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International Studies

NOTE: This page contains information from the 2012-2013 Catalog. It remains available for archival purposes only. For the most current WC Catalog content, please visit http://catalog.washcoll.edu and download this year’s edition.
Division of Political Science, Interdisciplinary Major

 

The International Studies major gives students a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience that prepares them for careers and advanced training in teaching, politics, business, journalism, international work, public service, and a wide range of other fields. The curriculum is enhanced by integrated experiential, study abroad and foreign exchange components, and supplemented with numerous extracurricular opportunities such as the Model United Nations and on-campus programming through the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, the International House and the student-run International Studies Council. Students majoring in this field are under the guidance of the director of the International Studies program. The program is offered through the cooperative efforts of the departments of Business Management, Economics, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, and Sociology and Anthropology.

There is no minor in International Studies, though non-majors are encouraged to pursue a regional or functional concentration offered in International Studies (discussed below). Speak to your faculty advisor about how a concentration might enrich your particular course of study.

Major Requirements

A student majoring in International Studies is required to take at least five introductory and nine upper-level semester courses across multiple fields which include anthropology, business, economics, history, modern languages, and political science. Moreover, majors must attain proficiency in one of the foreign languages taught at the College (through the 200 level), or pursue alternative language study in another foreign language abroad. Finally, majors are required to participate in two off-campus experiences during their undergraduate career—including at least one semester abroad (two encouraged) and at least one experiential learning activity (such as an internship, volunteer work, or an off-campus Model United Nations simulation).

To give additional focus to the program, majors may elect a concentration area in African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, Global Business Studies, Latin American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and/or Peace and Conflict Studies.

Those undertaking a major in International Studies are required to take the following five introductory courses in their freshman and sophomore years:

  • Anthropology 105. Introduction to Anthropology
  • Economics 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Economics 218. Economic Development
  • History 101, 102, 103, or 104. Early Origins of Western Civilization I,II or Modern World History I,II
  • Political Science 104. Introduction to World Politics

Other preparatory electives recommended include Philosophy 111,112 Comparative Religion: Western/Eastern, Art 200 Introduction to the History of Western Art, and Music 104 Introduction to World Music.

Among the nine upper-level courses required, all International Studies majors must take at least one upper-level course from each of the following three areas:

International economics:

  • ECN 410. International Trade; or
  • ECN 411. International Finance; or
  • BUS 310. International Business; or
  • BUS 311. Global Business Strategy; or
  • POL 375. International Political Economy

International politics:

  • POL 201. Theories of Peace and Conflict
  • POL 371. International Politics; or
  • POL 374. International Organization and Law

International studies (both courses required):

  • INT 491. International Studies Seminar (taken in the first semester of the senior year)
  • INT SCE Senior Capstone Experience (taken in the final semester at Washington College)

International Studies majors may select the remaining five upper-level courses in the major field under the guidance of the program director from among social science and humanities courses related to International Studies offered both at Washington College and in approved abroad locations. Students are strongly encouraged to choose several courses outside of one area of regional concentration to develop greater breadth in their understanding of the world.

In addition to courses offered as part of the international economics and international politics requirements, the following general upper-level courses are especially recommended:

  • ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity
  • INT 294, 394, 494. Special Topics
  • POL 341. Politics of Development
  • POL 342. Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements
  • POL 380. American Foreign Policy
  • POL 386. Comparative Peace Processes
Study Abroad

Students wishing to major in International Studies are required to pursue two off-campus experiences—including at least one semester abroad (two encouraged). Off-campus opportunities are available for qualified sophomores and juniors. Majors are not permitted to study off-campus in the fall semester of their senior year, and may study off-campus in the spring semester of their senior year only upon prior successful completion of their senior thesis. For details, see pages 84-89. It is possible by consulting the listed program advisor and the Director of International Studies to arrange for an approved and credit-bearing study experience in many areas of the world, including those listed below. Additional areas also may be possible under consultation with the Director of International Studies and the Office of International Programs.

