Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

A Bachelor of Arts in the International Studies program enables students to explore interconnections among history, economics, politics, culture, society and language with a global perspective. Through the completion of a flexibility-structured degree program, this major prepares students for careers in law, government, Foreign Service, the Peace Corps, non-governmental organizations and for pursuing graduate work in the humanities, social sciences, international business, teaching and human services.

Students who wish to major in International Studies must have a 2.5 GPA for admission.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

2022-2023
Core Curriculum 43
Pre-major courses  4
Major and Related Courses 38
Free Elective Courses 35
TOTAL 120

Required pre-major courses 4 credits

This course is the first part of a two-semester course sequence. This course combines an intensive study of the principles of grammar and usage of the language with exposure to various aspects of Francophone [French-speaking] culture(s), including the cultures of Deaf communities abroad. The course focuses on basic vocabulary building, reading, translation, and composition. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL, and French signs (LSF), as appropriate. When offered face to face, the course has four hours of classroom instruction plus an additional, required weekly hour in the department's Learning Laboratory. When offered on-line or as hybrid, the lab hour is part of the on-line component.

This is the first part of a two-semester course sequence. This course combines an intensive study of the principles of grammar and usage of the language with basic vocabulary building, reading, composition, and translation of elementary texts. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL. Students will also be exposed to aspects of the target culture(s), including information on Deaf communities abroad. When offered face to face, the course has four hours of classroom instruction plus an additional, required weekly hour in the department's Learning Laboratory. When offered on-line or as hybrid, the lab hour is part of the on-line component.

Major required courses (26 Credits)

Core courses (19 Credits)

This course introduces students to the study of economics and provides an overview of common macroeconomic concepts. The course encourages students to understand, use, and analyze common macroeconomic concepts such as inflation, employment, consumption, national income, money, and interest rates, as well as the fundamental economic concepts of supply and demand, marginal analysis, and opportunity costs.

This is the second part of a two-semester course sequence. This course builds on the basic communicative skills developed in French 111. It combines an intensive study of the principles of grammar and usage of the language, vocabulary building, reading, composition, and translation at the novice-mid/novice-high level. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL and LSF, as appropriate. Students will also be exposed to aspects of the target culture(s), including information on Deaf communities abroad. When offered face to face, the course has four hours of classroom instruction plus an additional, required weekly hour in the department's Learning Laboratory. When offered on-line or as hybrid, the lab hour is part of the on-line component.

This is the second part of a two-semester course sequence. This course builds on the basic communicative skills developed in Spanish 111. It combines an intensive study of the principles of grammar and usage of the language, vocabulary building, reading, composition, and translation at the novice-mid/novice-high level. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL. Students will also be exposed to aspects of the target culture(s), including information on Deaf communities abroad. When offered face to face, the course has four hours of classroom instruction plus an additional, required weekly hour in the department's Learning Laboratory. When offered on-line or as hybrid, the lab hour is part of the online component.

An introduction to the basic factors, concepts, and theory of international relations. The objectives, methods, and capabilities of modern states and other international actors will be surveyed. A study will be made of the institutional forms of international relations, ideological orientations, and objectives. Emphasis will be on the trends and transformation of the international system during and after the Cold War.

A course that introduces majors to methods and techniques of research in political science. Topics covered will include: the scientific method, comparative analysis, types of research and papers, library, and Internet resources, and emphasis on statistical methods and survey design.

Problems of research planning; collection, analysis, and presentation of research data. Significant studies from various fields of sociology and related disciplines exemplifying different research approaches will be analyzed.

This course provides an introduction to the diversity of human language and the role of language in society. Students will apply basic lexicostatistic methodology to learn about the origins, the interrelationships, and the characteristics of some of the world's languages.

