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DC Summer Institutes for High School Students

International Studies Minor

The International Studies minor involves the study of contemporary cultures and societies outside the US as well as the complex political, economic, social and cultural interconnections among nation-states, non-governmental organizations, and ethnic and religious groups across the world.

The minor is ideal for students interested in government, non-profit, or private sector careers that involve connections with societies or cultures from outside the US.

Students in the International Studies Minor will:
  • Learn how social, political, religious, and economic forces have shaped the contemporary world.
  • Develop the skills to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the interconnectedness and interdependence of the human experience on a national, regional, and global scale.
  • Discover, through a study abroad experience, the relationships between culture, language, and community.


Contact Chad Rector at crector@marymount.edu with any questions or to schedule an advising appointment.

Students must complete the following components:

Coursework (18 Credits)

  • SOC 203 The Global Village (3 credits)
  • 15 credits of IS electives, taken in a minimum of 3 academic disciplines, chosen from the list below. At least 12 of the elective credits must be taken outside of the student's major.

International Studies elective courses:

  • ECO 211 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECO 485 International Economics
  • EN 204 World Literature: Romanticism through Post-Modernism
  • FA 110 Cross-Cultural Visual Thinking
  • FR 303 Contemporary French Civilization
  • IT 110 Information Technology in the Global Age
  • MGT 385 International Business
  • MGT 485 International Management
  • MKT 485 International Marketing
  • POL 102 International Relations
  • POL 103 Comparative Government
  • POL 380 Politics of Latin America
  • POL 381 Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • POL 382 Politics of Western Europe
  • POL 385 Politics of South Asia
  • POL 386 Politics of East Asia
  • PSY 325 Cultural Psychology
  • SOC 204 Engaging Diversity
  • SOC 365 Gender Inequality in Global Perspective
  • SOC 375 Topics in Human Rights
  • SP 303 Spanish Civilization and Culture
  • TRS 202 Religions of the World
  • TRS 345 Buddhist Traditions
  • With the approval of a member of the IS Steering Committee, up to 3 credits of language study may count toward the elective requirement.
  • With the approval of a member of the IS Steering Committee, courses taken during an approved study abroad program may count as IS electives provided they are on the subject of international studies, broadly defined.

Senior Project (1-4 Credits)

To complete the minor, students will write a thesis related to International Studies and present their research publicly.

Students whose majors require a 3-credit senior seminar/capstone course will additionally take the 1-credit IS 421 and present their work publicly through an oral presentation, media presentation, or webpage.

Students whose majors do not require a 3-credit senior seminar/capstone course must register for 4-credits of IS 421 during which they will write a thesis and present it publicly.

Students enroll in IS 421 with their IS faculty advisor.

Language Proficiency

Students must show a level of skill in a non-native modern language equivalent to the successful completion of a second-semester, college level language course. Students can meet this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Complete 6 credits of college-level foreign language coursework at the elementary level (AP, IB, and CLEP equivalencies are accepted).

  • Complete 3 credits of college-level foreign language coursework at the intermediate level (AP, IB, and CLEP equivalencies are accepted).

  • Receive a waiver from the International Studies Steering Committee by demonstrating knowledge of a language equivalent to two semesters of college-level work, either in a proctored exam or with a transcript showing prior schooling in a language other than English.

Study Abroad

Students are required to complete at least one study abroad program. A semester-long study abroad program is strongly encouraged; a single short-term study abroad course counting for 3 credits is the minimum.

International studies electives that include a study abroad component may count toward the study abroad requirement; courses taken during a study abroad program do not need to be specifically on an international studies topic in order to count for the study abroad requirement.

The IS steering committee may waive the study abroad requirement for students who have spent a substantial part of their lives living and studying in a country outside the United States.

Students thinking about minoring in International Studies should meet with an International Studies faculty advisor early in their academic career to ensure that they will be able to meet the requirements.

Students in the program will have an IS faculty advisor in addition to their major's faculty advisor.

International Studies Faculty Advisor Role

  • Ensure students complete the required coursework for the minor
  • Work with students on either a 1 or 4-credit senior project with a public presentation
  • Help students plan their language study or testing

International Studies Faculty

Chad Rector, Chair
Department of Politics, School of Arts and Sciences
Personal Web Site

Matt Bakker
Department of Sociology, School of Education and Human Services

Janine DeWitt
Department of Sociology, School of Education and Human Services

Sarah Ficke
Department of English, School of Arts and Sciences

Kathleen Garces-Foley
Department of Theology and Religious Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
Personal Web Site

Soumya Sivakumar
Department of Marketing, School of Business Administration