Look beyond western politics, and embrace the new, the unknown and the surprisingly similar.

The international studies program is an interdisciplinary major, comprised of courses spanning economics, political science, history, sociology, modern languages and religion, and designed to prepare students for work and life in an increasingly interconnected world. As an international studies major you will gain an in-depth understanding of international relations, conflict and change, and a heightened sensitivity to diverse cultures.

A First-Class Experience

Get to know the people and programs that will define your academic journey.

Student-Faculty Research Highlights: Political Science & International Studies

Meet the Faculty

Our distinguished faculty publish, exhibit and research. Present, compose and chair. Inspire and collaborate.

The Curriculum

View the 2023-2024 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

Requirements for a B.A. in International Studies

1. Foundations in Politics, Economics and Culture (five courses):

  • ECON1103 Principles of Macroeconomics (SA) (SS) OR POLSC2413 International Law and Institutions
  • ECON2113/POLSC2409 The Politics of International Economic Relations (SS)
  • POLSC1301 Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics (SA) (SS)
  • POLSC1401 Introduction to International Relations (SA) (SS) 
  • SOC2129 Cultural Geography (SA) (SS)

2. Research Methods (one course):

  • HIST2701 Historical Methods and Research (WI)
  • POLSC2701 Research Methods in Political Science (WI)
  • SOC2103 Qualitative Methods
  • SOC2104 Quantitative Methods 

3. Language Skills (two courses):

  • Two language courses at the 2000-level or above. Study away or study abroad is strongly recommended.

4. Capstone (one course):

   GLST4100 International Studies Senior Seminar

Electives (seven courses):
 Two courses must be from the 3000-level.

5. History Elective (one course)

  • ART2204 Transcultural Exchange and the Visual Arts (AI-A) (VCI)
  • ART2224 Irish Art (AI-A) (VCI)
  • HIST1108 World History to 1500 (H) (HI) (DM)
  • HIST1109 Modern World History(H) (HI)
  • HIST1111 An Introduction to East Asian History (H) (HI) (DM)
  • HIST1114 Creating the Atlantic World (H) (HI)
  • HIST2104 Age of Atlantic Revolutions, 1763-1820
  • HIST2120 Europe in the Era of World War (H) (HI) (DM)
  • HIST2125 History of Modern Latin America (H) (HI)
  • HIST2140 History of Modern Middle East
  • HIST3412 Immigrant Kitchens: A Global and Historical Perspective on Identity, Ethnicity and Foodways (SJ)

6. Theology & Religious Studies Elective (one course)

  • THRS2105 Judaism (R) (RI) (DM)
  • THRS2108 Religion and the Environment: Ethical Explorations (R)
  • THRS2135 World Religions (R) (DM)
  • THRS2201 War, Peace and Religion (R) (RI) (DM) 
  • THRS2202 Hinduism (R) (RI) (DM) 
  • THRS2211 Islam (R) (RI)
  • THRS2212 Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices (R) (DM)
  • THRS2213 Liberation Theology (RCT) (RICT) (SJ)
  • THRS2217 Women in the World Religions (R) (RI)
  • THRS3133 Social Justice and Religious Tradition (RI) (SJ)
  • THRS3201 World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue (RCT) (RICT) (DM) 

7. Thematic Electives (three courses)

  • BIOL1211 Emerging Infectious Diseases (SI) (NS) (SJ) AND
  • BIOL1215 Introduction to Nutrition (SI) (NS) OR
  • PHYS1121 Energy and the Environment (SI-L)
  • ECON2203/FINAN2203 An Economic View of the World (SA) (SS)
  • ECON3103/FINAN3103 International Economics and Finance 
  • ECON3115 Economics and the Environment
  • PHYS2410/IDS2410 Sustainability Science (SI-L)
  • POLSC2413 International Law and Institutions
  • POLSC2417 Statecraft and Globalization*
  • POLSC2419 The Geopolitics of Democracy*
  • POLSC2421 Model United Nations
  • POLSC2503 Revolution and Nationalism
  • POLSC2705/SOC2705 Sustainable Development: Paradigms and Policies
  • POLSC3301 Comparative Politics of Developing States
  • POLSC3303 Street Democracy
  • POLSC3403 Human Issues in International Relations 
  • POLSC3405 Negotiating Peace
  • POLSC3407 People and Politics of the Middle East
  • SOC2205 War and Peace
  • SOC3115 The Sociology of Globalization
  • SOC3201 Worlds in Motion: The Causes and Consequences of Migration
  • SOC3205 Crimes Against Humanity
  • THRS3133 Social Justice and Religious Traditions (RI) (SJ)
  • THRS3203 World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue (RCT) (RICT) (DM) 
    *Travel Course

