International Studies Minor

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It has been suggested time and again that the human race is heading precipitously towards global economic collapse, escalating wars of mass destruction, or even an extinction event for most species on Earth. Some propose that the most likely catastrophes approaching humanity in the coming decades are not an asteroid hitting the planet or a geological shift towards another Ice Age. Instead, they hypothesize that disaster will result from the actions of nations, organizations and individuals in a world of nuclear weapons, fanatical extremism, unsustainable growth, and mutating diseases. Whether you believe in these global predictions, you are already an active participant in the world’s systems and trends through the choices you make each day - how you consume, the technology you use, the companies you patronize or invest in, and your role in your nation, religion, culture and interest group.

This is what makes International Studies such a relevant subject for all university students today. You will be working in a world that is highly interconnected and where global citizens can play meaningful and important roles. The content matter of the subject is interesting and dynamic, reflecting the events in our fast changing world. Topics covered in International Studies are never boring or static, they include extreme poverty and inequality, migrant and minority issues, climate change and global sustainability, armed conflicts and international terrorism, rogues regimes and human rights violations, and transnational crime and global pandemics. Class exercises address topics and scenarios ranging from drones and torture to world government and modern slavery. The complexity of global issues also demand that we use theories and methods from multiple disciplines, such as political science, economics, statistics, history, geography, ecology, business management, law, and linguistics. Hence taking a course in International Studies will introduce you to the world and many lenses for looking at it.

The growth of cross-border commerce, travel and tourism, free flow of ideas and culture, and advances in technology have significantly shrunk the world we live in. In this world, International Studies will help you develop transferable skills that are valued by your employers. It will also provide you the foundational knowledge and global competencies that will help you practice your professions in our rapidly changing and highly globalized human society.


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The Minor in International Studies is an interdisciplinary minor meant to complement any major on campus either by adding an international component to that major or by strengthening an existing international emphasis. The minor provides a broad overview of international issues while also permitting some degree of specialization on a particular issue or region of the world.

These objectives are accomplished not only through a flexible selection of coursesoutside the major, but also through direct engagement that might include studyabroad, internships, home-stays, the study of foreign language, and the development of a final senior project that allows the student to integrate learning from both majorand minor into a project with an international focus.

The Program of study should have either a topical or regional focus and courses in the Core Requirements should be selected from at least two disciplines outside the student’s major. Study abroad is an important component of this minor and students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for overseas study offered by Radford University or other institutions.

The content of the minor will vary with each student. The following suggest some of the possibilities, but are not fully inclusive: The Role of Dance in Culture, Economics of Developing Countries, Japanese (or European) Studies, Educational Systems in Africa, the Politics of Fundamentalist Islam.


Requirements for the Minor in International Studies total 18 semester hours, including the following four areas:

Introductory Course (3 credits)

Choose one of the following:

  • INST 101- Introduction to International Studies (Prefered Option)
  • SOCY 121- Understanding Cultures
  • HIST 101- World History to 1500
  • HIST 102- World History since 1500
  • Experience in a Target Culture No Credit

Note(s): This introductory requirement may be met in any number of ways, including study abroad, internships, homestays, or service learning projects. While the study abroad option is not required, it is strongly encouraged. Students receive no specific credit for the study abroad experience, but courses taken overseas and transferred to Radford University may be used to meet the requirements of a student’s General Degree program, those in the student’s major, or the International Studies Minor, if appropriate.

Required Core (12 credits)

Hours should be chosen from at least two disciplines outside the student’s major and reflect in some fashion the topical or regional focus of the student’s minor in International Studies.

Senior Project (3 credits)

INST 488- International Studies: Senior Project

Note(s): Ideally, this course is taken during the student’s last semester and is a culmination of the international knowledge and experiences gained. The project may be a research paper, a work of art or multi - media presentation, a film, series of articles, etc. A senior project proposal must be submitted to the Committee on International Studies for approval in the semester prior to the student’s enrollment. The project is supervised and graded by a designated faculty member, preferably in the student’s major department. Students must earn a grade of “A” or “B” in the course to have met the requirements for the minor. Students are encouraged to give a public presentation of their work in some forum.

Find the International Studies: Senior Project application (here)

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