Being an International Studies Major at Bryn Mawr

April 5, 2022
Students in Professor Michael Allen's international studies seminar.

The international studies program at Bryn Mawr College allows students to take full advantage of the liberal arts experience. As an interdisciplinary major, the international studies curriculum joins three major areas of study: philosophy, political science, and economics. 

Launched as a minor in 2005, the international studies program officially became a major at Bryn Mawr in 2012. Its multidisciplinary coursework includes classes in public policy, international politics, relations and diplomacy, international law and institutions, transnational and intergovernmental institutions, medicine, economics, journalism, and development. Students from the languages, history, and area studies (such as Africana, Middle Eastern, East Asian, etc) are also vital participants in the international studies field. Courses in these areas can be assembled into one of the four elective tracks.

Majoring in international studies allows students to pick a concentration in an area they are interested in. Options include gender, development, global social justice, or an independent design focus.

“My interest in economics led me to a concentration in development where I am particularly focused on economic development,” says international studies major Alina Peon ’22.

Peon’s courses have included Economic Development of China and India, Politics of Economic Development, and International Political Economy.

“Applied Political Ethics was one of my favorite courses," says Peon. "It fulfilled the requirements for my major and exposed me to ethics and philosophypillars of a liberal arts education I may not have been as exposed to had I done a different major or gone to a different school,”

International studies graduates have a myriad of post-undergraduate choices, says Peon, who plans to begin a career in finance after her May graduation.  

“My senior seminar includes people who are going to medical school, graduate school, and Ph.D. programs, and others who are interested in marketing or going into careers in finance like me. It’s a diverse major for curious minds who want to know how the world works.” 

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.

International Studies