Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies Pathway Guide

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as an International Studies Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as an international studies major. For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed. If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

Save all of your course syllabi!

B.A. in International Studies

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV


*The second language requirement may be satisfied by (1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, (2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or (3) being literate in a native language other than English.

International and Area Studies

The International Studies Major ,  International Studies Minor  and Area Studies Minor  allow students to design an interdisciplinary program to study the human experience in a global perspective and develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific geographical area. The curricula for these programs offers coursework in the social sciences, business, and humanities.

Study Abroad

All majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester or summer in a Study Abroad program. SMU offers numerous study-abroad opportunities around the world. Most of the courses taught in the study-abroad programs may be applied to the International and Area Studies major and minors.

The John Goodwin Tower Center

The John Goodwin Tower Center provides undergraduates with unique opportunities to meet and interact with experts in international relations and comparative politics. The Center brings a distinguished diplomat to campus each year.  Its primary mission is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service. The Center also sponsors internships and research fellowships for undergraduate students. To learn more about becoming a Tower Scholar, visit the Tower Center website.

Internship Opportunities

Not only does the international studies office encourage study abroad-related internships, the program also has access to some of the best internship programs in Washington, D.C. Go to the International Studies website for more information.

Majoring or Minoring in International Studies

One major and two minors are offered by the department. A student must take 15 credit hours (five courses) from the Core Courses for either the International Studies, B.A.  or International Studies Minor . Of the five courses, two courses are chosen from The Global Perspective; these courses do not have a regional focus. Of the 15 credit hours required in the Core Courses, at least six hours (two courses)must be in courses at the 3000 level and above.

Additional requirements for the B.A. in International Studies include 15 credit hours (five courses) chosen within a regional specialization (African/Middle Eastern Studies; Asian Studies; European Studies; Latin American and Iberian Studies), as well as a senior seminar/capstone course where students integrate and apply what they have learned. Courses taken in the Core Courses do not double count in the regional specialization.

A co-curricular requirement for the B.A. in International Studies  is two years of college-level study of a foreign language or equivalent. Courses for the language requirement do not count toward the 33-credit 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. Latin does not count as a second language, because the intent is to prepare the student for employment in the contemporary world.

Minoring in Area Studies

For a minor in Area Studies , a student may choose between European Studies, Latin American and Iberian Studies, Asian Studies, and Africa/Middle East Studies. Each area requires 15 hours of coursework.

Preparing for a Smooth Transfer

A seamless transfer to SMU and the International Studies program requires planning. This guide is designed to assist you in planning your transition. Taking the time to prepare for your move lays the best foundation for success. The following are a few important points to remember:

  • The second language requirement of the University Curriculum may be satisfied by 1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, 2) placing out of four terms of world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or 3) being literate in a native language other than English.
  • The International Studies major requires two semesters of a second language beyond the introductory level.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Work on the University Curriculum prior to transfer is highly encouraged.
  • Compare Course Descriptions found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits. 
  • For additional information on the International Studies major, visit the department homepage or call 214-768-3665 to speak to the advisor for International Studies.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU, 42 of which must be in courses at the 3000 and higher levels. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major.
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC).
  • Elective courses. These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor. 

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.