Students may complete a major or minor in International Studies.
International Studies is the study of relationships among people and states affected by increasingly permeable borders and facing global issues. International Studies aims to prepare students to be responsible citizens by introducing them to issues of importance in an increasingly interdependent world of global dynamics in politics, economics, ideas, language, and culture.
At Bryn Mawr, International Studies combines applied and theoretical approaches by drawing from disciplines in both the Social Sciences and Humanities. This broad conception of International Studies distinguishes our program from many others. It builds from a core of courses from politics, economics, and ethics, a branch of philosophy, and then incorporates electives from specified tracks that reflect areas of strength in faculty research and teaching. It allows students to explore the descriptive and normative aspects of living in a world characterized by the deep interconnections of a globalized world. It thus draws on Bryn Mawr’s longstanding interest in promoting justice with its already established coursework at the undergraduate level and at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and on its well established programs in languages and cultures.
The curricular content is relevant in preparing graduates to participate critically and effectively in the many integrated transnational and global institutional networks of production, services, creative expression, research and governance. Thus students with specialties in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Sciences can benefit from a visible and structured flow of courses in International Studies. The inter and multi-disciplinary approaches reflected in the structure for the major as well as for the minor reflect the kind of integrative thinking that is necessary for effective agency in the globalized world economy and society. Students in International Studies will be made aware of both the distinct modes of inquiry that may transcend disciplines and the cumulative effects of convergent examinations of phenomena from these different disciplinary perspectives.
International Studies engages students in the necessarily inter- and multi-disciplinary course work that will prepare them for productive roles in transnational or intergovernmental institutions and in the areas of public policy, law, governance, public health, medicine, business, diplomacy, journalism, and development. Courses cover both theoretical perspectives and empirical issues in different areas of the world. International Studies at Bryn Mawr provides a foundation for students interested in pursuing career opportunities in these areas or in entering graduate programs such as International Politics/Relations, International Political Economy/Development Studies, International Law and Institutions, and Organizational Theory and Leadership.
A Bryn Mawr graduate in International Studies will be
- Capable of integrative analysis from different disciplinary perspectives
- Ethically literate
- Prepared for work in related fields such as law, public health, medicine, business, and journalism as well as for graduate study in International Politics/Relations, International Political Economy/Development Studies, International Law and Institutions, and Organizational Theory and Leadership
- Able to contribute their knowledge and leadership skills within governmental and non-governmental organizations at transnational, regional, or global levels or in cross-cultural settings.
Although language study is not required per se for the major or the minor, students can take advantage of Bryn Mawr’s traditional strength in the study of language and culture to enhance their study of non-Anglophone areas of the world. Those intending to study abroad in a non-Anglophone area must meet the level of proficiency required by the Junior Year Abroad program involved; and those intending to undertake graduate work in international studies should plan to acquire the advanced level of proficiency in one foreign language (at the time of admission or graduation) required by the most selective programs here and abroad.
Since it began in 2005, the minor in International Studies has attracted a significant number of language majors who use their study of a particular language to select a coherent set of electives under a relevant track in the minor in order to pursue career and study opportunities in the international arena.