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Offices: Registrar - Catalog

International Studies

Interdisciplinary Major

 

Andrew Oros, Director

Clayton Black

Lisa Daniels

Aaron Lampman

Kate McCleary

Mitchell Reiss

Terrence Scout

Tahir Shad

Shawn Stein

Christine Wade (on leave, Fall)

 

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 business, journalism, international work, public service, politics, teaching, 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 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 study under the guidance of the director of the International Studies program and its Steering Committee. The program is offered through the cooperative efforts of the departments of Anthropology, Business Management, Economics, History, Modern Languages and Political Science together with the Global Education Office.

 

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

The International Studies major is an intensive, interdisciplinary program with five required elements:

13 four-credit courses, taken across at least five academic departments;

Foreign language study beyond the College-wide requirement;

*A semester-long study-abroad experience;

An experiential learning activity; and

The senior capstone.

    In addition, International Studies majors are encouraged to pursue a concentration, either regional or functional, to add focus and depth to their course of study.

 

*International Studies majors must achieve at a minimum 2.5 GPA by the fourth semester at Washington College to be eligible to study abroad. Students who fail to do so must pursue a different major.

 

1. 13 required four-credit courses:

Five introductory courses to be completed in the freshman and sophomore years

Anthropology 105. Introduction to Anthropology

Economics 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics (should be completed in the first year)

Economics 218. Economic Development (typically offered fall semester only)

History 101, 102, 103, or 104. Early Origins of Western Civilization I or II, or Modern World History I or II

Political Science 104. Introduction to World Politics

One upper-level course in International Business, Economics, or Political Economy, chosen from:

BUS 310. International Business

BUS 311. Global Business Strategy

ECN 410. International Trade

ECN 411. International Finance

POL 375. International Political Economy

An equivalent course taken abroad

One course focusing on theories of international politics, chosen from:

POL 201. Theories of Peace and Conflict

POL 371. International Politics

POL 374. International Organization and Law

An equivalent course taken abroad

Five upper-level elective courses related to International Studies

These courses are offered in a wide range of academic departments at Washington College and abroad, including Anthropology, Business Management, Economics, History, and Political Science as well as most foreign language courses above the 302 level and courses in departments such as Art, English, Philosophy, and others.

A list of pre-approved courses is published in the on-line schedule of classes each semester.

At least three of these courses are typically completed during the required study abroad component of the major.

The international studies senior seminar

INT 491. International Studies Seminar (taken in the first semester of the senior year)

 

2. Foreign language requirement

Option One: completion of a 202-level or higher language course at Washington College or abroad

Option Two: completion of at least four credits of study of an approved language not taught at Washington College while studying  abroad.  (This option may also require students to separately fulfill the College-wide foreign language requirement.)

Note (1): students with a documented learning accommodation related to language acquisition may substitute two additional courses towards this requirement.

Note (2): majors may also count foreign language courses above the 302 level toward the five upper-level elective courses for the major, as discussed under the 13-course requirement above.

 

3. Semester abroad requirement

Majors must study abroad for one semester at one of the programs offered through the Global Education Office before the fall of the student’s senior year.

Note (1): students must attain a GPA of at least 2.5 to be considered for study abroad.  Failure to achieve this GPA by the fourth semester at Washington College will require students to pursue a different major.

Note (2): a combination of short-term study abroad programs shall not be substituted for this requirement, though short-term study abroad does satisfy the experiential learning requirement discussed below.

Note (3): students may petition the Director of International Studies to pursue a semester-long equivalent at a non-Washington College program to satisfy this requirement, though ordinarily this would require withdrawal from the College during the time of this experience (apart from a semester-long summer experience).

 

4. Experiential learning requirement

Majors must complete one experience from an approved list of activities, including an internship or volunteer work related to international studies, study abroad beyond the one-semester requirement, or an off-campus Model United Nations simulation.  

A worksheet that details how majors have completed this requirement must be submitted once this activity is completed.  See the experiential learning page of the International Studies web-site for further information.

Note: An internship or volunteer work should consist of at least 80 hours of work and may or may not be pursued for academic credit.

 

5. Senior capstone requirement (SCE)

The senior capstone requirement for International Studies is a year-long self-directed project. Students may choose from one of three options to be completed under the direction of a faculty advisor: a senior thesis, a portfolio, or a self-designed project. Ordinarily students initiate the project together with the required International Studies Seminar (INT 491) during the fall semester of the senior year. Students should register for the SCE during the last semester of their senior year, when a final version of the capstone will be due. The senior capstone should be interdisciplinary in scope, methodology and content. Capstone projects 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 complete 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 capstone by faculty members of the program.

Note: Students who wish to complete their studies at Washington College in the fall semester must begin working on their senior thesis in the preceding spring semester under the direction of an assigned thesis advisor.

 

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. Clayton Black, Associate Professor of History

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. Terry Scout, Associate Professor of Business Management

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

327, 328, 329. Washington Center Semester

An integrated three-course unit for students spending a semester at the Washington Center. Students receive 8 elective credits in International Studies and 8 general elective credits, and fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement. Prerequisite: 2.8 cumulative GPA and successful application to the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. This program is normally open only to juniors and seniors.

 

327. Washington Center Internship

A full-time, semester-long internship in Washington, DC, with a federal agency, non-profit organization, foreign embassy, or private firm. Depending upon interest and internship placement, students may attend hearings, conduct policy research, draft correspondence, monitor legislation, lobby members of Congress, or write analytical reports. Students will create an in-depth portfolio of their internship experience. 12 credits.

 

328. Washington Center Seminar

Washington Center interns participate in an evening seminar selected from a variety of topics offered during the semester. Students engage in class discussion and may also research seminar topics, prepare written assignments, and take examinations.  Students must choose a seminar with clear international content chosen in consultation with the Director of International Studies. Required of and limited to students enrolled in International Studies 327. Three credits.

 

329. Washington Center Forum

Washington Center interns participate in lectures, site visits, small group discussions, briefings, and other required events designed to help them understand the connection between their academic and professional goals and the special educational opportunities available through living and working in Washington, DC. Evaluations of these experiences are included in the student portfolio. Required of and limited to students enrolled in International Studies 327. One credit.

 

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 capstone. 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.