Frequently Asked Questions
Questions? Email the International Studies Department:
1. What is International Studies?
International Studies is an interdisciplinary major in which students integrate knowledge about world affairs gained from the study of globally focused courses in political science, history, and economics. Insights from these three disciplines help students to put into perspective events taking place on the global scene and to comprehend in greater detail the behavior of key political, economic, and military actors. The major also includes a cluster of courses related to either an individual country, a geographic/cultural area, or the functional themes of either "Globalization & Sustainability" or "Security Studies." Thus the major combines a set of common core courses that examine general principles and processes of international political and economic relations with a cluster of elective courses tailored to the individual student's interests and needs.
2. What specific courses will I need to take? Core Courses:
Poli Sci 170- International Relations
Poli Sci 280- American Foreign Policy
Econ 111- Microeconomics
Econ 112- Macroeconomics
IB&M 200- Global Economy
History- Diplomatic History (one course from a list of choices) Language:
Two semesters beyond the intermediate level Electives:
Four courses which must pertain to the student's country/regional cluster or to the broach concentration theme of either "Globalization and Sustainability" or "Security Studies." These electives must come from at least two departments. Capstone Requirements:
IS 401- Senior Seminar
IS 404 - Integrated Study/Final Oral Exam
3. Can I double major?
Yes. Because International Studies is an interdisciplinary program, many of our courses double count for another major. We have many students who double major in International Studies and a foreign language, an area studies program, political science, international business and management, etc.
4. What about study abroad?
Virtually all of our majors spend a semester or a year abroad—typically during the junior year. Most study at one of Dickinson 's own study abroad centers located throughout the world.
5. What can I do after I graduate?
Options for International Studies majors after they leave Dickinson include the foreign service and other government work, teaching and education, work in NGOs, the military, and a variety of employment options in the private sector. Many students will first go on to graduate school or professional school to further develop their knowledge and expertise. In the globalized economy in which we now live and compete, global knowledge, experience abroad, and the ability to communicate in a foreign language are all crucial. The International Studies major seeks to provide its majors with all of those skills.
6. Okay, I'm sold on International Studies— but WHY DICKINSON?
There are a number of factors which we believe make Dickinson a smart choice for those interested in an International Studies major. They are generally related to the fact that the International Studies Department and major at Dickinson are embedded within a larger college context where there is a broad commitment to global education. Consider just two key factors:
• Study Abroad Programs: Dickinson College is one of the most prolific colleges in the world in the development of off-campus study programs. More than 60 Dickinson faculty members have directed study abroad programs, and Dickinson now sponsors more than 40 programs on six continents in 24 countries. This allows us greater quality control in the overseas programs that most of our students attend, it allows us to tailor them to the needs of our students, and it allows us to provide more personal attention to our students-- even when they are thousands of miles away from Carlisle , PA.
• Foreign Language & Area Studies: Complementing the International Studies program is the rich variety of foreign language and area studies options available at Dickinson . Among the foreign languages taught at Dickinson are: Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Latin, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and Italian. Indeed, Dickinson is one of the leaders among US liberal arts colleges in the number of foreign language majors that we graduate. Attached to many of those language programs are area studies programs (e.g. Russian Studies, Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies) which provide opportunities for in-depth examination of foreign cultures.
In short, unlike some other institutions where an international studies major is the place where most of the global education on campus takes place, at Dickinson global education is woven throughout the fabric of the institution. Even our business major at Dickinson is called International Business and Management. Also, note that the compass rose at the center of the Dickinson logo is a purposefully selected and an appropriate piece of art insofar as it speaks to Dickinson 's global perspective.
7. Can an IS major earn a Security Studies Certificate?
Yes, but the student
must be concentrating in a region/country or in Globalization and Sustainability
– Security Studies concentrators cannot earn a Security Studies
Certificate. Furthermore, IS majors that do wish to obtain a Security
Studies Certificate cannot count their IS concentration electives and IS senior
seminar for the Certificate program requirements, they must take a separate
senior seminar with a security theme and separate security-themed electives.