The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in Development

All societies change over time, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, and sometimes the definition of what is better or worse is a matter of intense debate. Why do some societies develop while others languish? What accounts for disparities in wealth, political freedoms, and access to basic resources like food and health care? How do transnational factors like climate change, urbanization and globalization affect these disparities?

Concentration objectives: The IAS concentration in development offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding societal changes over time in areas as diverse as environment, ethics, gender, health, political economy, population, urban development, social justice and other areas of development.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 3 units Research Methods course work (any level)
  • 6 units of introductory course work (100-200 level) from two different academic disciplines
  • 9 units of advanced course work from the Core Courses list (300-400 level)
  • 15 units of advanced course work from a minimum of three different academic disciplines (at least two must be at the 400 level)
  • 3 units additional course work (any level)

Additional requirements and regulations:

  • Completion of all IAS course work with a grade of C+ or higher.
  • Students must satisfy the standard IAS foreign language requirement: the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration.
  • One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.
  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., students who wish to study in Latin America must satisfy their language requirement with either Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Throughout the course of completing the major, students must show depth in at least one world area by taking a minimum two courses focused on the same area, and breadth by taking a third course focused on a different area. We consider world areas to be Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and South Asia.
  • Majors must choose their upper-level course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (for example: anthropology, economics, history and political science).
  • No more than 3 credits may be from directed readings, research or independent study excluding the honors thesis.
  • The advanced credits must be unique to the IAS major.
  • At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

N.B.: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (disciplinary or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Introductory courses (choose two from this list, 6 units):

AFAS 178First-Year Seminar: Imagining and Creating Africa: Youth, Culture, and Change3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian-American Studies3
Anthro 132First-Year Sem: Past Tense, Future Imperfect: The Rise and Fall of Societies & Global Civilization3
Anthro 160BIntroduction to Cultural Anthropology3
Biol 2950Introduction to Environmental Biology3
Econ 1011Introduction to Microeconomics3
Econ 1021Introduction to Macroeconomics3
EPSc 111Introduction to Global Climate Change in the 21st Century3
EPSc 116AResources of the Earth3
EPSc 201Earth and the Environment4
EPSc 219Energy and the Environment3
EPSc 221AHuman Use of the Earth3
EnSt 110Environmental Issues3
FYP 116Ampersand: Geographies of Globalization and Development3
GIS 200Introduction to GIS (U90)3
History 1500Silver, Slaves and the State: Globalization in the 18th Century3
History 164Introduction to World History: The Second World War in World History3
History 1640Health and Disease in World History3
History 2093Sophomore Seminar: Mobilizing Shame: Violence, the Media, and International Intervention3
History 2157First-Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
History 2171Who Died and Made Them Kings? People, Politics and Power in the Atlantic World, 1500-18003
History 270Globalization and its Discontents3
IPH 207CAMP: Modern Political Thought: Text and Traditions3
IAS 103BFirst-Year Seminar: International Public Affairs3
IAS 111First-Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars3
IAS 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
IAS 135First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
IAS 140East Asia in the World3
IAS 155First-Year Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography3
IAS 160World Politics and the Global Economy3
IAS 229Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities3
IS 210Bugs, Drugs and Global Society: Topics in Global Health (U43)3
JINE 208FHistory, Text and Identity: Introduction to Jewish Civilization3
LatAm 165DLatin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
MEC 290Microeconomics3
MEC 292Global Economy3
Phil 131FPresent Moral Problems3
Phil 233FBiomedical Ethics3
Phil 235FIntroduction to Environmental Ethics3
Physics 171APhysics and Society3
Pol Sci 102BIntroduction to Comparative Politics3
Pol Sci 103BInternational Politics3
Pol Sci 106Introduction to Political Theory3
Pol Sci 2010Introduction to Environmental Policy3
SOC 2030Social Movements3
URST 101First-Year Seminar: Introduction to Urban Studies3
WGSS 100BIntroduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies3
WGSS 206Sexuality and the State: Introduction to Sexuality Studies3

