One of the distinguishing characteristics of Arcadia University is its commitment to internationalization. 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. An important component of Arcadia’s global perspective is the many international courses and experiences available through the International Studies major.
Housed within the Department of Historical and Political Studies, this interdisciplinary major focuses on global issues and includes both regional and thematic concentrations. All International Studies majors study abroad for at least one semester as well as develop competence in a language other than English. Students are able to work in close contact with faculty with expertise in a number of different disciplines, including History, English, Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Economics, and Modern Languages.
The program offers two different accelerated options for high-achieving students:
Three-year accelerated program
Five-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 business, government, international development, social work, counseling, journalism, law, religion, non-profit management
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
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, Greece, Italy, South Africa, and Spain.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult as soon as possible with both their advisers and the Office of Study Away.