  • Africa: Egypt, Morocco, South Africa
  • Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru
  • Asia: Australia, China (Hong Kong), Japan, South Korea
  • Europe: Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain
  • Middle East: Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Turkey
Experiential Learning Component

Students are required to pursue at least one practical application of their academic studies while enrolled at Washington College. This activity may take many forms, chosen under the guidance of the Director of International Studies. Options include: participation in one of the internship opportunities administered through an academic department or arranged independently in consultation with the Director of International Studies; participation in an off-campus Model United Nations simulation, together with the two-credit course component; volunteering with an internationally-focused non-governmental or service organization; or completion of an independent service-learning project that includes an on-campus presentation component. Internship opportunities of particular interest to international studies majors include:

  • POL 427. Washington Center Internship
  • POL 470. Hansard Internship in the United Kingdom
  • U.S. Department of State Internship
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Internship
  • The Washington Semester and World Capitals Program
  • Internships with the United Nations or other international organizations
Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience in International Studies is a 50-page research thesis. The SCE carries course credit toward the major requirements. By the beginning of the first semester of the senior year, each student must submit a research proposal to the director of the program for approval. A complete working draft must be submitted by the end of that semester, in conjunction with the International Studies Seminar. Students should register for the SCE during the last semester of their senior year, when a final version of thesis will be due. The senior thesis should be interdisciplinary in scope, methodology and content. Theses will be assessed on the basis of Pass/Fail/Honors. Students who wish to be considered for honors should request permission to attempt an honors thesis prior to submission of the final draft, at which point they will be informed of additional requirements for an honors-level thesis. An oral defense is held at the end of the semester during which a student is applying for honors for the thesis by faculty members of the program.

Concentrations in International Studies

Regional and functional concentrations are open to students of all majors and offer an interdisciplinary approach to the study of a particular area. They combine course work at Washington College in anthropology, business, economics, history, modern languages, and political science with at least one semester (or summer/winter) abroad in the region of focus. Current regions of study include African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Near Eastern Studies. In addition, the program offers two functional concentrations in Global Business Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.

The regional concentration is designed to serve students who wish to develop a focus on a particular world region, for those who plan to enter business, government, international agency service, science and medicine, and for those who are preparing for graduate study of a particular region.

Common Requirements for the Regional and Global Business Concentrations

Students must complete six courses (plus the study of a regional language for a regional concentration or a seventh course for the Global Business concentration), must study abroad for a semester (preferred) or a summer/winter short-term program, and complete a research paper in the area of concentration. In particular, to complete a concentration students must:

Take two of the following introductory courses, preferably during their freshman and sophomore years:

  • ANT 105. Introduction to Anthropology
  • ECN 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • HIS 104. Introduction to World History
  • POL 104. Introduction to World Politics

Students may substitute other introductory-level courses that pertain to their concentration with approval from the Director of International Studies. Examples include, but are not limited to, Philosophy 112, Introduction to Comparative Religion: Eastern for African or Asian Studies, or Art 200, History of Western Art for European Studies.

By the middle of their final semester at Washington College, submit a research paper of acceptable quality on a topic relating to the area of concentration, approved by the concentration advisor. Students are free to revise or adapt a paper written for one of the required courses for the concentration or to adapt a chapter of the senior thesis to fulfill this requirement.

Pursue upper-level coursework in their area of specialty, both at Washington College and in the region itself, beyond the study of language. Students must complete two such courses (three for Global Business) at Washington College (see recommended courses listed below) and two courses abroad. Alternatively, participation in a Washington College summer program plus one additional course at Washington College may substitute for two courses abroad. Non-Washington College programs or Washington College summer programs may be considered with approval of the concentration faculty advisor listed below. Please note: students may not count the same upper-level courses towards the completion of multiple concentrations.

