The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in International Affairs
Why do states, nations, and societies cooperate, compromise, and fight? Living and working in our rapidly changing global arena presents great opportunities to advance the human condition, improve political and civil liberties, recast bargains between governments and their societies, transform social welfare, and advance the boundaries of knowledge and scientific exploration. Yet, the same context 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. Students can explore the heightened economic, political, social, cultural and environmental interdependence that generates prospects for cooperation but that also results in serious challenges that create the possibility of conflict but also of 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 and 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 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 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 of additional course work (any level)
Additional requirements and regulations:
- Students must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all IAS courses. All courses taken for IAS credit must be taken for a letter grade, including language courses.
- Students must fulfill the standard IAS foreign language requirement: the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration (more details below).
- Students must complete one semester of language 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 of two courses focused on the same area, and they must show 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.
- Students must choose their upper-level course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (e.g., anthropology, economics, history and political science).
- No more than 12 total credits earned outside of the day school of Washington University may be applied to a student's IAS major. This limit includes credits from study abroad experiences (never more than 6 credits from a single semester, 3 from a summer, or 12 from a year), University College, summer school from another U.S. university, or any combination thereof. (All 400-level credits must be earned on campus or in Washington University courses taught abroad.)
- No more than 3 credits may be from directed readings, research, or independent study, excluding the honors thesis.
- All advanced credits counting for the IAS major must be unique to the IAS major.
- At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.
Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.
Introductory courses (choose two from this list, for a total of 6 units):
|AFAS 178||First-Year Seminar: Imagining and Creating Africa: Youth, Culture, and Change||3|
|AMCS 250||Topics in Asian-American Studies||3|
|Anthro 132||First-Year Seminar: Past Tense, Future Imperfect: The Rise and Fall of Societies & Global Civilization||3|
|Anthro 160B||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology||3|
|Econ 1011||Introduction to Microeconomics||3|
|Econ 1021||Introduction to Macroeconomics||3|
|Econ 208||First-Year Seminar: Economics and Society||3|
|EnSt 110||Environmental Issues||3|
|EnSt 290||Sophomore Seminar in Sustainability and the Environment||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|
|FYP 116||Ampersand: Geographies of Globalization and Development||3|
|GIS 200||Introduction to GIS (U90)||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 2119||First-Year Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America: Myths, Realities and Identities||3|
|History 2171||Who Died and Made Them Kings? People, Politics and Power in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800||3|
|L22 History 2356||From St. Louis to Shanghai: Cities and Citizens in Global Urban History||3|
|History 270||Globalization and its Discontents||3|
|INTER D 160||Gender, Youth, and Global Health||3|
|IAS 103B||First-Year Seminar: International Public Affairs||3|
|IAS 111||First-Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars||3|
|IAS 127||Migration in the Global World: Stories||3|
|IAS 135||First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space||3|
|IAS 140||East Asia in the World||3|
|IAS 155||First-Year 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|
|IS 210||Bugs, Drugs and Global Society: Topics in Global Health (U43)||3|
|JIMES 210C||Introduction to Islamic Civilization||3|
|LatAm 165D||Latin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict||3|
|MEC 292||Global Economy||3|
|Phil 100G||Logic and Critical Analysis||3|
|Phil 131F||Present Moral Problems||3|
|Phil 235F||Introduction to Environmental Ethics||3|
|Pol Sci 102B||Introduction to Comparative Politics||3|
|Pol Sci 103B||International Politics||3|
|Pol Sci 106||Introduction to Political Theory||3|
|Pol Sci 2010||Introduction to Environmental Policy||3|
|SOC 2010||The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.||3|
|SOC 2110||Social Inequality in America||3|
|WGSS 100B||Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies||3|
Core courses at the 300-400 level (choose three from this list, for a total of 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|
|History 3743||History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1920||3|
|IA 511||International Law and the Use of Force (U85)||3|
|IA 519||International Growth and Development (U85)||3|
|IA 535||American Foreign Policy (U85)||3|
|IA 5571||Politics of Global Finance (U85)||3|
|IA 574||International Relations (U85)||3|
|IA 5772||State Failure, State Success and Development (U85)||3|
|IAS 3040||International Law and Politics||3|
|IAS 314B||International Politics||3|
