Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 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.

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

Save all of your course syllabi!

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 Common 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 Common 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.

B.A. in International Studies

SCHs = Semester Credit Hours

First Year

WRTR 10XX - First Year Writing I  ENGL 1301 3
ANTH 2301 - Introductory Cultural Anthropology   ANTH 1315 3
CC Math Course Choose One: MATH 1324, MATH 1332, MATH 1325, MATH 1425, MATH 2413, MATH 2320, MATH 1342, BUSN 2305 3
CC Breadth Course - Creativity and Aesthetics Choose One: ARTS 1301, ARTS 1316, ARTS 2316 , ARTS 2326, ARTS 2333, ARTS 2346, ARTS 2356, DRAM 1351, HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306 3
World Language Course* 4
  SCHs 16
Spring TCCN SCHs
WRTR 10YY - First Year Writing II ENGL 1302 3
PLSC 1340 - Introduction to Comparative Politics    GOVT 2371 3
CC Breadth Course - Historical Contexts Choose One: ARTS 1303, ARTS 1304, HIST 1301, HIST 1302, HIST 2321, HIST 2322 3
CC Breadth Course - Social and Behavioral Sciences Choose One: ANTH 2351, GOVT 2305, GOVT 2371, PSYC 2301, PSYC 2314, PSYC 2319, SOCI 1301 3
World Language Course* 4
  SCHs 16

Second Year

CC Breadth Course - Literary Analysis and Interpretation Choose One: ENGL 2321, ENGL 2322, ENGL 2323, ENGL 2326, ENGL 2327, ENGL 2328, ENGL 2331, ENGL 2332, ENGL 2333 3
CC Breadth Course - Exploring Science Choose One: BIOL 1406, BIOL 1407, BIOL 1408, BIOL 1411, BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402, CHEM 1405, CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, ENVR 1401, ENVR 1402, GEOL 1401, GEOL 1403, GEOL 1405, GEOL 1445, PHYS 1401, PHYS 1402, PHYS 1403, PHYS 1405, PHYS 1404, PHYS 1407, PHYS 1415, PHYS 1417, PHYS 2425, PHYS 2426 4
World Language Course - Intermediate Level 4
Second major, minor or elective courses 6
  SCHs 17
Spring TCCN SCHs
CC Breadth Course - Philosophical, Religious and Ethical Inquiry Choose One: PHIL 1301, PHIL 1304, PHIL 2303, PHIL 2306 3
CC Breadth Course - Technological Advances and Society Choose One: COSC 1301/1401, BCIS 1305, COSC 1309 3
World Language Course - Intermediate Level 4
Second major, minor or elective courses 6
  SCHs 16


*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 offer 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 four semesters 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.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 120 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 Common Curriculum (CC) .
  • Elective courses. These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor. 

The Common Curriculum (CC)

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

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Writing courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Reasoning courses, proficiency in a second language. 
  2. Breadth - 7 Breadth courses which may double count with majors and minors.
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 8 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through coursework or approved, noncredit activities.                                                                                                                           

NOTE: If you transfer with 23 or fewer credit hours and/or transfer in your first year out of high school, transfer work earned prior to high school graduation (dual/concurrent credit) will not satisfy CC requirements.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.