International Studies

The Bachelor of Arts 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 Concentration (18 credit hours upper level plus lower level prerequisites) devoted to foreign language, culture, and civilization (including optional study abroad). Languages: Arabic, French, Spanish.
  2. Professional Concentration (generally a minimum of 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, history, journalism and media production, natural sciences, or political science (international affairs).
  3. Cognates (9-12 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 Concentrations 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 Concentration" requirements in International Studies; e.g., students majoring in art history, business and management, communications, computer information science, economics, engineering, environmental studies, history, natural sciences, or political science (international affairs) can add International Studies as a second  major by fulfilling requirements of Concentration I (Foreign Languages and Culture) and III ( Cognates ) and counting their first major as Concentration II (Professional).


International Studies  majors are urged to consult with a faculty mentor 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, 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.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Major Requirements

Concentration I. Foreign Language and Culture

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

Pre-Major Requirements
Fourth-semester proficiency (202 level) or equivalent in Arabic, French, or Spanish
Required courses
Language 301Advanced Conversation and Composition I4
Sixteen credits of additional upper-level courses in the chosen language16
Total Credit Hours20

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 concentration requirements. They are encouraged to elect an internship as part of their Cognates.

Concentration II. Professional Studies 

Select one Professional Studies concentration from:

Option A. Business and Management

ACC 298Financial Accounting3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
ISM 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 Organizations3
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 Finance4
ECON 448International Trade3
Select one additional course from the following:3
European and International Economic History
Economic Development
Economies of the Middle East
Select two additional courses from the following (CAIE): 6
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Intermediate Microeconomics
Economic Statistics
Money and Banking
Environmental Economics
European and International Economic History
Behavioral Public Policy
Economic Development
Economies of the Middle East
Introduction to Econometrics
Total Credit Hours29

MATH 113 or MATH 115 can be substituted.

Option D. Museum Studies

Select one of the following:3
Understand Art-Ancient to 1400
Understanding Art 1400 to Now
Arts of Asia
Architecture & Society in Western Civilization
Required Courses
ARTH 303Exploring Art in the Community4
ARTH 402Museums and Art in the Community4
Any two ARTH upper-Level (300-400 level)
Total Credit Hours19

Option E. Political Science (International Affairs)

POL 101American Politics3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
Select one of the following courses (CAIM):3-4
Computer Science I
Political Analysis
Prin of Stat and Exper Design
Introduction to Statistics
Required Courses
Select 15-17 credits from the following (CAIP):15-17
The European Union
Pol of the Developing Areas
Religion and Politics
American Foreign Policy
Problems in Intl Politics
Great Pwrs Comp and Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Peace and War
American Foreign Policy I
American Foreign Policy II
International Security Affairs
Terrorism & US Natl Security
Canada Internship
Total Credit Hours27-30

Note: Normally, students will not be permitted to count a Political Science Internship ( 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/STS 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
COMM 430International Communications4
Three upper-level courses in COMM/SPEE. 12
Total Credit Hours22

Option J. Journalism and Media Production

JASS 248Storytelling Across Media4
Required Courses
Required Course
JASS 357National Cinemas4
Media Tools:
Select two courses from:8
Video for Social Media
Media Performance & Studio Production
Media Production for Metropolitan Community
Multimedia Journalism
Audio Production
Introduction to Media Production
Storytelling, Experiments, and Play
Documentary & Photojournalism
Directing & Editing Capstone
Select one elective from:4
Fundamentals of Journalism
Media Law and Ethics
History of Broadcasting and Journalism
Black Cinema
Gender, Sexuality, and Power in American Film
Topics in JASS
Making Film History
Reviewing Movies, Games, and Television
Script-Writing Workshop
Total Credit Hours20

Option K. History 

COMP 106Writing & Rhetoric II3
HIST 101The World to 1500 CE3
HIST 103The World Since 1500 CE3
Select 15-17 credits from the following. Courses must be from at least two different regions:15-17
Eastern Europe, Russia, Soviet Union Region (CAHU):
The Russian Revolutions
Polish History Since 1800
Poland - Study Abroad
Modern East-Central Europe
Armenia in the Soviet Period
Armenians in the Modern World
Europe Region (CAHE):
Modern Britain
Germany Since 1945
20th-Century Europe, 1890-1945
The European City
Germany Before Hitler
Modern Warfare
Modern France
Aspects of the Holocaust
Nazi Germany
Middle East Region (CAHM):
Islamic Movemnts Mid East Hist
Women&Islam Mid East to 1900
The Late Ottoman Empire, 1789-1924
Modern Middle East, 1918-1945
Modern Middle East, 1945-1991
Lebanon in Modern Middle East
America and the Middle East in the Age of Empires
America and the Middle East in the Age of Nation-States
Culture& Hist. in Mod. Iran
Middle Eastern Diasporas
An Introduction to Middle East Studies
Asia Region (CAHA):
The United States and Vietnam
Africa Region (CAHF):
West Africa Since 1800
Black Intellectual History
Seminar: African Diaspora
Variable Region (CAHV):
The Study of History
History Internship
Introduction to Latin America: Utopia to Autocracy
Independent Studies in History
Independent Studies in History
Senior Honors Thesis
Advanced Ind Studies in Hist
Senior Research Seminar
Total Credit Hours24-26

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 a minimum of 9 credits, 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 below for the approved list of courses.