The Concentration in African Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tahir Shad, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

WC abroad programs in Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Tanzania (summer)

Required language of study: French, or an indigenous African language abroad.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

  • ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity
  • ECN 218. Economic Development
  • FRS 312. The Contemporary Francophone World
  • HIS 371. History of South Africa
  • POL 341. Politics of Development
  • POL 356. Civil War and Violence in Africa

The Concentration in Asian Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Oros, Director of International Studies

WC abroad programs in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and China (summer)

Required language of study: Japanese, or an Asian language abroad.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

  • HIS 381. Modern China
  • HIS 383. Modern Japan
  • MUS 314. Music of Asia
  • PHL 416. Philosophy of Buddhism
  • POL 345. Comparative Government: East Asia
  • POL 346. Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy
  • POL 347. Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
  • POL 351. Politics, Religion, and Ethnicity in South Asia
  • POL 384. International Relations of East Asia

The Concentration in European Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Pamela Pears, Associate Professor of French

WC abroad programs in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain

Required language of study: French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, or another European language abroad.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

  • ART 311. Italian Renaissance Art
  • ART 315. Northern Renaissance and Baroque Art
  • ART 316. European Art from Baroque to Neoclassicism
  • ART 318. Nineteenth Century European Art
  • ENG 323. Nineteenth Century English Novel
  • ENG 334. The Irish Short Story
  • ENG 430. Joyce, Eliot, and Beckett
  • FRS 311. Contemporary France
  • HIS 351. Ancient Rome
  • HIS 353. Medieval Europe
  • HIS 354. Renaissance and Reformation
  • HIS 355. Women in Medieval Europe
  • HIS 360. Twentieth-Century Germany
  • HIS 362. Europe Since 1945
  • HIS 391,392. Russia and the Soviet Union
  • ILC 306. French Literature in Translation
  • ILC 307. German Literature in Translation
  • ILC 308. Spanish and Latin American Literature in Translation
  • MUS 304. Opera
  • POL 344. Comparative Government: Europe

In addition, several courses that count toward the concentration are taught in the French, German, and Spanish languages.

The Concentration in Global Business Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Alvin Drischler, Adjunct Professor of Business Management and Political Science

WC abroad programs world-wide—over 40 to choose among.

Required language of study: any language to the 200 level.

Required Courses Offered At Washington College—choose three:

  • BUS 310. International Business
  • BUS 311. Global Business Strategy
  • ECN 218. Economic Development
  • ECN 410. International Trade
  • ECN 411. International Finance
  • PHL 226. Global Ethics
  • POL 375. International Political Economy

Special topics courses offered in an area related to global business also may be acceptable upon approval from the Concentration advisor.

The Concentration in Latin American Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Wade, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

WC abroad programs in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru

Required language of study: Portuguese or Spanish.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

  • ANT 235. Cultures of Latin America
  • HIS 372. Colonial Latin America
  • HIS 473. Latin American Literature as History
  • MUS 313. Ethnomusicology in Latin America
  • POL 348. Latin American Politics
  • POL 382. U.S.-Latin American Relations

The Concentration in Near Eastern Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tahir Shad, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

WC abroad programs in Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Turkey

Required language of study: French, or Arabic or Hebrew abroad.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

  • HIS 357. Early Islamic Civilization
  • POL 354. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • POL 356. Civil War and Violence in Africa

Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Wade, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

Peace and conflict studies is an interdisciplinary area of study that emerged in the post World War II era that seeks to promote a greater understanding of causes of war and ways of resolving conflicts without resorting to violence. The goals of the concentration are to expose students to the nature of contemporary conflicts, increase awareness about the practices and philosophies that guide peacemaking, and to help students develop a critical understanding of policies and values about conflict, war and peace. The concentration is open to students of any major and may be combined with any regional concentration.

