The International Studies (I.S.) Program offers an interdisciplinary major intended to prepare students for careers in the global arena. An undergraduate minor in international studies is also available. See the section “Minor Field Requirements” in this chapter.
The degree is designed to equip graduates with critical skills, flexible thinking, and a cosmopolitan view of world issues, to enable them to work comfortably across linguistic, cultural, and disciplinary borders. To achieve this, the curriculum cuts across traditional departmental divisions, combining insights from different disciplines around a common regional or global concentration. Students are helped to undertake internships, encouraged to study abroad, and recommended to combine the I. S. major with a minor in a second field such as business, mass communication, political science, or engineering. International Studies majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in a study abroad program which can be arranged through the LSU Office of Academic Program Abroad.
Considerable freedom is allowed in shaping the degree requirements to suit individual geographical and topical interests. However, the precise selection and sequencing of course work should be planned well in advance, as soon as the major is declared, in consultation with the associate director.
The curriculum comprises the following five elements, which students must complete in the required sequence. For additional requirements for general education courses and approved electives, see “Degree Requirements for the College ”:
- Core Curriculum (15 hrs.)–During the freshman and sophomore years, prospective majors must complete the preparatory, multidisciplinary core curriculum by taking one course from each of the following five disciplines: ANTH 1003 or ANTH 2051 , ECON 2030 or ECON 2031 , GEOG 1001 or GEOG 1003 , HIST 1007 , POLI 2053 or POLI 2057 . These are the prerequisites for the gateway course.
- Gateway Course (3 hrs.)–All majors must complete the junior-level, interdisciplinary gateway course, INTL 3001 . This is a prerequisite for the senior-level capstone seminar.
- Area of Concentration (21 hrs.)– Courses for the area of concentration should ideally be taken during the junior and senior years, and most of the requirements must be completed before admission to the senior capstone seminar. Students may choose from 10 concentrations, which have either a regional or global focus. (See details below)
- Foreign Language (hours vary)– Students must demonstrate competency (defined below for each region) in a language relevant to their regional area of concentration.
- Senior Capstone Course (3 hours)–The senior capstone seminar (INTL 4003 ) is intended primarily for graduating I.S. majors in their final semester. Prerequisites are INTL 3001 and nine hours of additional upper-level courses in area of concentration, all of which must be completed before admission to the seminar.