Professor Stephen K. Wegren, Director
To succeed in an international career, students need expertise in the politics, economics, history, language and cultures of societies other than their own. The curricula for the International and Area Studies Program are designed to provide students with a foundation for this expertise, requiring coursework in the social sciences, business, language and humanities. A student majoring in international studies also chooses a region in which to specialize: Europe, Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East/Africa.
As an alternative to the international studies major, a student may choose an area of study to earn a minor. Minors include European studies, Asian studies, Latin American and Iberian studies, and Africa/Middle East studies.
International Studies Major and Minor Rules for SMU Abroad Credit
To maximize the educational experience in these degree programs, all international studies majors and minors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one term or summer studying abroad. The University offers numerous study abroad opportunities around the world; most of these courses may be applied to the international and area studies major or minor. The following policies apply to the International and Area Studies Program:
For the International Studies Major
- Up to 12 hours of world language study may be taken in an SMU-approved study abroad program and counted toward the language requirement for the major.
- Up to 15 hours in the student’s regional specialization may be taken in an SMU-approved study abroad program and counted toward the major.
- Of the 15 hours required from the basic curriculum, 12 hours must be taken on an SMU campus (Dallas, Taos or Plano). Three hours of transfer credit (not an SMU-approved study abroad program) may be counted toward fulfillment of the basic curriculum requirement.
- If a student wishes to take a course abroad for credit in the global perspective, it is highly recommended that the course be preapproved by the director before enrolling. Petitions after the course has been taken may not be approved.
- The senior seminar (INTL 4388 ) must be taken on an SMU campus (Dallas, Taos or Plano).
- A total of 33 hours (exclusive of the 12 hours of language study required for the major) are required for the major in international studies.
- These policies do not change the required number of credit hours in advanced courses.
Directed Readings, Internships and Distinction Courses
INTL 4302 - Directed Readings in International Studies
INTL 4306 - Internship in International Studies
INTL 4307 - Departmental Distinction Thesis
The international studies major provides exposure to global issues through the basic curriculum. Note: Courses taken in the basic curriculum do not double count in the regional specialization. The international studies major provides students with the opportunity to design an interdisciplinary program of study that facilitates an understanding of the human experience in a global perspective, while at the same time allowing them to develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific geographical area. The major requires 33 hours of coursework (in addition to prerequisites for certain courses and the language requirement).
The senior seminar, INTL 4388 , which must be taken on campus by all majors in their senior year, is designed as a capstone course where students integrate and apply what they have learned. The topic of the seminar will vary depending upon the professor.
A cocurricular requirement for the B.A. in international studies is two years of college-level study of a world language or equivalent. Note: Latin does not fulfill the language requirement in this major. Courses for the language requirement do not count toward the 33-hour requirement. The language requirement may be met through examination, the transfer of language study credit from another university or by taking courses on campus or study abroad.
An updated list of available courses and additional information about independent readings, departmental distinction requirements, study abroad opportunities and internship requirements are available on the website for international studies.