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International Studies Program


The interdisciplinary major allows students to develop their own program of study through the selection of an Area of Concentration, a cluster of five courses that the student may choose from among three or more disciplines.


1. INTL. 201:  "Introduction to International Studies: A Global Perspective":

This required one semester overview of global issues within the political, economic and social fabric of the world order is the port of entry to the major and is offered each semester.

2. A choice of one of the following:

PSC.252 " Approaches to International Relations"

PSC.222 "Comparative International Politics"

Students interested in the International Relations Concentration should takeeither of these courses which introduce them to political theory and analysis of international politics.

INTL. 305: " Social Foundations of International Studies"

The focus of this course is the cultural interaction among diverse groups in the world and its implications for international relations. It is usually offered in the Fall semester.

PSC.202: International Political Economy

Students interested in the Development or Public Policy Concentrations should take this course.



Students are usually expected to undertake two years of study of a foreign language. Alternatively, they may take a proficiency test in a selected foreign language. They may also elect to take an intensive program of language study abroad.


IS Majors are required to take ENGLISH 210.02, "Writing for the Social Sciences," to meet the writing skills requirement. This is an important preparation for the capstone work  that students will submit in their senior year.


IS Majors may choose a quantitative skills course from among,

a)SOC.232, b) ECON.290, c) PSY. 215.

 ECO 290 requires prior completion of ECO 100; PSY 215 requires prior completion of PSY 102.



The Area of Concentration is a specialization that the student chooses through a cluster of five courses relevant to a specific theme. It enables the student to build up a concentration of knowledge about a subject that will lead him/her to submission of a capstone product in the senior year. The student should select the courses from among at least three disciplines in order to make the study truly interdisciplinary. Students usually select their five electives in the Concentration in consultation with the Director of the Program each semester.

There are four Areas of Concentration:

International Relations                                             


International Public Policy                                        

Culture and Communication                         



Fieldwork or study abroad, relevant to the Area of Concentration, may be undertaken, and students may earn up to sixteen credits toward their major through overseas study, with the approval of the Program Director. The Winston Fellowship, awarded on a competitive basis to IS majors, provides financial support for study abroad anywhere in the world. The College has study abroad programs in Morocco, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, England, Germany, and Austria. CUNY offers modest scholarships (STOCS) for study abroad in short term programs run by CUNY colleges in the summer and winter intersession for students receiving federal financial aid. If you are considering study abroad, you should discuss your plans with the International Studies Program Director who is also the Director of the College's Study Abroad activities. The Study Abroad office is in the IS office and the Study Abroad Coordinator, Kenneth Yanes, is actively associated with the IS Program and is available for advice on study abroad programs that are available and procedures for registration.



Students must take the Internship Seminar (INTL.251) through which they may participate in internships in diplomatic missions to the United Nations, international businesses, research institutes, advocacy agencies such as Amnesty International, and non-Governmental organizations (NGOs). Interns usually spend eight hours a week in their on-the-job activities, with a minimum total of 112 hours of work. The internship may also be undertaken during the winter and summer sessions.



The capstone of the major is an essay that deals with an international issue or theme within the framework of theory, or a policy paper that incorporates both practical experience and research. Students may apply for Honors offered through an Honors Seminar taught in the Spring, with an Honors thesis to be completed in the following Fall semester. (A minimum GPA of 3.5 is a pre-requisite for this option.) Or they may take the regular Senior Seminar in the Fall and write a Senior Thesis in the Spring. Another option, in lieu of a senior thesis, is a Policy Paper that will build on work in the Senior Seminar and be completed in the Spring through a course titled "Public Policy Portfolio".



-  All IS majors receive individual advising from the Program Director each semester, prior to   registration, and as opportunities develop for participation in Study Abroad, national seminars, fellowships and scholarships.

-  International Studies majors are eligible for fellowships administered by the Program to support Study Abroad.

-  The Rosenberg/Humphrey Program, which offers specific courses in public policy, provides financial support and internship opportunities in New York and Washington DC to deserving students, among them IS majors.

-  The Model United NationsProgram, is popular among IS majors who constitute the majority of its participants.

-  The Students Association of International Studies (SAIS), run by students in the Program (but open to non-majors as well), organizes guest lectures, international crisis simulations, cultural fairs,  and offers opportunities for leadership among students.

-  An electronic Newsletter is published by the Program and can be accessed at:

-  When time permits, IS majors are provided training in cross-cultural mediation; this is a valuable skill which prepares them for the challenges they will encounter in their careers.

-  IS majors have opportunities to participate in service-learning programs/internships in programs conducted by the College in such countries as Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

-IS majors have access to a mini-library and work tables in NAC 6/293. This is also the favorite hangout for IS majors, where they may meet their friends, kill time between classes, leave messages for friends or actually study!

- CCNY's Diplomat-in-Residence is available (in NAC 6/143) to advise on U.S. State Department internships and entry to the U.S. Foreign Service.