8. Area/Regional Electives: (two courses)
It is recommended that students take two courses in the same region:


  • ENGL2106 Irish Identities: Literature and Culture (AI-L) (LI)
  • ENGL2417 Literature of the Black Atlantic (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • HIST3119 The Individual and Society in European History
  • HIST3404 East Asia Migration and Diaspora in Global Perspective (SJ)
  • LANG2215 Paris: City Lights and its Contrasting Modern French Literature and Culture* (AI-L)
  • LANG2315 Today's Italy: A Journey Through Literature, Cinema and Everyday Life* (AI-L)
  • LANG2418 The Art of Spain 
  • LANG2605 Spain: A Cultural Approach (AI-L)
  • LANG3427 Contemporary Spanish American Women Novelists  (AI-L)
  • LANG3431 Contemporary Spanish Novel
  • POLSC2302 European Politics: From Transition to Integration 
  • POLSC2415  In the Footsteps of Thucydides*
  • POLSC2417 Statecraft and Globalization*
  • POLSC2419 The Geopolitics of Democracy*

Latin America

  • LANG2105 Contemporary Latin American Fiction (AI-L)
  • ENGL2417 Literature of Black Atlantic (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • LANG3421 Spanish Caribbean Literature (AI-L)
  • HIST2125 History of Modern Latin America (H)
  • HIST3121 Surviving Columbus: History of Native Americans, 1492 to 1992
  • HIST3225 Utopias, Dystopias and Revolution in Latin American History
  • LANG3411 Latin American Literary Giants (AI-L)
  • POLSC2301 Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Latin America and Caribbean*
  • THRS2013 Liberation Theology (RCT)


  • HIST1111 An Introduction to East Asian History (H) (HI) (DM)
  • HIST2126 History of Japan since 1600 (H) (DM)
  • HIST2401 Modern China: Continuity and Change (H) (DM)
  • HIST3404 East Asia Migration and Diaspora in Global Perspective (SJ)
  • PHYS2410/IDS2410 Sustainability Science (SI-L)
  • THRS2154 India: Religion, Culture, Justice* (R) (RI) (DM)
  • THRS2202 Hinduism (R) (RI) (DM) 
  • THRS2212 Buddhism: Beliefs and Practice (R) (DM)

Middle East

  • HIST2140 History of Modern Middle East (H) 
  • LANG2664 The Arab World Through Its Literature (AI-L) 
  • POLSC2411 The Contemporary Middle East: Challenges and Promise
  • POLSC3405 Negotiating Peace
  • POLSC3407 People and Politics of the Middle East
  • THRS2211 Islam (R) (RI)


  • HIST1107 African History: Themes (H) (HI)

*Travel Course

At the completion of the International Studies degree, the student will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the broad-based foundation of the major in world history, culture, politics, and economics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of international relations, conflict and change and a heightened sensitivity to diverse cultures defines international studies.
  • Demonstrate a practical application of concepts and theories of the discipline of international studies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write clearly and effectively in the field of international studies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of research methods and the ability to apply them to international research topics.
Where Essential Values and Skills Meet the Real World

Where Essential Values and Skills Meet the Real World

Along with areas of knowledge and major requirements, you will cultivate essential values in the classroom and complete two courses in each area:

  • Social Justice (SJ): Develop knowledge, skills, values and motivation to participate beneficially in activities of personal and public concern.
  • Diversity & Multiculturalism (DM): Understand the complexity of identity the historical truths of different cultural perspectives to address bias and examine contemporary social issues. 

One hundred percent of Emmanuel students complete an internship as part of the core curriculum. In a city as dynamic as Boston, your options are bound only by the limits of your curiosity.

Students in political science and international relations majors gain experience in government, policy-making and constituent services at all levels, with internships at the City of Boston, the State of Massachusetts, the U.S. Department of Commerce and more. They also intern at advocacy networks and nonprofit organizations such as One Fair Wage, The Borgen Project, Act Blue and the African Bridge Network.

In all majors, the Capstone Experience involves completing a significant piece of work that requires the integration and application of learning from multiple courses.

Students studying political science and international studies explore the intersection of research and practical experience in their senior seminar class, completing a research project on issues that tie into their internship and presenting the analysis in a senior thesis.