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International Studies


International studies focuses on global issues from a variety of viewpoints, especially the social sciences. This program is sometimes called global studies.

In international studies programs, students evaluate global problems of different countries and regions.

These programs include topics such as:

International studies programs include courses from different fields of study, including anthropology, sociology, business, and geography.


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in international studies. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in international studies. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in international studies. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

In addition to normal high school requirements, it is a good idea to take as many language courses as you can.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Most schools require you to read, speak, and write at least one second language.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, you take courses about specific regions and countries. You also study at least one language other than English.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

Things to Know

This program is closely related to international relations. However, international relations has more of a direct political science focus, where international studies allows students more choice in crafting their own focus.

Participating in a Model United Nations conference is good preparation for international studies. It's also good experience for future careers in the international arena.

Studying abroad is almost always an option in international studies programs, and sometimes even required. You can study in another country for a term or a full year.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Everett

Everett Community College

Northeastern University - Seattle

Northwest University

Seattle Central College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Bothell

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Whidbey Island

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Spokane Falls Community College

Whitworth University

Statewide and Distance Learning

Washington State University - Global Campus

Tacoma Area

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound

University of Washington - Tacoma

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Skagit Valley College

Western Washington University