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International Studies

International Studies

The Major in International Studies

International Studies is an interdisciplinary major with a strong cross-cultural focus that prepares students for careers or graduate study in the global arena. International Studies majors design their own integrated program anchored in one core discipline and one modern language and focused on a country or region where they study for a semester. Students majoring in International Studies affiliate with the Comparative Cultures Collegium and will be associates of faculty belonging to that Collegium. A committee of three faculty members works with each student to select courses, to plan the international experience, and to supervise the senior project or thesis. One of the members of this committee is the International Studies discipline coordinator.

Recent graduates have found employment in a variety of international fields such as education, development, public health, environmental management, journalism, law, and diplomacy. Others have served in the Peace Corps or other international service organizations. They have also worked in non-governmental organizations or international business. Many have pursued graduate study.

General Major Requirements

The major requirements consist of a minimum of eleven courses, language study, one-semester of study abroad and a senior project. As a gateway, students must take either Introduction to Anthropology (AN 201G) or Cultural Anthropology (AN 206G). Students will also take five courses from a core discipline and five courses related to one specified geographical region.

Core Discipline Requirement

Students will develop depth of knowledge in one field of study by taking a minimum of five courses in a core discipline. International Studies majors develop a program of study around any discipline offered at Eckerd College. Listed below are disciplines commonly chosen by IS majors. Students typically model their course choices after the minor in the core discipline. Students wishing to choose other courses to meet this requirement should do so in consultation with their mentors. Students who have interest in disciplines beyond those listed here may develop a program in consultation with the Discipline Coordinator.

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Communication
  • Creative Writing
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film Studies
  • History
  • Human Development
  • International Business
  • Literature/Comparative Literature
  • Management
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Religious Studies
  • Theater

Geographical Region Requirement

Students will take five courses from any discipline focusing on a country or region. This requirement may be fulfilled through courses at an approved study abroad program or through area studies or other regionally focused courses offered on the Eckerd College campus.

Language Requirement

International Studies majors will become proficient in at least one modern language. Students will complete at least five semesters of college-level language study or the equivalent. Currently Eckerd College offers language courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese or Spanish. An intermediate level of language competence is recommended prior to the international experience.

Semester Abroad Requirement

A special feature of the program is that students participate in an approved study abroad program. International Studies major study in a country related to their chosen modern language and region for at least one semester. Studying abroad for an extended period of time allows students to improve proficiency in a modern language and acquire first-hand experience of the ways different political, economic, and social systems operate. It also allows students to recognize their own cultural biases and develop skills to communicate with people from other cultures. Our International Education Office helps students plan and coordinate their study abroad experience. This semester-long experience must include an approved language and cultural study program, but it may also involve an internship or job-related opportunity.

Senior Project Requirements

Students complete a senior project or a thesis in consultation with their faculty committee. This project is based on research and study completed during the semester- abroad experience. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in a modern language.

Fiske Guide 2013

For a second year in a row, Fiske recognizes Eckerd's strength in International Studies. Eckerd was noted on a list that Fiske defines as one of "today's hottest interdisciplinary majors:" International Studies.
Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013.

Student Scholars

Lorel Schmitzberger, an International Studies and Anthropology double majorLorel Schmitzberger with a minor in German, is one of eighteen Ford Apprentice Scholars college-wide.
Read more about Lorel and other International Studies students.