Requirements for the Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration:

Students will complete three courses in the political science department that include specific treatment of the issue of peace and conflict, and then will take three additional courses offered in a range of departments (including political science and abroad programs) that will offer more treatment of specific aspects of peace and conflict, both philosophical and practical. The concentration is composed of six courses focusing on peace and conflict, as well as either an experiential learning component or a senior capstone project. Concentrators should meet with the program advisor, Dr. Christine Wade, prior to the second semester of their sophomore year to develop a coherent course of study.

Courses

Concentrators are required to take POL 201 Theories of Peace and Conflict and five courses from the three categories listed below:

  • a) Two courses on the philosophical approaches and practical applications of peace and peace processes. Courses in this category include religious approaches to our conceptions of peace and those focusing on the resolution of conflict and peacebuilding. Students are required to take either POL 373, POL 374, or POL 386 and any additional course in this category which includes:
  • PHL 111. Introduction to Comparative Religion: Western
    PHL 112. Introduction to Comparative Religion: Eastern
    PHL 225. Ethical Theory
    PHL 235. Foundations of Morality
    PHL 335. Philosophy of Law
    PHL 416. Philosophy of Buddhism
    POL 373 Human Rights and Social Justice
    POL 374. International Law and Organization
    POL 386. Comparative Peace Processes
  • b) One course exploring contemporary conflict. Students are required to take one course exploring area studies of conflict-prone regions. Courses in this category include:
  • HIS 360. Twentieth Century Germany
    HIS 371. History of South Africa
    HIS 381. History of Modern China
    HIS 383. History of Modern Japan
    HIS 392. Russia and the Soviet Union
    POL 347. Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
    POL 351. Politics, Religion and Ethnicity in South Asia
    POL 356. Civil War and Violence in Africa
    POL 348. Latin American Politics
    POL 382. US-Latin American Relations
    POL 388. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • c) Two courses on the structural causes of violence and conflict, including inequality, poverty, racism, repression and demographic stresses. Students are required to take either POL 341, POL 342 or POL 371, and any additional course in this category which includes:
  • ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity
    ECN 218. Economic Development
    PHL 226. Global Ethics
    PHL 414. Philosophy of Marxism
    POL 341. Politics of Development
    POL 342. Revolutions, Violence and Terrorism
    POL 371. International Politics
    SOC 221. Social Inequalities
    SOC 240. Criminology

Note: No more than two courses taken at abroad institutions apply to the concentration. Any courses taken abroad for the concentration must be approved by the program advisor.

Concentrators are also required to complete either an experiential learning exercise or a Senior Capstone Experience. For the Experiential Learning option, students are required to participate in a semester-long applied learning experience in the field of conflict resolution. Such activities include the Model UN course, internship or volunteer activity. Alternatively, students receiving the concentration may complete a senior capstone experience in their respective major discipline on a topic related to peace and conflict studies. Concentrators should seek the approval of concentration advisor prior to either endeavor.

Course Descriptions

190, 290, 390, 490. International Studies Internship

Students may receive course credit for an individualized internship at an organization that engages in substantial international activity, under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The details of the internship and associated academic requirements will be specified in a learning contract drawn up by the student and advisor.

194, 294, 394, 494. Special Topics in International Studies

The Program occasionally offers a course on a special topic in International Studies that is not a part of the regular course offerings.

197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study

Students may receive credit for an individualized course of reading and writing under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The requirements of the course will be specified in a learning contract drawn up by the student and advisor.

195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

491. International Studies Seminar

This course is designed to help students to consider in depth their off-campus experiences as an International Studies major and to draw connections among inter-disciplinary courses required of the major. The nature of theory, its application to International Studies, and problems involved in defining this field of study and in developing empirical methods for it will be analyzed. Special attention will be given to anthropological, economic, historical, and political approaches to International Studies, as well as to approaches that include textual analysis (including foreign language texts). The seminar also will provide students with an opportunity to discuss topics for their senior theses, a full draft of which is due upon completion of the seminar. This course is required for, and limited to, senior International Studies majors.

SCE. Senior Capstone Experience

See description of the SCE requirement in International Studies under that heading above.