International Studies

Pedro dos Santos (program director)

The international studies program develops international and intercultural awareness and understanding through interdisciplinary coursework. 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.

IS Plan of Study: 

The major and the minor are built around an international theme that students identify during the IS 230 course. It is strongly recommended that students take this course in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Working with the director, the student develops a plan of study that guides course selection and reflects intentional connections between courses.

The Major: The major is structured with courses in three categories: core courses that provide the tools to develop interdisciplinary thinking and research, global perspectives courses that connect diverse themes using an international frame,  and courses based on a regional focus or thematic track allowing students to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. 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.

Requirements for a major: Eleven courses, study abroad (one semester or equivalent), foreign language (at least one semester beyond the college's language requirement), and a required senior project. The courses are divided into three groups:

  • Core (five courses): ANTH 101, ECON 130, and POLS 132; IS 230 and 485
  • Global Perspectives (two courses)
  • Regional Focus Track/Thematic Track (four courses)

Of the six global perspectives and regional focus track/thematic track 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 core courses, may be applied to the IS major. Writing requirement completed with IS 485.

Language Requirement: Students must take a minimum of one course beyond the college language requirement. To complete this requirement students may continue their work on a language they already study on campus, or may take a new language. We strongly recommend, when possible, that students take a language course 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.

Study Abroad: Majors must complete at least a full semester of study abroad. If student selected a regional focus track, study abroad semester must be 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 introductory courses and IS 230 prior to studying abroad.

Global Perspectives Courses: Students must take a minimum of two approved courses that address fields of study using a global perspective.  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. Courses fulfilling this requirement may not come from the same discipline.

ANTH 103, 104, 203, 205, 208; ART 121; COMS 350 (COMS 130 prerequisite may be waived with instructor permission); DAN 351; ECON 262, 362; IS 450; FCUL 142; HIST 126; LING 131, 250; MGT 360; MUS 248; POLS 242, 335, 363; REL 250; SOC 453; SOC/WGST 468; THE 351, 352, and PAID 450 courses upon approval.

Regional Focus Track Courses: Majors who select a geographical region take a total of four courses, including at least one course from each of the three categories 1) history, social science and science; 2) language; and 3) culture: religion, literature, and fine arts. 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.

Sub-Saharan Africa
History/Social Science/Science: AFRS/HIST 171, 172, 371
Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
Culture/Religion/Literature/Fine Arts: AFRS 221/ANTH 221; ENG/AFRS/WGST 147, 240; FREN 464; REL 224

South and East Asia
History Social Science/Science: HIST 161, 162, 361, 362
Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
Culture/Religion/Literature/Fine Arts: FCUL 142, 242; REL 220, 224, 228, 229, 236, 255

Latin America and Caribbean
History/Social Science/Science: HIST 271, POLS 362
Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
Culture/Religion/Literature/Fine Arts: ENG/AFRS/WGST 240; REL 303; SPAN 346, 460

Middle East and Northern Africa
History/Social Science/Science: HIST 163, POLS 237
Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
Culture/Religion/Literature/Fine Arts: REL 224, 225

Europe
History/Social Science/Science: CLAS 360; HIST 149, 150, 242, 250, 348, 351, 352, 355; IS 135, 136
Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
Culture/Religion/Literature/Fine Arts: ART 290; ARTH 251, 252, 362, 364; ENG 260, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368; FREN 342, 346, 347, 348; GER 250, 342, 460, 470; REL 201; RUS 241/FCUL 241, 341; RUS/FCUL/WGST 243; SPAN 450

Thematic Track Courses: Majors who select a thematic track complete one semester of foreign language above the college’s requirement (preferably taken while studying abroad) and four courses that are pre-approved by the director to fulfill the track. At least one course must come from the “focus courses” list. Students also have the option to create their individualized track in consultation with the international studies director. Students may take no more than two courses in the same discipline to fulfill this requirement. 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.

Development Studies Track: courses seeking to understand social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of societal change, particularly in developing countries; explain political and economic development and their impact in the world; understand the relationship between globalization, capitalism, and development (of individuals, groups, countries, or regions); provide the toolkit necessary to tackle issues related to political, social, and/or economic development outside the United States.

Focus Courses: ECON 262; POLS 362; SOC/WGST 468

Courses: AFRS/ENG/WGST 147; ANTH 208, 303; FCUL 142, ECON 255, 256, 362; HIST 150, 225, 241; PAID 450 courses upon approval.

Requirements for a minor: Study abroad (minimum of one January Term study abroad course or equivalent) and seven courses that consist of two of the three core courses (ANTH 101, ECON 130, POLS 132); IS 230 and 485; and three additional courses selected from one of the following tracks:

  • Global Perspectives Track: three courses from this category.
  • Regional Focus Track: students select a geographical region and take three courses in that area.
  • Thematic Track: students select or create a thematic track and take three courses approved by the director.

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 core courses, can count toward the IS minor.

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

International Studies Courses

IS 135 Exploring Britain

  • 4 hours

A year-long course in which Nottingham students travel to a variety of historical and cultural sites. Trips include approximately six weekend field trips to sites that may include London, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Lake District, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Course work will also include research, reading, presentations, and discussion pertaining to each trip.

IS 136 Exploring Malta and the Mediterranean

  • 2 hours

This is a one semester course in which Malta students take three course trips to countries around the Mediterranean. Trip sites may include Morocco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Spain or Jordan. Course work will include research, reading, writing, presentations and discussions pertaining to each trip.

IS 230 Introduction to International Studies

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Intercultural
  • Prerequisites: At least two of the following: ANTH 101, ECON 130 and POLS 132

An introduction to the field of International Studies, focusing on global and geographical literacy and using multiple disciplinary approaches to analyze such issues as war and peace, environmental sustainability, economic development, post-colonialism, world religions, and cultural identity.

IS 450 Global Citizenship

  • 4 hours

This course is designed for students who have lived or spent a semester or more studying abroad. It will enable students to reflect on how their immersion in a foreign culture has affected their values and vocation. By combining practical experiences with scholarly and artistic works, students will a)reflect on the role of culture, b)think about the articulation and application of values in the public sphere, c)explore the relation among politics, economics, culture, and society, and d)develop their own ethical perspectives as "global citizens." There will be a heavy emphasis on writing, group work, and oral presentations.

IS 485 International Studies Seminar

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: IS 230 and junior standing

An advanced-level research and discussion course focusing on global issues as a culmination of the International Studies major or minor. Students apply multiple disciplinary perspectives to projects related to their individual IS programs and to the global themes identified in their IS major or minor plan of study.

IS 490 Senior Project

  • 1 hour

A year-long independent research project. Applications are completed on the "Honors Program" form available at the registrar's office, requiring the signatures of a faculty supervisor, the department head, the honors program director, and the registrar. Interdisciplinary projects require the signatures of two faculty supervisors. The project must be completed by the due date for senior projects. The completed project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the faculty supervisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a faculty member from outside the major department. All projects must be presented publicly. Only projects awarded an "A- or A" qualify for "department honors" designation. The honors project fulfills the all-college senior project requirement.