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International Studies

College of Liberal Arts

Aerial shot of student on CSULB campus

International Studies - Programs

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (code I/STBA01) (120 units)

The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to provide a rigorous introduction to the complex interrelationships that exist among societies in the modern world. It combines the study of international relations, global and development issues and contemporary belief systems with a concentration on a major world area. In addition, the degree aims to equip students with the skills in language, analytical thinking, research, and economic literacy that are necessary for graduate study and careers in international fields. Further, students in the International Studies program receive direct exposure to an international environment by participating in a foreign study program or an internationally related internship in this country. Because it is interdisciplinary, this program emphasizes the ways in which the expertise and methodologies of various disciplines contribute to the understanding and resolution of international issues.

The program provides a broad understanding of international issues and world cultures through exposure to the various methodologies of the social sciences and liberal arts. It offers pre-professional study for careers in government, communications, business, law, journalism, and international non-government organizations. Students are encouraged to combine a major in International Studies with a second major or minor in a field appropriate to their career plans.

All International Studies majors are required to develop a program of study in consultation with the program advisor. This program should be balanced among the participating disciplines in order to help the student develop a coherent emphasis in a world region and/or a topical area. Majors should choose their foreign language, foreign study or internship experience, and senior seminar research project to reflect this emphasis. The program director also advises about post-graduate study.


A minimum of 45 units in a program approved by the International Studies advisor.

Requirements not included in major

Economic Literacy (units not included in total for major; may be fulfilled as part of General Education): ECON 100 and 101. Or, with prior permission of the International Studies Advisor, ECON 300 may be substituted for ECON 100 and 101.

Foreign Language: Three years of college level study or equivalent proficiency in a language appropriate to the program of study and geographic area concentration selected.

Major Requirements

  • Lower Division (12 units): I/ST 200; and an additional 9 units chosen from the following: ANTH 120; HIST 212; GEOG 100 or 160; POSC 215 or 220.
  • Upper Division - a minimum of 33 units including:
  • Cross-Cultural Communication: 3 units, chosen from: ANTH 412I, 413; COMM 330.
  • Basics of International Relations: Select 6 units from the following: ECON 372; GEOG 470; HIST/I/ST 478; POSC 371, 378.
  • Development Studies - 6 units, selected from: ANTH 307I; ECON 465; GEOG 460; H SC 420I; JOUR 312I; POSC 461I; I/ST 317I, 318I, 319I, 355I; SOC 350; W/ST 401I.
  • Contemporary Belief Systems: 3 units selected from: ANTH 305I; ECON 313; POSC 306; R/ST 383I; SOC 356.

Area Concentration

Choose 9 units from one of the following six areas:

  • Asia: A/ST 300I, 301I, 310, 495I; ANTH 332, 333, 335; GEOG 314I; HIST 382B, 383B, 384, 385, 386, 407I, 488; POSC 362
  • Latin America: ANTH 323, 324; HIST 364, 462, 463, 466; CHLS 310; POSC 358, 481
  • Africa: AFRS 337, 380, 430, 460; GEOG 308I; HIST 391, 392.
  • North Africa and the Middle East: GEOG 309I, HIST 431; POSC 367; R/ST 331I, 315.
  • Eastern Europe/Former Soviet Union: GEOG 318; HIST 341B
  • Western Europe: FREN 440; GEOG 316; GERM 380I, 410, 416; HIST 337, 339, 357, 437; POSC 353; SPAN 430.
  • Internship or Foreign Study: (I/ST 492, 3 units) An internship or foreign study program related to the course of study selected, as approved by major advisor.
  • Senior Research Seminar: (I/ST 490, 3 units) As approved by the director of the International Studies program.

Minor in International Studies (code I/STUM01)

The Minor in International Studies consists of a minimum of 21 units at least 15 which must be upper division courses, together with at least two years of college level of study (or equivalent proficiency) in a language (other than English) relevant to the student’s program of study in International Studies.


Economic Literacy: Three units selected from ECON 100, 101, or with the consent of the International Studies advisor, upper division students may take ECON 300. (Units earned in satisfaction of this requirement may not be counted as part of the unit requirement in the minor.)

Lower Division: Three units of I/ST 200 and three units selected from ANTH 120, HIST 212, GEOG 100 or 160; POSC 215 or 220.

Upper Division: Three units selected from the courses grouped under Cross Cultural Communications or from the courses grouped under Contemporary Belief Systems as those groups are defined for the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.

Either six units selected from the Courses grouped under Development Studies or six units selected from the courses grouped under Basics of International Relations as those groups are defined for the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.

Six units selected from one of the geographic Area Concentrations defined for the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.