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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.

A 2.5 GPA plus a C+ Average in the major is REQUIRED for graduation. (All core courses as well concentration courses).


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 take either 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 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 administrator. 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 Administrator. The Study Abroad office is located in NAC 5/216; Study Abroad Assistant Director Ninive Gomez 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 semester, with an honors thesis to be completed in the following Fall semester. (A minimum GPA of 3.5 is a prerequisite for this option.) Or they may take the regular senior seminar in the Fall and write a senior thesis in the Spring.

Students must write a 50-60 pages thesis on a topic of your choice in consultation with your faculty mentor. The thesis process involves the following:


Students must choose a faculty mentor with whom they will work during the thesis process. You choose your mentor, then register for the section of Thesis Writing (INTL32200 or INTL30200), which is available for you in the MPIR office, NAC 6/293.


The final manuscript should include (in this order):

  • A cover page that includes the following: (1) the title, (2) your name, (3) the month and year of graduation, (4) the name of your thesis advisor
  • Table of contents
  • 250-350 word abstract
  • Text of thesis
  • Bibliography

In addition:

The thesis should be double-spaced and divided into chapters.  Each new chapter should begin on a separate page.  Chapter headings should be centered and the type bold and underlined.

  • Subheads should be aligned left and underlined.
  • Do not use any other headings in your manuscript.
  • Page numbers should appear on the bottom center of every page.
  • The left margin of ever page should be 1½ inches; the other margins should be 1 inch.
  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes as your citation style.
  • Include a conclusion at the end of your manuscript.