The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in Development

All societies change over time, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. In this concentration, students will explore different conceptions of development and consider why some societies develop while others languish. What accounts for disparities in longevity, wealth, and access to food and health care? How can we explain differences in extreme poverty, malnutrition, and treatable disease? Students will consider how societies move from being heavily rural to having higher levels of urbanization. What explains differences in political, civil, and economic liberties? What accounts for differences in gender rights and opportunities? What are the implications of climate change and environmental distress?

Concentration objectives: The International and Area Studies (IAS) concentration in development offers an interdisciplinary approach to examine why some societies develop politically, socially, and economically while others languish. Students will explore disparities in wealth, political freedoms, gender rights, urbanization, access to basic resources like food and health care, environmental conditions, and social justice.

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 courses 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.)
  • 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 178First-Year Seminar: Imagining and Creating Africa: Youth, Culture, and Change3
AFAS 255Introduction to Africana Studies3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian American Studies: Intro to Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies3
Anthro 132First-Year Seminar: Past Tense, Future Imperfect: The Rise and Fall of Societies & Global Civilization3
Anthro 160BIntroduction to Cultural Anthropology3
BEYOND 160Gender, Youth, and Global Health3
Biol 2950Introduction to Environmental Biology3
Chinese 227CChinese Civilization3
Chinese 270Sophomore Seminar: U.S.-China Relations: Perceptions and Realities3
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
Econ 1011Introduction to Microeconomics3
Econ 1021Introduction to Macroeconomics3
Econ 208First-Year Seminar: Economics and Society3
EnSt 110Environmental Issues3
EnSt 290Sophomore Seminar in Sustainability and the Environment3
FYP 116Ampersand: Geographies of Globalization and Development3
FYP 117Ampersand: Global Population on the Move: Refugees, Resettlement, Education, and Advocacy3
GIS 200Introduction to GIS (U90)3
History 102CWestern Civilization3
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 2119First-Year Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America: Myths, Realities and Identities3
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 2356From St. Louis to Shanghai: Cities and Citizens in Global Urban History3
History 270Globalization and its Discontents3
IPH 207CAmpersand: 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 207Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Institutions and Concepts in International and Area Studies3
IAS 229Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities3
IAS 244Introduction to European Studies3
IS 210Bugs, Drugs and Global Society: Topics in Global Health (U43)3
JIMES 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3
LatAm 165DLatin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
MEC 290Microeconomics3
MEC 292Global Economy3
Phil 100GLogic and Critical Analysis3
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 106Social Problems and Social Issues3
SOC 2010The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.3
SOC 2030Social Movements3
SOC 2110Social Inequality in America3
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, for a total of 9 units):

Anthro 3206Global Gender Issues3
Anthro 3283Introduction to Global Health3
Anthro 3391Economies as Cultural Systems3
Anthro 3612Population and Society3
Anthro 3874International Public Health3
Anthro 4022Transnational Reproductive Health Issues: Meanings, Technologies, Practices3
Econ 451Environmental Policy3
History 3593The Wheels of Commerce: From the Industrial Revolution to Global Capitalism3
History 3741History of United States: Foreign Relations: 1920-19893
History 3743History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 19203
IA 511International Law and the Use of Force (U85)3
IA 519International Growth and Development (U85)3
IA 535American Foreign Policy3
IA 5571Politics of Global Finance (U85)3
IA 574International Relations3
IA 5772State Failure, State Success and Development (U85)3
IAS 3040International Law and Politics3
IAS 314BInternational Politics3
IAS 328BGateway to Development3
IAS 3575U.S. Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice3
IAS 376International Economics3
IAS 402The Meaning of National Security in the 21st Century3
IAS 4246State Failure, State Success and Development3
IAS 4622Labor and Labor Movements in Global History3
IAS 4761Politics of Global Finance3
Pol Sci 3171Topics in Politics3
Pol Sci 332BEnvironmental and Energy Issues3
Pol Sci 339Topics in Politics3
Pol Sci 373International Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4070Global Justice3
Pol Sci 4731Global Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4792Globalization and National Politics3
SOC 3001Social Theory3
SOC 4810Global Structures and Problems3

Research methods (choose one from this list, for a total of 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
CFH 400WMerle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Seminar3
Comp Lit 394Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology3
DAT 120Managerial Statistics I3
DAT 121Managerial Statistics II3
Econ 413Introduction to Econometrics3
Econ 414Econometric Techniques (U07)3
Educ 4111Linguistics and Language Learning3
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
IA 524Methods and Research Design in International Studies (U85)3
IA 5410Alternative Analytic Techniques for International Affairs (U85)3
IAS 318Learning to Use GIS in Development, Area Studies and International Affairs3
IAS 3248Intercultural Communication3
IAS 4005Directed Research in IAS3
IAS 4414Gender Analysis for International Affairs3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
Math 3200Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis3
Math 475Statistical Computation3
NPM 450Social Entrepreneurship3
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 4043Public Policy Analysis, Assessment and Practical Wisdom3
Pol Sci 495Research Design and Methods3
Psych 300Introduction to Psychological Statistics3
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 the full list of options.

  • African and African-American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Chinese
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Finance (Business School)
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • International and Area Studies
  • Italian
  • Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Management (Business School)
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Social Administration (Social Work)
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • University College — International Affairs; International Studies; Nonprofit Management; Sustainability
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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 modern language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a modern 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 modern language through the fourth semester. Available 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 (Span 223), Business Spanish (Span 351), Medical Spanish (Span 353), and Spanish for the Social Sciences (Span 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 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis (IAS 485) during the fall of senior year and in IAS Senior Honors Thesis (IAS 486) during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Contact:Toni Loomis