|IAS 3575||U.S. Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice||3|
|IAS 328B||Gateway to Development||3|
|IAS 4246||State Failure, State Success and Development||3|
|IAS 376||International Economics||3|
|IAS 4761||Politics of Global Finance||3|
|Pol Sci 4070||Global Justice||3|
|Pol Sci 4731||Global Political Economy||3|
|SOC 4810||Global Structures and Problems||3|
|L32 4792||Globalization and National Politics|
Research methods (choose one from this list, for a total of 3 units):
|Anthro 3284||Public Health Research and Practice||3|
|Anthro 4123||Argumentation Through Ethnography||3|
|Anthro 4253||Researching Fertility, Mortality and Migration||3|
|Anthro 4455||Ethnographic Fieldwork: The Politics of Schooling||3|
|Anthro 4481||Writing Culture||3|
|Anthro 4803||Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis||3|
|ARCH 307X||Community Building||3|
|Comp Lit 394||Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology||3|
|Econ 413||Introduction to Econometrics||3|
|Econ 414||Econometric Techniques (U07)||3|
|EnSt 380||Applications in GIS||3|
|GIS 200||Introduction to GIS (U90)||3|
|GIS 300||Advanced GIS (U90)||3|
|GIS 303||Digital Cartography (U90)||3|
|GIS 421||Spatial Data Modeling and Design (U90)||3|
|History 301T||Historical Methods — Transregional History||3|
|INTER D 4003||Global Burden of Disease: Methods and Applications||3|
|IA 524||Methods and Research Design in International Studies (U85)||3|
|IA 5410||Alternative Analytic Techniques for International Affairs (U85)||3|
|IAS 318||Learning to Use GIS in Development, Area Studies and International Affairs||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|
|NPM 450||Social Entrepreneurship||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 363||Quantitative Political Methodology||3|
|Pol Sci 495||Research Design and Methods||3|
|Psych 300||Introduction to Psychological Statistics||3|
|DAT 120||Managerial Statistics I||3|
|DAT 121||Managerial Statistics II||3|
|SOC 3050||Statistics for Sociology||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 the full list of options.
- African and African-American Studies
- Comparative Literature
- East Asian Languages and Cultures
- Environmental Studies
- International and Area Studies
- Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Cultures
- Latin American Studies
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- University College — Geographic Information Systems; International Affairs; International Studies; Sustainability
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
* Students may submit a request to add a course by following the instructions for the Petition Process.
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 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 who receive approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication or linguistics courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. Students must complete one semester of language to be eligible to declare the major in IAS.
Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their IAS language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili. Students should consult the course listings for details about the language sequences. (On the "A&S IQ" tab, click on "Courses," and then toggle "Area Requirement" to "LS Language & Cultural Diversity-Language" and click "Search" to see a list of available language courses.)
Special note for Spanish speakers: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are counted toward the four semesters of foreign language: Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture (L38 223), Business Spanish (L38 351), Medical Spanish (L38 353), and Spanish for the Social Sciences (L38 355). Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major adviser.
Advanced foreign language courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the foreign language requirement may be counted as advanced credit for IAS majors as long as they are cross-listed with or approved for study abroad credit for the student's IAS concentration and provided the courses are not being counted toward any other degree.
Language courses taken to fulfill the IAS language requirement may count toward another major or minor unless they are being counted as advanced elective units for the IAS major requirement.
Students With Prior Language Experience
Native speakers of a foreign language: Students must satisfy the four-semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.
Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency: Students must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester requirement.
Transfer students who have taken language courses: Students may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at or return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.
Students who take a foreign language course at another institution (whether in the United States or abroad): Students may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if (1) the credit is transferred back as Washington University credit; and (2) students take a placement exam upon their return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that they may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.
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 toward the major. For those students 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 grade-point average of 3.65 or higher in order to qualify for Senior Honors. Students should enroll in IAS 485 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis during the fall of senior year and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).