an international mission.

Minor Requirements

A minor in international studies is an ideal complement to many degrees, including all those in the social sciences and humanities that make up the bulk of international studies courses, but also degrees in business, education, and communication. Because the minor is interdisciplinary in nature with a strong foundation in the liberal arts, it will round out your education, could give you an edge over others without knowledge of international processes, and help prepare you with the competency to engage the world as a active global citizen.

Sample Courses

  • Africa under European Domination
  • Latin America since Independence
  • Politics of the East
  • Politics of India
  • Economics of Development
  • Political Violence and Terrorism
  • Sociology of Globalization
  • Sexuality, Gender, and International Human Rights
  • Global Race
  • Global Digital Activism

Outcomes

A Wide Variety of Career Options
Majoring in international studies lays the groundwork for students to pursue a wide array of careers in international affairs, from work with intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations or the World Bank, to aid and development work with groups such as USAID, democracy promotion for organizations such as Freedom House, international law at the Hague, advocacy groups like Witness or Human Rights Watch, environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, or global solidarity campaigns including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
Preparation For Advanced Study
Due to its emphasis on analytical thinking across a variety of disciplines, majoring (or minoring) in international studies is a great precursor to advanced graduate academic study (e.g., pursuing a PhD) or professional training (e.g., law school, master's of public policy, etc.).
Grad Schools Attended By Our Alumni
Our students have been successful at a variety of graduate schools, including prestigious international universities, such as: University of Kent-Brussels School of International Studies, King's College London, and Beijing Normal University.

Testimonials

"I cannot say enough positive things about being an international studies major at Roosevelt University. The international studies program faculty are caring and compassionate and are a source of inspiration to their students. My advisers helped me not only academically, but also offered me a lot of personal insight on what my next career steps would look like. My experience at Roosevelt prepared me for my internship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Nigeria, as well as my plans for graduate study in public administration focusing on non-governmental organization management."
​Sonia Tsoungui - BA '15
"International studies is the perfect major for globally-minded students wanting a broad, but rigorous, liberal arts education. You will get face-to-face interaction and guidance from friendly professors across various disciplines who want nothing more than to help you grow intellectually and succeed up to and after graduation. Majoring (or minoring) in international studies will make you an active participant in our mission for a true understanding of how the world works, why it works that way, and how you can help change it for the better. I hope you will join us in that quest."
Phil Hultquist
Assistant Professor, Political Science​, Roosevelt University