International Studies Program
- Thinking about and declaring a major in International Studies?
- Thinking about and declaring a minor in International Studies?
- When should I take the "introductory" and foreign language courses for the IS Major?
- How many credits does the IS Major require?
- Can I take courses for the major that aren't listed as part of the major?
- Why aren't listed courses always offered?
- Is study abroad required?
- Should I double major?
- What kind of job can I get with an IS major?
Look over the requirements of the International Studies Major and think about which option is most interesting to you.
Please make an appointment with one of the IS Advisors to discuss the major. If you are unsure about which option to choose, do not hesitate to discuss the pros and cons of each option with the advisor.
Once you have completed 15 credits you can officially declare the major. Your advisor has declaration forms for you to complete and sign.
A minor in International Studies is available to all undergraduates student at UWM. It may be of particular interest to students majoring in foreign language, in a social science discipline such as economics or political science, in business administration or another professional school discipline. Look over the requirements of the International Studies Minor for complete course information.
Please make an appointment with one of the IS Advisors to discuss the minor if you are interested in declaring it. Your advisor has declaration forms for you to complete and sign.
You may begin to take the "introductory" courses right away. These courses provide the foundation for greater understanding of the upper-level work, enabling you to take the upper-level courses with more confidence. They will also help you to confirm whether or not you wish to do a major in International Studies.
What language do you wish to pursue? Do you want to begin a second and/or third language or continue with a language you started in high school. International Studies majors are required to complete fourteen credits (about four semesters) of a single foreign language.
A minimum of 36 credits is required for the major in addition to the introductory courses and foreign language courses.
You may come across a course with international content which is not listed on under the IS Major elective list. If you think a particular course might be relevant to the International Studies major, you may bring a copy of the syllabus and consult with your advisor. The content of "topics" courses (i.e. Ethinc 250) and seminars offered in many departments may have relevant topics in any given semester. Check these with your advisor. However, keep in mind not all courses you take whether internationally related or not, will count in the major.
International Studies is an interdisciplinary program which draws its required and elective courses from various departments on campus. Though most "required" courses are offered on a regular basis, there is no guarantee that all the listed courses will be offered each semester. Many elective courses are offered only when departments have the resources available. If there are courses in which you are particularly interested, we suggest you contact the department that teaches the course to inquire as to when or how often they expect the course to be taught.
Students are encouraged to study abroad but it is not a requirement. Proper planning with the Study Abroad Office will ensure courses taken abroad may count towards your college and major requirements. Study abroad programs come in different shapes (e.g., language learning, liberal arts/cultural learning, home stay, dorm stay etc.) and sizes (winter break, summer, semester, academic year). What better way to experience your international studies major than to study the politics, history, art and culture of another country on site?
For detailed information on this major and studying abroad, see visit our Study Abroad website.
Many IS majors choose to double major and/or pursue a certificate in a specialized area of knowledge. Ideally the choice of an appropriate additional major or certificate should be based on more than just the convenience or the way it overlaps with the IS major. As you are reviewing your options, keep in mind your career goals and ask yourself if the major you are considering will be a useful addition in terms of knowledge and/or skills. For example Option B-International Economics combined with a double major with Economics has some course overlap and is complimentary in knowledge and skills. A minor in Political Science would be complimentary to Options A: International Politics & U.S. Foreign Relations. There are many combinations of double majors and certificates. Other possible double majors or certificates are listed below:
International Studies is a liberal arts major. Consequently it is not intended to lead to a specific career or occupation. It does, however, provide an integrated program of courses which lays the foundation for professional training in a wide variety of areas. What you decide to do with the major is entirely up to you and will be, in part, a function of what other experience you accumulate and interests you develop during your undergraduate career. The IS major is a tool you can use to define your career goals. In many cases, graduate or professional training may be required to achieve your long-term career goals.
For more information on careers, please vist our Careers Website.