The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in International Affairs
Why do states, nations and societies cooperate, compromise and fight? Breathtaking changes in political, economic and social relations have taken place over the past several centuries. Living and working in this rapidly changing global environment presents great opportunities to advance the human condition, create political liberties, recast bargains between governments and their societies, transform social welfare, and advance the boundaries of knowledge and scientific exploration. Yet the same environment presents great risks as people fear loss of identity, worry about economic subordination and loss to those beyond their borders, encounter the export of environmental degradation, and confront potential decline in personal and social autonomy. Our heightened economic, political, social, cultural and environmental interdependence generates serious challenges, which create the possibility for conflict but also for cooperation and compromise.
Concentration objectives: The IAS concentration in international affairs offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding relations between societies. It provides opportunities to examine complex global issues and processes from multiple perspectives, to help understand the fundamental processes of cooperation, compromise and conflict in the global arena. The program provides students with knowledge and skills for understanding and working with difficult international and cross-cultural problems that states, societies and communities face.
This concentration requires 36 units of IAS course work:
- 3 units of 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 (300-400 level) from the Core Courses list
- 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, 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):
|Anthro 132||Freshman Seminar: Past Tense, Future Imperfect: The Rise and Fall of Societies and Global Civilization||3|
|Anthro 160B||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology||3|
|Econ 1011||Introduction to Microeconomics||3|
|Econ 1021||Introduction to Macroeconomics||3|
|EnSt 110||Environmental Issues||3|
|EPSc 111||Introduction to Global Climate Change in the 21st Century||3|
|EPSc 116A||Resources of the Earth||3|
|EPSc 201||Earth and the Environment||4|
|EPSc 219||Energy and the Environment||3|
|EPSc 221A||Human Use of the Earth||3|
|History 102C||Western Civilization||3|
|History 164||Introduction to World History: The Second World War in World History||3|
|History 1640||Health and Disease in World History||3|
|History 2093||Sophomore Seminar: Mobilizing Shame: Violence, the Media, and International Intervention||3|
|History 2171||Who Died and Made Them Kings? People, Politics and Power in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800||3|
|IAS 103B||International Public Affairs||3|
|IAS 127||Migration in the Global World: Stories||3|
|IAS 135||Freshman Seminar — Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space||3|
|IAS 140||East Asia in the World||3|
|IAS 155||Freshman Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography||3|
|IAS 160||World Politics and the Global Economy||3|
|IAS 244||Introduction to European Studies||3|
|IAS 260||Migrations in Past and Present: Introduction to Migration Studies||3|
|IAS 270||Sophomore Seminar: Globalization and Its Discontents||3|
|JINE 210C||Introduction to Islamic Civilization||3|
|MEC 292||Global Economy||3|
|Phil 131F||Present Moral Problems||3|
|Phil 235F||Introduction to Environmental Ethics||3|
|Pol Sci 102B||Introduction to Comparative Politics||3|
|Pol Sci 2010||Introduction to Environmental Policy||3|
|WGSS 100B||Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies||3|
Core courses at the 300-400 level (choose three from this list, 9 units):
|Anthro 3283||Introduction to Global Health||3|
|Anthro 3612||Population and Society||3|
|Econ 451||Environmental Policy||3|
|History 3741||History of United States: Foreign Relations: 1920-1989||3|
|IAS 3040||International Law and Politics||3|
|IAS 314B||International Politics||3|
|IAS 328B||Gateway to Development||3|
|IAS 3575||U.S. Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice||3|
|IAS 376||International Economics||3|
|IAS 4246||State Failure, State Success and Development||3|
|IAS 4761||Politics of Global Finance||3|
|IAS 4792||Globalization and National Politics||3|
|Pol Sci 373||International Political Economy||3|
|Pol Sci 4070||Global Justice||3|
|Pol Sci 4731||Global Political Economy||3|
Research methods (choose one from this list, 3 units):
|Anthro 3284||Public Health Research and Practice||3|
|Anthro 373||Introduction to GIS for Anthropologists||3|
|Anthro 4116||Anthropology and Experiment||3|
|Anthro 4123||Argumentation Through Ethnography||3|
|Anthro 4253||Researching Fertility, Mortality and Migration||3|
|Anthro 4455||Ethnographic Fieldwork||3|
|Anthro 4803||Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis||3|
|QBA 120||Managerial Statistics I||3|
|QBA 121||Managerial Statistics II||3|
|Comp Lit 394||Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology||3|
|Econ 413||Introduction to Econometrics||3|
|EnSt 380||Applications in GIS||3|
|History 301T||Historical Methods — Transregional History||3|
|IAS 3248||Intercultural Communication||3|
|IAS 4005||Directed Research in IAS||3|
|Math 2200||Elementary Probability and Statistics||3|
|Math 3200||Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis||3|
|Math 475||Statistical Computation||3|
|Phil 321G||Philosophy of Science||3|
|Pol Sci 3011||Computational Modeling in the Social Sciences||3|
|Pol Sci 362||Politics and the Theory of Games||3|
|Pol Sci 495||Research Design and Methods||3|
|Psych 300||Introduction to Psychological Statistics||3|
|URST 4411||In the Field: Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods||3|
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
- East Asian Languages and Cultures
- International and Area Studies
- Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Latin American Studies
- Political Science
- University College — Geographic Information Systems; International Affairs; International Studies; Sustainability
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
*Students may petition to add a course by following the instructions on the IAS FAQs webpage.
Language Requirement for the Major in International Affairs/International and Area Studies: All IAS majors must satisfy a foreign language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of a 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 they complete the basic language sequence. Advanced courses in literature, social sciences and culture used to satisfy this requirement may be counted as advanced credit for IAS majors as long as they are cross-listed with IAS or approved for IAS study abroad credit and are not applied toward a language major or minor. A maximum of two of these classes may be completed while abroad on a Washington University approved program in the target language (may be within the same semester abroad). 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 their thesis) in order to be properly tracked by the IAS capstone coordinator.