One of the distinguishing characteristics of Arcadia University is its commitment to coxial and racial justice at home and around the world. Arcadia believes that students who learn firsthand about the interconnections among the peoples of the world will be truly prepared for life in a rapidly changing global society.
Students who participate in global efforts to create a truly just world are poised to develop innovative solutions to global challenges such as environmental crises, migration, poverty, and war. Whether students study abroad at top universities around the world or engage in applied, experiential learning with Glenside faculty, International Studies majors learn to balance pragmatic and critical thinking and to situate global processes in local contexts.
The program offers two different accelerated options for high-achieving students:
Three-year accelerated program
Four-and-a-half-year accelerated (B.A./M.A.) program in conjunction with the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program.
The International Studies program also offers a minor in International Studies.
What to Expect
Preparation for careers in international development, non-governmental and non-profit management, social & sustainable enterprise, advocacy, education, small business development, social work, counseling, journalism, law, religion, the private sector, and government
Preparation for graduate school
Advanced study in the language and culture of another country
Semester abroad requirement
Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities in the world
Graduates may pursue careers in business, government, international development, social work, counseling, journalism, law, religion, community service and non-profit management. This program also prepares students for graduate school. Some possible fields and subfields in International Studies that offer potential careers include:
The Foreign Service
The United Nations
Research Think Tanks
The US State Department
The US Defense Department
US Foreign Policy
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
International Financial Organizations (IFOs)
International Development Organizations
International Environmental Policy
International Economic Policy
Regional Specializations (e.g., Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Europe, the Americas, etc.)
International Studies 3 Year Degree Course Sequence
Please note that this course sequence is an example only. Each student’s program is individualized based on numerous factors including AP, IB or dual enrollment credits earned during high school. Accelerated degree students work closely with two academic advisors to produce a program of study that fits their needs and interests. More about the 3 Year degree.
The First Year
Fall Semester (16 credits)
EN 101 Though and Expression I
International Studies Gateway Course
Spring Semester (20 credits)
Four courses that fulfill either major or Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum (AUC) requirements
Quantitative Reasoning, Natural and Physical World, Creative Expressions or Visual Literacy recommended
Service Learning Experience (ex: working with NGOs, watchdog, UN or governmental agencies)
The Second Year
Semester in Glenside (20 credits)
IS 201 International Studies Research and Writing
Three courses fulfilling either major or AUC requirements
1 University Seminar course, or International Relations
1-2 of the following if not completed in year 1: Cultural Legacies, Natural and Physical World, Visual Literacy, Creative Expressions
Semester Abroad (20 credits)
While abroad, students will take at least 2 courses for the International Studies major
The Third Year
Fall Semester (20 credits)
IS 490 Senior Thesis Seminar
Four courses in major, AUC, elective or Modern Language
Spring Semester (16 credits)
IS 491 Senior Thesis Seminar
Three courses in major, AUC, elective or Modern Language
International Studies Minor
The International Study minor provides an interdisciplinary opportunity to explore a variety of international issues. Interested students should meet with their major advisers and with the Director of International Studies. Participating students must declare their intent through the Registrar’s Office.
Study abroad is a required part of the International Studies major. All majors study abroad for one semester in a location related to their concentration, and many majors choose to study abroad more than once. Drawing upon the strength of Arcadia’s College of Global Studies, International Studies majors have the opportunity to study at universities around the world, including in Australia, Great Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Spain.