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Major Requirements

How does this major work?

The major works by letting you build your own program, based on the following components.

1.    Two “Pathway” courses. These are courses that expose you to global issues at an introductory level from different perspectives. (6 credit hours from list of approved pathway courses, one being INT200 and the other from another discipline)
2.    Language or languages. You complete 6 semesters in one language or 4 semesters (through 202) in one and 2 semesters in another.
·       Arabic (related major and minor)
·       Chinese (related major and minor)
·       French (related major and minor)
·       German (related major and minor)
·       Italian (related major and minor)
·       Japanese (related major and minor)
·       Russian (related major and minor)
·       Spanish (related major and minor)
3.    You choose (a) a theme and (b) a world region. (27 credit hours in total; 15+12 or 12+15)
1.    The themes you select from are:
1.    Culture & the Arts
2.    Global Development
3.    Comparative Politics & Societies
2.    The regions you select from are:
1.    Africa & the Middle East
2.    East, South, & South East Asia
3.    Europe
4.    Latin America
5.    Russia & Eurasia
4.    A Senior Capstone course (INT 495) in which you complete a 25 page research paper exploring in depth an issue of your choice. (3 credit hours)

Important caveat: this is a highly simplified summary of the BA International Studies. The details matter, and they are to be found in the current University of Kentucky Bulletin.

In addition to the requirements for the major there are also University and College of Arts & Sciences requirements. These are also detailed in the Bulletin. Your Advisor can help you understand how to build your International Studies major and meet all the necessary requirements.

Please note: students who pursue a second major, a minor, and/or a certificate program, should be aware that there are limits on the amount of coursework that can count for both the International Studies major and another major, minor and/or certificate. In other words, there are limits on “double counting”.

Four Year Plans, showing how to complete the International Studies major, with and without a year abroad, can be found here:

A Two Year Plan for completing the International Studies major, may also be founbd here:


What are the Learning Objectives of the International Studies major?

A graduate with a B.A. in International Studies is expected to master:

  • Multidisciplinary knowledge about broad global processes and at least one theme of global significance;
  • In-depth theoretical and factual knowledge of a particular region of the world;
  • Intermediate to advanced level proficiency in at least one foreign language.

Through the Senior Capstone Course (INT 495) a graduate with a B.A. in International Studies is expected to master the following intellectual and methodological skills:

  • Experience and initial competency in formulating a research or investigative question;
  • The ability to synthesize large and diverse quantities of information about a global topic and a world region;
  • The ability to evaluate the validity and reliability of information;
  • Mastery of more than one disciplinary approach employed to study international issues;
  • The ability to form assumptions from study;
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills;
  • Proficiency in effective written communication;
  • Competence in using facts, ideas and arguments to formulate and deliver persuasive arguments.

In addition, a graduate with a B.A. in International Studies achieves:

  • Exposure to the common humanity and uniqueness of all cultures;
  • An awareness of and sensitivity toward stereotypes and ethnocentrism;
  • An understanding of the foreign cultural practices, beliefs and social systems of one’s world area of study;
  • A heightened and more critical awareness of one’s own culture;
  • Recognition of language barriers and cultural communication characteristics.