International Studies

Paul Gardner (program director)

The international studies program develops international and intercultural awareness and understanding through multidisciplinary course work. International issues are inherently interdisciplinary, and international studies majors specialize in understanding how the various methods of inquiry and fields of disciplinary knowledge combine to address issues in the international arena. The international studies major is structured to give equal weight to three essential elements in this interdisciplinary understanding: foundations, global perspectives and regional focus. During the core coursework, students completing the major identify an individual theme, which they develop and refine as a focus for study in later courses and study abroad.

Required for a major: Eleven courses, study abroad, foreign language, and a senior project, which is required even for those students completing a second major. The courses are divided into three groups:

  1. Foundation courses: ANTH 101, ECON 130, and POLS 132; IS 230 and 485
  2. Global Perspectives (three courses)
  3. Regional Focus (three courses)

Of the six global perspectives and regional focus courses required for the major, students may count no more than two 100-level on-campus courses and must take at least two courses numbered 300 or above. No more than two courses counting toward another major or minor, excluding foundation courses, may be applied to the IS major. Writing requirement completed with IS 485.

Requirements for a minor: Study abroad and seven courses that consist of: two of the three foundation courses (ANTH 101, ECON 130, POLS 132); IS 230 and 485; 3 additional courses selected from one of the following plans:

  • Plan 1 (Global Perspectives): three courses from this category.
  • Plan 2 (Regional Focus): students select a geographical region and take three courses in that area.

At least two of the three courses within the selected plan must be at the 200 level or above. No more than two courses from other majors or minors, excluding foundation courses, can count toward the IS minor.

IS Plan of Study: The major and the minor are built around an international theme that students identify during the IS 230 course. While taking the foundation courses and IS 230, each student identifies an area of study and topic of specific interest. Working with the director, the student develops a plan of study that guides course selection and reflects intentional connections between courses.

Students minoring in an areas studies program (such as Asian Studies, Russian Studies, Scandinavian Studies), must secure approval of the International Studies board to minor in International Studies Plan 2, with a focus on the same region.

Study Abroad: For majors, at least a full semester of study abroad in their selected geographical region of study. The content of the study abroad courses should be taught from the perspective of the host country or region. Students are advised to take at least one course focused on the region's contemporary situation. At a minimum, students must have their major approved and complete the three foundation courses and IS 230 prior to studying abroad. For the minor, students are required to take a minimum of one course abroad during a January Term, semester, or summer and are encouraged to select a course and region (if on plan 2) that fulfill one of the minor requirements listed above.

Foreign Language: For majors, the minimum language requirement is one course beyond the Luther College requirement. If a student elects to take a language of the host country, the student is expected to take at least one semester of that language while studying abroad. If English is the principal language of the host country, a student must either take a different language spoken in the host country or an additional semester of language at Luther. There is no language requirement for the minor.

Global Perspectives Courses: Approved courses taught on-campus are listed below. Additional courses, including special topics courses of appropriate content, may be approved by the international studies director. Study abroad courses may also fulfill this requirement. A student will take no more than two courses from one department.

ANTH 103, 208, 305, 330; COMS 350 (COMS 130 prerequisite may be waived with instructor permission); DAN 351; ECON 362; EPL 450; HIST 126; LING 131; MGT 360; MUS 248; PAID 450 (Ethics, Energy, and Climate Policy); POLS 242, 335, 363; SOC 453, 468; THE 351, 352.

Regional Focus Courses: Majors select a geographical region and take one course from each of the three categories in that region: 1) history, social science or science; 2) language; and 3) culture: religion, literature, and fine arts. Minors with a regional focus will take no more than two courses from one category. Approved courses taught on campus are listed below. Additional courses, including special topics courses of appropriate content, may be approved by the international studies director. Study abroad courses may also fulfill this requirement.

1. Sub-Saharan Africa

History: HIST 171, 172, 337, 371

Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad

Culture: ENG 147, 240; FREN 464; REL 256, 257

2. South and East Asia

History: HIST 161, 162, 361, 362; POLS 339

Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad

Culture: REL 256, 261, 262, 362

3. Latin America and Caribbean

History: HIST 271, 239

Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad

Culture: ENG 240; SPAN 346, 460, 470

4. Middle East and Northern Africa

History: HIST 163, POLS 237

Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad

Culture: REL 251, 256, 257

5. Europe

History. HIST 149, 150, 242, 250, 348, 351, 352, 354, 355; CLAS 360

Language. Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad

Culture: AFRS/ANTH 221; ART 149, 251, 252, 290, 362, 364; CLAS 239 (Underwater Arch), 239 (Classical Arch); ENG 260, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368; FCUL 339 (Russia & Scandinavia); FREN 342, 346, 347, 348; GER 342, 455, 460; REL 227, 242; RUS/FCUL 241, 243, 341, 451/452; SPAN 450, 470