Core courses (choose three from this list, 9 units):

Anthro 3206Global Gender Issues3
Anthro 3283Introduction to Global Health3
Anthro 3612Population and Society3
Anthro 3874International Public Health3
Anthro 4022Transnational Reproductive Health Issues: Meanings, Technologies, Practices3
Econ 451Environmental Policy3
IA 511International Law and the Use of Force (U85)3
IA 519International Growth and Development (U85)3
IA 5571Politics of Global Finance (U85)3
IA 5772State Failure, State Success and Development (U85)3
IAS 3040International Law and Politics3
IAS 328BGateway to Development3
IAS 376International Economics3
IAS 4246State Failure, State Success and Development3
IAS 4622Labor and Labor Movements in Global History3
IAS 4761Politics of Global Finance3
Pol Sci 332BEnvironmental and Energy Issues3
Pol Sci 373International Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4070Global Justice3
Pol Sci 4731Global Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4792Globalization and National Politics3
SOC 4810Global Structures and Problems3

Research methods (choose one from this list, 3 units):

Anthro 3284Public Health Research and Practice3
Anthro 4123Argumentation Through Ethnography3
Anthro 4253Researching Fertility, Mortality and Migration3
Anthro 4455Ethnographic Fieldwork: The Politics of Schooling3
Anthro 4481Writing Culture3
Anthro 4803Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis3
ARCH 307XCommunity Building3
Comp Lit 394Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology3
Econ 413Introduction to Econometrics3
Econ 414Econometric Techniques (U07)3
EnSt 380Applications in GIS3
GIS 200Introduction to GIS (U90)3
GIS 300Advanced GIS (U90)3
GIS 303Digital Cartography (U90)3
GIS 421Spatial Data Modeling and Design (U90)3
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
InterD 4003Global Burden of Disease: Methods and Applications3
IA 524Methods and Research Design in International Studies (U85)3
IA 5410Alternative Analytic Techniques for International Affairs (U85)3
IAS 3248Intercultural Communication3
IAS 4005Directed Research in IAS3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
Math 3200Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis3
Math 475Statistical Computation3
Phil 321GPhilosophy of Science3
Pol Sci 3011Computational Modeling in the Social Sciences3
Pol Sci 362Politics and the Theory of Games3
Pol Sci 363Quantitative Political Methodology3
Pol Sci 495Research Design and Methods3
Psych 300Introduction to Psychological Statistics3
QBA 120Managerial Statistics I3
QBA 121Managerial Statistics II3
SOC 3050Statistics for Sociology3

Advanced courses: Choose five courses from current relevant internationally-focused course offerings in the following departments.* All courses must be approved by the student's IAS adviser in order to count for the major. Visit the concentration webpage and master course list for full options.

  • African and African-American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • Art History
  • Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Center for Religion and Politics
  • Chinese
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Design and Visual Arts
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • International and Area Studies
  • Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
  • Latin American Studies
  • Management (Business School)
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Administration (Social Work)
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • University College — International Affairs; International Studies; Nonprofit Management; Sustainability
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

* Students may submit a request to add a course by following the instructions for the Petition Process.

Additional Information

Language Requirement for the Major in Development/International and Area Studies: All IAS majors must satisfy a foreign language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes, and with approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. These four semesters are in addition to the 36 units of course work outlined above, and thus advanced courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the four-semester language requirement may not also be counted as advanced credit for the IAS major. Native speakers of a foreign language must satisfy the four-semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration. Heritage speakers must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester requirement.

Study Abroad: Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in one of Washington University's Overseas Programs during junior year or the summer. Some credit for courses taken abroad may be applied to the major. For those who do not study abroad, an additional 3-credit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.

Senior Honors: Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall GPA of 3.65 or higher in order to qualify for Senior Honors. Students should enroll in IAS 485 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis in the fall of senior year, and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis in the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Contact:Toni Loomis