A survey of the history of world civilizations from approximately 1500 to the present. Topics usually include the European Age of Exploration; early-modern Europe; the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment; the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions; early-modern Asia and Southeast Asia; the early-modern Muslim Empires; early-modern Africa; democratic and liberal revolutions of the 18th century; the ideologies (Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism); late 19th century Imperialism; Latin America in the 19th century; the First World War and Russian Revolution; 20th century Asia; 20th century dictatorships and the Second World War; post-war America and Europe; contemporary Asia and Africa; the emergence of the Third World.

A study of the problems of human origin, the nature of race, the social structure of preliterate societies, and the development of social institutions.

Junior Year International Experience (4 Credits)

Choose four credits from one of the following:

This junior-level course provides an effective way for students to integrate theory with practice. Students will apply knowledge, foreign language and cross-cultural skills gained in the classroom by interning at international organizations and agencies in the United States and/or abroad for at least 10 weeks. Students will be required to work for a minimum of 150 hours and will fulfill the duties outlined in a learning contract developed with their on-site supervisor, their sponsoring organization and their faculty sponsor. Placements will be made based on the concentration area and career objectives of each student. Student performance will be assessed via various products (e.g. weekly journals, reflective paper, learning agreements), which will include samples of products or reports completed during the internship in both English and in the foreign language used at the internship site.

Study abroad in a French-speaking country. The study abroad component will focus on the study of the sign language of the host country through formal class instruction and immersion in the culture of its Deaf community. Classroom instruction will be complemented with guided visits to relevant museums, monuments, and other points of interest.

Study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. The study abroad component will focus on the study of the sign language of the host country through formal class instruction and immersion in the culture of its Deaf community. Classroom instruction will be complemented with guided visits to relevant museums, monuments, and other points of interest.

This junior-level course provides an effective way for students to integrate theory and practice. Students will apply knowledge, foreign language and cross-cultural skills gained in the classroom by interning at international organizations, agencies or schools in the U.S. or abroad for at least 10 weeks. Depending on the number of credit hours, students will be required to work a minimum total number of hours, and will fulfill the duties outlined in a learning contract developed with their on-site supervisor, their sponsoring organization and their faculty sponsor. Student performance will be assessed via various products (e.g. weekly journals, reflective paper, learning agreements), which will include samples of products or reports completed during the internship in both English and in the foreign language used at the internship site.

Senior seminar (3 Credits)

This course requires International Studies majors to integrate the skills and knowledge developed in major courses. The thematic focus of the course will vary depending upon the areas of expertise of the team of instructors drawing from the departments involved, but discussions will be of interdisciplinary nature and with an international perspective. A substantial research component of the course will enable students to produce a written product of an appropriate literature survey, research proposal and research thesis, as well as a 15 minute-signed summary and discussion of the main findings.

Major electives (12 Credits)

To be completed within the student's concentration area and taken from the list of courses below. Courses must be taken from at least three different disciplines:

ASL and Deaf Studies

This course examines various forms of oppression by looking across different cultures and communities, then examines possible parallels occurring within the deaf community.

This course will introduce students to the field of Disability Studies. As an emerging interdisciplinary field of study, Disability Studies does not approach disability as a ''medical condition, but as a human condition'' (Charlton). Instead of studying the causes and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, we will explore the historical, social, political, religious, philosophical, and cultural influences that ''construct'' the category of ''disability.'' We will also examine how persons with disabilities construct their own meanings and identities.

Business

The distribution of natural resources among nations; factors responsible for major movements in international trades; tariffs and other trade restrictions; means of promoting free trade.

Government

This course will focus on comparative political systems in Europe, with an emphasis on the democracies of western Europe, especially the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as a selection of topics on the countries of southern Europe, the Nordic countries, and the more successful of the former Communist Eastern European states.

This course will explore the diverse political systems of the non-western world. Study will include established democracies such as India and Japan, political systems in transition to democracy such as Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, and more authoritarian systems such as China. Students will be introduced to both theory and practice in these areas.

