International Studies

The interdisciplinary major in International Studies combines foreign language and cultural studies with a thorough grounding in a professional area such as business and management, economics, computer information science, communication, or political science. The major is designed to prepare students for careers in international relations and business or other fields with an international dimension.

The major consists of three components at the upper level:

  1. Foreign Language and Cultural Component (18 credit hours upper level plus lower level prerequisites) devoted to foreign language, culture, and civilization (including optional study abroad). Languages: Arabic, French, German, Spanish.
  2. Professional Component (generally 15 credit hours upper level plus lower level prerequisites) devoted to the basic skills of art administration (museum studies), business and management, communications, computer and information science, economics, engineering, environmental studies, journalism and screen studies, natural sciences, or political science (international affairs).
  3. Cognates (9 credit hours upper level) devoted to studies (and optional internship experiences) which will provide the larger international context and additional useful skills to coordinate the subjects of Components I and II.

This program is also eminently suitable as a second major for students who want to add a strong international component to their major field of interest. In this case, courses taken for their first major may also fulfill "Professional Component" requirements in International Studies; e.g., students majoring in art history, business and management, communications, computer information science, economics, engineering, environmental studies, natural sciences, or political science (international affairs) can add International Studies as a second  major by fulfilling requirements of Components I (Foreign Languages and Culture) and III ( Cognates ) and counting their first major as Component II (Professional).


International Studies  majors are urged to consult with faculty in the foreign languages and the other professional areas before the beginning of each semester.

Students with a high school background of three to four years study of Arabic, French, German or Spanish would be able to begin their studies of the same foreign language at UM-Dearborn with the 201, 202, or even 301 foreign language class. The curriculum for such students would be more flexible than that previously described. Students with a high school foreign language background would have an additional 8-11 hours for electives in areas of their special interests.

Prerequisites to the Major

For prerequisites check Components I and II under requirements for major.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Foreign Language Requirement

Complete a two-semester beginning language sequence.

Ancient Greek I and II MCL 105 and MCL 106
Arabic I and II ARBC 101 and ARBC 102
Armenian I and II MCL 111 and MCL 112
French I and II FREN 101 and FREN 102
German I and II GER 101 and GER 102
Latin I and II LAT 101 and LAT 102
Spanish I and II SPAN 101 and SPAN 102

Major Requirements

Component I. Foreign Language and Culture

( Select one language: Arabic, French, German or Spanish)

Fourth-semester proficiency (202 level) or equivalent in Arabic, French, German or Spanish
Required courses
Language 301Advanced Conversation and Composition I3
Language 302Advanced Conversation and Composition II3
Twelve credits of additional upper-level courses in the chosen language12
Total Credit Hours18

A literature course in the chosen language is highly encouraged.

Students are encouraged to spend a semester or year in one of the many approved study-abroad programs.

Students who wish to study two foreign languages within the framework of the International Studies Program should see the International Studies Director to design an acceptable balanced curriculum.

Normally students will not be permitted to count the Humanities Internship (HUM 485) as a part of the above concentration requirements. They are encouraged to elect an internship as part of their Cognates.

Component II. Professional Studies 

Select one Professional Studies concentration from:

Option A. Business and Management

ACC 298Financial Accounting3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
ITM 310Info Systems in Management3
MATH 104College Algebra4
or MATH 105 Pre-Calculus
Required Courses
BE 401Managerial Economics3
MKT 352Mktg Principles and Policies3
OB 354Behavior in Organization3
Select two courses from (CAIB):6
Managerial Communication
Corporate Responsibility
Professional Communication
International Communications
Seminar: International Bus
Glbl Mrkting&Consumr Cultre
Total Credit Hours31

Option B. Computer and Information Science

MATH 115Calculus I4
CIS/CCM 150Computer Science I4
CIS 200Computer Science II4
CIS 275Discrete Structures I4
Required Courses
CIS 350Data Struc and Algorithm Anlys4
Select three additional CIS upper-level courses (300-level or above excluding CIS 399 and CIS 499)12
Total Credit Hours32

Option C. Economics

ACC 298Financial Accounting3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
MATH 104College Algebra 14
or MATH 105 Pre-Calculus
Required Courses
ECON 447International Finance3
ECON 448International Trade3
Select one additional course from the following:3
Eur and Intl Economic Hist
Economic Development
Economies of the Middle East
Select two additional courses from the following (CAIE): 6
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Intermediate Microeconomics
Economic Statistics
Eur and Intl Economic Hist
Economic Development
Economies of the Middle East
Introduction to Econometrics
Total Credit Hours28

Option D. Museum Studies

ARTH 101Western Art to 14003
ARTH 102Western Art from 14003
ARTH 103Arts of Asia3
or ARTH 106 History of Western Architect
Required Courses
Select four courses from four different areas: 12
Asian/Non-Western (CAAS):
Art of China
Art of Japan
Chinese Painting
Early Chinese Art and Archaeol
Islamic Architecture
Islamic Decorative Arts
Earl Mod Jpn Paint&Wood Prnts
Ancient and Classical (CAAC):
Egyptian Art
Greek Art
Roman Art
Myth & Ritual in Classical Art
Women in Classical Antiquity
City of Ancient Rome
Greek Architecture
Roman Art and Memory
Medieval (CAME):
Erly Christian Byzan Art
Early Med and Romanesque Art
Gothic Art and Architecture
The 14th Century
Women in Medieval Art
Renaissance & Baroque (CARB):
Art&Arch in Early Ren Florence
High Renaissance and Mannerism
Northern Renaissance Art
Italian Renaissance Sculpture
Southern Baroque Art
Northern Baroque Art
Renaissance and Baroque Rome
Modern (CAMA):
The Arts & Culture of Detroit
Art of Glass
American Art
Impressionism and Post-Impress
Arts of the Twentieth Century
Modern Architecture
The Modern Print
Contemporary Art
American Photography
Urban Design Perspectives
Collage, Montage, Assemblage
Also Required
Museum Practice Seminar I
Total Credit Hours21

