Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Area Studies Minor


Professor Stephen K. Wegren, Director

General Information

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 Area Studies Program are designed to provide students with a foundation for this expertise, requiring coursework in the social sciences, business, language and humanities.

The area studies minor is separate from the major or minor in international studies. A student may earn a minor in a geographical area in order to increase expertise and in-depth knowledge of a region’s history, politics, society and culture. A minor in an area study is offered in Africa/Middle East studies, Asian studies, European studies, and Latin American and Iberian studies.

Area Studies Minor Rules for SMU Abroad Credit

To maximize the educational experience in these degree programs, all area studies 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 area studies minor. The following policies apply to the Area Studies Program:

For an Area Studies Minor

  • Up to 12 credit hours of world language study may be taken in an SMU-approved study abroad program and counted toward the language requirement for any area studies minor.
  • Three of nine credit hours in the student’s regional concentration may be taken in an SMU-approved study abroad program and counted toward the minor.

Requirements for the Minor

A minor in one of the four geographic areas of study requires 15 credit hours of coursework. The first six hours (two courses) are chosen from the Core Courses or the Global Perspective. The next nine hours (three courses) are chosen from a regional concentration: 1) the African and Middle Eastern studies curriculum, 2) the Asian studies curriculum, 3) the European studies curriculum, or 4) the Latin American and Iberian studies curriculum. At least one course is to be selected from the social sciences group and at least one course is to be selected from the humanities and arts group for the selected curriculum. At least nine hours must be at the 3000 level and above.

If a student is an international studies major, only one course from the area studies curriculum may be double counted toward the area studies minor.

The language requirement for the minor may be met through examination, the transfer of language study credit from another university or by taking courses on campus.