This course will introduce students to the history, politics and legal structure of the European Union. Among the topics to be covered will be: EU institutions, social policy, CAP, EU expansion, the EURO, the single market, EU foreign policy, and immigration policy.

A study of the historical development and present role of nationalism and nation-state in both theory and practice. The course deals with the growth of nationalist conceptions and movements in the 19th century, the transition from liberal to totalitarian nationalism, the principle of self-determination, and Marxist treatment of the national problem.

This course is a basic introduction to international law and organization. Students will learn how international law is different from municipal law, how international law is made, the role of international law in domestic legal systems, specific rules of international law regarding sovereignty, recognition, nationality, human rights, war, and the law of the sea. The role of international organizations relating to the making of international law, the uniqueness of the European Union as a law-making body, and a brief introduction to the role of the UN, generally in the international system, will be discussed.

This course addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of democracy. What does democracy mean? What are its advantages and disadvantages as a form of government and what alternatives are available? How have countries become democracies in recent years and what kinds of challenges have they faced? Is there a formula for successful democratization?

History

This course combines traditional book learning with the study of documentary and dramatic films. Three major topics will be covered: Hitler's rise to power and domestic policies, Hitler's foreign policy and the war, the Holocaust.

An examination of the major forces that have influenced the development of the Middle East since 1800. Emphasis will be on Islamic society's response to the challenges of modernization, the modernization of Egypt, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the role of the Middle East in the contemporary world.

This course explores the major developments in European social, political, and economic history in the 19th century. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, revolutions, industrialization, socialism, suffrage, national unification, women's rights, and imperialism.

This course explores the major developments in European social, political, and economic history in the 20th century. Topics include the world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Depression, fascism, and Nazism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, the European Community, Eurocommunism, the Welfare State, and the fall of communism.

A survey of the history of African civilizations from earliest times to the present. The course emphasizes political, social, economic, and cultural developments within sub-Saharan Africa, particularly during the modern period.

A survey of the history of Latin America from the Indian and Iberian background though the 1970s. Emphasis will be placed on the national histories of the region's traditionally dominant countries Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Latin America's relationship to and contracts with the United States.

Sociology

This course examines how work is related to societal and technological changes. Topics include long-term trends in the nature of work and the differences in work among major segments of the labor force, including differences by race, gender and disability. The course also examines how globalization is affecting work and workers in the United States as well as in selected other countries.

World Languages and Cultures

*If WLC 314 is not used to satisfy the research methods core course

Continuing study to complement the linguistic and cultural knowledge acquired in Basic French. Ongoing review; practice with newly taught structural patterns will provide a more comprehensive grasp of the language from an interactive perspective and will allow the student to gain facility in written expression and increased global awareness. Practice sessions in the department's computer laboratory with regular use of computer-mediated conferencing will supplement classroom instruction.

This is one of two courses in the second year Spanish sequence. The main focus of this course is reading. The students will build on their knowledge of Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and culture through the reading of Spanish literary and non-literary texts of graded difficulty. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL.

Students will apply the knowledge of vocabulary and syntax acquired in Basic French to a variety of printed, Web-based, or captioned video materials in French. Readings will be chosen for their cultural value, interest, and accessibility. Emphasis on grammar recognition rather than on production. Dictionary skills will be reinforced, allowing students to challenge themselves with texts of varying levels of complexity. Sessions in the department's computer laboratory will supplement classroom instruction as appropriate.

Students will apply the knowledge of vocabulary and syntax acquired in Basic Spanish to a variety of printed, Web-based texts, or captioned films. Readings and films will be chosen for their cultural value, interest, and accessibility. Grammar and composition will be practiced within the context of the selected reading and film materials.

Composition and readings.

Composition and readings.

Composition and readings.

This is an advanced Spanish grammar and composition course. The students will acquire knowledge of advanced grammatical structures through the analysis of original contemporary Spanish and Latin American literary short fiction. A contrastive grammar approach will be incorporated, drawing upon elements of English and ASL.

