The International Studies Major and Minor

Welcome to the International Studies Major!

The IS Major was launched in August, 2007, to meet a growing demand for analysis of and solutions to contemporary issues of global scope.  Student response was instantaneous. At the end of its first academic year, IS had more than 100 majors and by Fall, 2010 boasts more than 350 majors, making it the fifth largest major in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Although housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the major is interdisciplinary and inter-collegiate in form.  The curriculum comprises course offerings and faculty from multiple UK colleges, programs, and departments, such as the Colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Communications, and Engineering.

The International Studies Major develops an academic foundation for careers in business, government, international development agencies, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic agencies, or arts institutions. Students are also prepared to continue their education in graduate or professional programs oriented toward international topics (including programs in the humanities, social sciences, environmental concerns, and arts; as well as law, business, and communications).  In short, International Studies majors are prepared to join a variety of careers and fields of study.

The major is designed to combine exposure to a breadth of disciplinary perspectives on a global theme, with in-depth and multidisciplinary understanding of a world area.  Majors further strengthen their comprehension of a world area through complementary foreign language training, and an expectation to either study or intern abroad in their world area, or engage in a related U.S. based international internship or experiential education opportunity. A rigorous, independently conducted, capstone research experience, conducted in the senior year, integrates the major’s thematic, area, linguistic and experiential knowledge. Working within the context of the IS major, students can tailor the studies to fit their personal goals and career objectives.

The IS major draws on the breadth of UK resources and expertise to offer such rich internationally oriented opportunities as:

  • Education Abroad: IS majors take advantage of the diverse programs to live and study abroad through UKs Education Abroad office.
  • International and local internships with foreign cultures: UKs Career Center matches IS majors with cross-cultural internship experiences both abroad and in the USA.
  • Foreign language: UK offers in-depth study of numerous Western, Middle Eastern, and Asian languages. See the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
  • Speakers: IS regularly hosts international speakers whose topics reflect IS themes and are truly global in scope.
  • NoGS (Network of Global Scholars): Formed in Spring, 2008, the IS student organization connects IS majors with one another and with UK faculty outside the classroom.

We invite you to explore this website, learn about this interdisciplinary major, identify possible thematic, world area and linguistic interests, and retrieve information about extracurricular resources and opportunities. If you have additional questions about the IS major please contact the  A&S Advising Center for more information.

Dr. Carlos de la Torre


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