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Offices: Registrar - Catalog

International Studies

Interdisciplinary Major

 

Andrew Oros, Director

Clayton Black

Lisa Daniels

Nicole Grewling

Michael Harvey

Aaron Lampman

Tahir Shad

Christine Wade

 

 

Our world has become globalized, with organizations, corporations, and individuals from around the world interacting on a daily basis. International Studies majors learn the importance of understanding and experiencing diverse cultures and the skills to work together on solutions to global challenges. All International Studies majors study abroad for at least one semester, at one of dozens of programs managed by our Global Education Office. Majors also engage in “experiential learning” to link real-world experiences to classroom-based learning. Other opportunities to make such linkages exist on campus as well, through our vibrant Model United Nations program, the student-run International Studies Council, foreign language “coffee hours” and lectures from internationally known speakers sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture. After graduation, our majors go on to apply their education and skills in a wide range of careers, including business, journalism, non-profit organizations, politics, teaching, and international and public service.  Double majors also find International Studies a useful supplement to all of Washington College’s major fields of study. International Studies is an interdisciplinary major, coordinated by the departments of anthropology, business management, economics, history, modern languages, and political science. There is no minor in International Studies, though non-majors (and majors) are encouraged to pursue a regional or functional concentration in the program.

 

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 experience.

            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 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.  International students at Washington College pursuing an International Studies major are not required to study abroad, though they are encouraged to do so.

 

  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 203, 204, 205, or 206. Modern World History I or II, or Early Origins of Western

Civilization 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)

 

  1. 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.

 

Option Three: native speakers of a foreign language may be excused from the foreign language requirement upon request to the Director of International Studies.

 

  1. 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).

Note (4): international students pursuing the major may be excused from this requirement, though they are encouraged to study abroad as well.

 

  1. 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 participation in 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.

 

 

  1. Senior capstone experience (SCE) requirement

 

The senior capstone experience (SCE) requirement for International Studies is a year-long self-directed project. The traditional course to complete the SCE is a 30-page minimum research-based thesis written in English and followed by a poster presentation that highlights the main findings of the research.  By application and under the direction of a willing capstone advisor, majors alternatively may propose a self-designed capstone project that could take different forms, such as a performance, exhibition, web-site, or advocacy project – but which also must include a written component and a poster presentation that highlights the main findings of the research.  Double-majors may complete a combined thesis or self-designed project with approval of advisors from both majors; double-majors with a modern language may complete a thesis written in French, German, or Spanish under the direction of a willing capstone advisor.  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. A minimum 3.5 GPA in the major is required to pursue an honors 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. Self-designed projects are not eligible for honors.

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 (open to all majors)

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 coursework at Washington College in anthropology, economics, history, modern languages, and political science with at least one semester (or summer/winter) abroad in the area of focus. Regional concentrations are available in the following areas: African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Near Eastern 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.

Functional concentrations are available in Global Business Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.

 

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 complete a summer/winter short-term program, and complete a research paper in the area of concentration (ordinarily as part of the required coursework). 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. Principles of Macroeconomics

HIS 203, 204, 205, 206 Modern World History I, II or Early Western Civilization I, II

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-based 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 China/Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea

Required language of study: Chinese, or another Asian language abroad.

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College:

HIS 381. History of Modern China

HIS 383. History of 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 England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Spain

Required language of study: French, German, 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. Modern Germany

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

ILC 313. Berlin: Symphony of a City

ILC 315. Minorities in Germany: Reading at the Margins

ILC 317. German Cinema

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. Michael Harvey, Associate Professor of Business Management

WC abroad programs world-wide that have sufficient coursework in business.

Required language of study: no additional study beyond the college-wide requirement

Recommended Courses Offered At Washington College—choose three:

BUS 310. International Business

BUS 311. Global Business Strategy

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, Ecuador, and Peru

Required language of study: Spanish, or Portuguese abroad.

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. Music of 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:

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.