International Studies Major: Information and Requirements

International studies bachelor's degree programs provide interdisciplinary instruction on how nations interact with each other politically, culturally, and economically.

Essential Information

Students with global aspirations should consider majoring in International Studies. With a broad mixture of language, history, and politics, this bachelor's degree prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills to engage in the global community. Many programs offer opportunities to study abroad or participate in an international service project so students can gain firsthand knowledge of their chosen region.

Degrees will typically offer specializations in different continents, countries, regions, or similar depending on which culture you wish to study. Students will need a high school diploma or the equivalent to enroll, as well as prior coursework in history, economics, literature, and related. Students are encouraged to have foreign language competency before enrolling; alternately, they will have the opportunity to learn one during the program. Programs can often be found online.

Bachelor's Degree in International Studies

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs in international studies emphasize critical thinking skills in an interdisciplinary fashion, involving coursework in history, economics, and literature. The classes in international studies bachelor's degree programs cover a variety of subjects dealing with how different societies function. A few programs focus on relatively narrow topics, such as comparative religion or economics, but most provide a depth of knowledge. The topics listed below are often discussed:

  • International relations
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Comparative economics
  • International political science
  • International religious studies

Popular Careers

International studies bachelor's degree programs prepare graduates for a variety of careers in education, business, government, and humanitarianism. Graduates can work in the public or private sectors, and can sometimes work independently as consultants. The list below includes some popular career options:

  • High school world history teacher
  • International lobbyist
  • International entrepreneur

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Individuals must become licensed in order to teach in the public schools, which generally involves enrolling in a teacher education program. High school teachers made an average salary of $60,440 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Continuing Education Information

People who earn a bachelor's degree in international studies often continue their education at the graduate level. Since international studies is a broad field, the options for graduate study are far reaching. Many students with an international studies background study law, business administration, public policy, or economics at the graduate level.

Students wishing to learn about different cultures, understand world relations, and travel to different countries can enroll in an international studies bachelor's degree, preparing them for a variety of jobs. Graduates can seek master's education in many different fields.

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