Option E. Political Science (International Affairs)

POL 201Intro Comparative Government3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
Select one of the following courses (CAIM):3
Computer Science I
Political Analysis
Prin of Stat and Exper Design
Introduction to Statistics
Required Courses
Select five of the following 3 credit hour courses (CAIP):15
The European Union
Canadian Politics
Pol of the Developing Areas
Religion and Politics
American Foreign Policy
Problems in Intl Politics
Great Pwrs Comp and Conflict
Middle East Politics
Peace and War
American Foreign Policy I
American Foreign Policy II
International Security Affairs
Terrorism & US Natl Security
Total Credit Hours27

Note: Normally, students will not be permitted to count a Political Science Internship (POL 494 POL 495 POL 496 POL 497) as part of the above concentration requirements. They are encouraged to elect an internship as part of their Cognates.

Option F. Environmental Studies


3 courses to be chosen from at least two of the following areas:

Area A. ESCI 275 or ESCI 301 (CAPS)

Area B. ENST 201, ENST 203, ENST 204; GEOL 118 (CAPB)

Area C. CIS 150; CIS 112 (CAPU)

Required Courses
ENST 301Concepts of Environmentalism3
ENST 305Env Instrumentation and Analys3
Select three additional courses from the following (CAIV):9
Urban Geography
Environmental Politics
Land Use Planning and Mgmt
Remote Sensing
Environmental Economics
Environmental Psychology
Environmental Internship
Topics in Environmental Stds
Environmental Education
Environmental Interpretation
Total Credit Hours15

Note:  Environmental Science (ESCI) courses (some of which have additional prerequisites) may be substituted by Petition.

Option G. Natural Sciences

Required courses
Select one of the following:15
A minimum of 15 hours 300-4999 level in any one Dept. of Natural Science discipline from: ASTR, BIOL, BCHM, CHEM, ESCI, GEOL, MICR, PHYS (plus all lower level prerequisites).
Fulfillment of all major requirements in any natural science discipline.
Total Credit Hours15

Option H. Engineering

Required Courses

Fulfillment of all requirements for a degree in any of the Engineering disciplines will satisfy all Component II (Professional) requirements for the International Studies major.

Due to the high number of prerequisites needed to get into upper-level engineering classes, there is no regular 15-hour(professional) component for the various engineering disciplines.

Option I. Communication

COMM 220Intro to Media & Culture3
SPEE 101Principles of Speech Comm3
Required Courses
Five upper-level courses in COMM/SPEE. Of the five courses, one course must be in a Speech (SPEE) upper level course.15
Total Credit Hours21

Option J. Journalism and Screen Studies

JASS 2015Fundamentals of Journalism3
or JASS 248 Introduction to Screen Studies
Required Courses
Select five courses from the following:
Media Tools (CAJB):
Select two courses from:6
Media Design & Animation
Copy Editing
Narrative Journalism
Media Performance
Media Productn for Metro Comm
Feature Writing
Online Reprting,Rsrch,Writing
Audio Production
Digital Film & Television
Advanced Reporting
Interpretive Journalism
Investigative Reporting
New and Emerging Media
Advanced Media Production
Comm Design for Web & Mobile
Script-Writing Workshop
Genres, Modes, and Contexts of Storytelling (CAJM):
Select two courses from:6
Media Law and Ethics
Creating the Graphic Novel
Sports Reporting and Writing
Science and Environmental Jour
Multimedia and Music
Film and Music
Business/Automotive Reporting
National Cinemas
Narratives of Film and Lit
History of U.S. Broadcasting
History of American Journalism
Postwar European Cinema
Black Cinema
Gender,Sex,Powr Screen Studies
Topics in JASS
Independent Study in JASS
Issues in Cyberspace
History&Theory of Documentary
Memoir and Travel Writing
American Cinema
Ethnographic Film
International Communications
The remaining one course (3 credits) may be any upper level JASS course3
Total Credit Hours18

Component III. Cognates

This component is designed to enhance the international dimension of the major and to coordinate the language and culture studies with professional preparation. Students will take three courses (9 hours, 300+ level) in fields such as anthropology, art history, business and management, economics, foreign cultures , history, and political science. Courses should be selected in accordance with students' particular needs. See CASL Advising website for the approved list of courses.


  1. Students may elect the Humanities Internship (HUM 485) for a maximum of three hours and avail themselves of on-the-job experience in a business, governmental, or cultural institution. See the INST Program Director for Internship Guidelines.
  2. Students with appropriate background in political science may elect one of the various political science internships POL 494 POL 495 POL 496 POL 497) for a maximum of three hours.
  3. Students may use upper-level courses, especially culture/civilization, literature, or film courses, in another foreign language for Cognate credit. Students may not use courses in the same foreign language designated as Component I for Cognates credit.
  4. Students may not use identical areas for both Components II and III, e.g., students with Professional Studies (Component II) in Business and Management may not select Business and Management courses for Cognates (Component III) credit.
  5. Students' course choice in Components II and III must include a minimum total of two courses with a clearly international dimension; a greater number is highly desirable.
  6. Students may transfer no more than  9 upper level hours in Components I, 50% of credits in Component II and 3 credits in Component III (Cognates).