Approved Cognate Courses (CANC):
Students may not use courses in the same foreign language declared in Concentration I and may not use identical area from Professional Concentration II.
African/African-American Studies
West Africa Since 1800
W. African Music: Trad.&Glob.
Topics in African Diaspora
Arab American Studies
Culture and Global Business 1
African Exper in the Americas
Anthropology of Middle East
Sexuality and Culture
Kinship and Marriage
Language and Society
Religion and Culture
Gender and Globalization
Psychological Anthropology
Art History
Art of China
Art of Japan
Chinese Painting
Early Chinese Art and Culture
Greek Art
Roman Art
Early Medieval Art and Architecture
Late Medieval Art and Architecture
Women in Medieval Art
Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture
Renaissance & Reformation Art
Baroque Art and Architecture
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Arts of the Twentieth Century
Modern Architecture
Earl Mod Jpn Paint&Wood Prnts
Ancient Urbanism
Business & Management
Corporate Responsibility
Human Resource Policy/Admin
Legal Issues in Human Resource
International Financial Management 1
Seminar: International Bus 1
Mktg Principles and Policies
Understanding Customers
Glbl Mrkting&Consumr Cultre 1
Behavior in Organizations
Public Comm and Culture Stdies
International Communications
Gender and Media Studies
Gender and Globalization
Comparative Literature (COML)
Urban Voices: France and Italy
Labor in the American Economy
Environmental Economics
European and International Economic History
Economic Development
Economies of the Middle East 1
International Finance 1
International Trade 1
History of Storytelling I: Beowulf to 18th C British Literature
Hist of Storytelling II: Opium-Poets, Romantic Novelists, & Modern Patriots
Renaissance Heroes, Lovers, Explorers
Foreign Languages & Cultures
Language of Business
Arabic Cinema
Arabic Civilization
Arabic Literature and Culture
Contemporary Arabic Literature
Language of Business
French Civilization of Past
France of Today
Francophone Lit and Civil
Parisian Itineraries
Italian Culture Civilization
Introduction to the Qur'an
Language of Business
Spanish Civilization and Cult
Latin American Civiliztn Cult
Spain in the Twentieth Century
Hispanic Cinema
Urban Geography
Mapping Our World
Geography of Western Europe
Economic Geography
Political Geography
Global Climate Change
Global Cultures
Intro to Global Cultures
Political Islam
The Russian Revolutions
Modern Britain
The Reformation Era: 1500-1648
The Age of Revolution in Europe and the World
Europe in Age of Imp:1815-1914
20th-Century Europe, 1890-1945 1
The Contmp World, 1945-Present 1
Islamic Movemnts Mid East Hist
Women&Islam Mid East to 1900
The Late Ottoman Empire, 1789-1924
Germany Before Hitler
West Africa Since 1800
Modern Middle East, 1918-1945
Lebanon in Modern Middle East
European and International Economic History 1
America and the Middle East in the Age of Nation-States
Modern France
Aspects of the Holocaust
Nazi Germany
Internship 1
Journalism and Screen Studies
National Cinemas
The European Union 1
World Englishes
Kant and the 19th Century
Kierkegaard & Nietzsche
Existentialism and Its Sources
Political Science
Marxist Thought
Environmental Politics
Pol of the Developing Areas 1
American Foreign Policy
Communist & Post-Communist Sys
Problems in Intl Politics 1
Great Pwrs Comp and Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Peace and War
American Foreign Policy I
American Foreign Policy II
International Security Affairs 1
Terrorism & US Natl Security
Comparative Enviro Policy
Politics, Policy and Law Internship
Canada Internship
Washington, D.C. Internship
Religion in Society
America in a Global Society
Women & Gender Studies
Body Image and Culture
Writing Women In Renaissance
Immigrant Cultures and Gender

 1. Highly recommended course because of its international content and/or the likelihood that it coordinates the language and professional concentrations.


  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 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).

Learning Goals

  1. Critical thinking: Students will be able to critically analyze academic texts, international news, maps, histories, and their own received ideologies and received wisdom for assumptions, political and cultural points of view, and stated and unstated biases.
  2. Applying disciplinary contexts: Students will understand how to use historical background, geographical context, political systems, economic structures, and sociocultural milieu to better understand regional and global developments.
  3. Connections: Students will begin to see the connections between world events and the multiple contexts that inform them, and learn that these seemingly disparate factors are interconnected and in flux.
  4. Skills: Students develop core liberal arts skills: reading unfamiliar information and making sense of it; thinking critically about what they're reading; synthesizing material; coming to a conclusion about it; and articulating that conclusion verbally and in writing.
  5. Global awareness: Students develop knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to live effectively in a world characterized by ethnic diversity, cultural pluralism and increasing interdependence.
  6. Diversity: Students should gain an awareness of global diversity and learn to think about what the world, or specific issues, might look like from other points of view.