An introduction to the history, geography, art, and literature of France.

An introduction to the history, geography, art, and literature of Spain.

A survey of important aspects of Latin American society today, dealing with the major political, economic, and social structures of the various countries and areas and their impact on the everyday life of the people.

An introduction to the history, geography, art, and literature of Spain.

This course offers an introduction to the general trends of Mexican civilization and culture. The course surveys historical, economic, political and artistic developments of Mexico from pre-Columbian times to the present.

This course provides an introduction to the diversity of human language and the role of language in society. Students will apply basic lexicostatistic methodology to learn about the origins, the interrelationships, and the characteristics of some of the world's languages.

This course provides a multidisciplinary introduction to the plethora of challenges Africa presently faces as a result of its colonial legacy, its economic under-development, its tribalism, and the devastation triggered by wars, AIDS, other diseases, and natural or man-made disasters. The focus of this course is to look for possible answers to the question, ¿Why does Africa struggle?¿ Students will apply knowledge, modes of inquiry, and technological competence from the fields of History, Government, Cultural Studies, and Literature to understand the complexity of the issues that shape the lives of people in Africa. Particular attention will be given to the issues that affect deaf Africans. Students will optionally participate in a service learning project in conjunction with and on behalf of Deaf people in an African country of their choice.

An analysis of the changing trends in the development of French literature and culture from the 12th century to the contemporary age through the reading and discussion of selected French masterpieces in English translation. Satisfies the humanities literature requirement.

An analysis of the changing trends in the development of French literature and culture from the 12th century to the contemporary age through the reading and discussion of selected French masterpieces in English translation. Satisfies the humanities literature requirement.

This course covers readings from the Medieval and Renaissance periods to Spain's Golden Age plays, Cervantes' Don Quixote, and exemplary novels of the 17th century. This course satisfies the humanities literature requirement.

This course covers readings from the 18th century to the modern works of the 20th century by Pardo Bazan, Perez Galdos, Blasco Ibanez, and Garcia Lorca. The course satisfies the humanities literature requirement.

Readings from major writings of Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and Peru, among others. This course covers the Colonial period to 1950. The course satisfies the humanities literature requirement.

This course is an introduction to the writings of U.S. Latino authors writing in English and/or in Spanglish. Through a close analysis of various genres (poetry, fiction, comic strips, interviews, art exhibits, and films), students will explore the contemporary experiences of U.S. Latinos of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban descent, and how they are represented in American literature. Topics to be discussed include the construction of identities in terms of race, gender, class and sexuality, bilingualism and code-switching, the experiences of migration and exile, and the longing for a place to call home. As part of their learning experience, students will work in teams to develop a lesson plan to educate the community about U.S. Latino author.

Program Outcomes

Students will use ASL and written English to communicate information effectively in the field of international Studies with diverse audiences, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of interdisciplinary settings. (GU SLO #1)

 

Students will demonstrate basic to intermediate proficiency in a written foreign language. (GU SLO #1)

 

Students will summarize, synthesize, and critically analyze ideas from the multiple disciplines involved in this major in order to draw well-supported conclusions related to the international Studies field and to their area of concentration. (GU SLO #2)

 

Students will describe similarities and differences among the political, historical, economic, cultural, and social situations of Deaf and hearing individuals in their international area of interest, as well as similarities and differences between their own Deaf community and one or more Deaf communities in the U.S. or abroad. (GU SLO #3)

 

Students will describe and apply basic research methodology from Government or Sociology in order to gather, evaluate, interpret, and report information in their area of concentration. (GU SLO #4)

 

Students will gain perspective on their role as citizens of the world by demonstrating (1) an awareness of the consequences that their own community's or their own country's actions have had or currently have on other communities across the world, and (2) as citizens of the world, they should be able to guide their actions in ways that are consistent with promoting the wellbeing of the larger global community. (GU SLO #5.)

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B.A. in International Studies

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202-250-2043

202-448-7067

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