Skip navigation

International Studies

  • Why Study International Studies

    Are you interested in international politics and American foreign policy? Do you follow current international and global events? Are you passionate about critical issues such as human rights, the global environment, economic globalization, global poverty and international security? Are you curious about how power and resources are distributed in the world?  

    Does all of this sound fascinating? If so, then international studies may be for you.

    The international studies major reflects the reality of globalization and prepares students to address, manage and resolve contemporary foreign policy and public policy challenges, problems and issues employing an international and comparative perspective. At its heart international studies is about how people work together across national borders, balancing the global common good and their national interests. 

    Degree Options

    • International Studies (B.A.)  
      • The major addresses political, social, cultural and economic issues in their global and historical context, employing a multi-disciplinary approach, emphasizing core courses in political science, history and world languages. The program requires that students choose a minor or second major in another discipline to develop an additional skill-based or knowledge-based specialization according to the student’s specific career interests.
    • Pre-Law Concentration (B.A. in International Studies)
      • This curriculum integrates courses in philosophy, business, and history with political science, and is a great option for students pursuing a law school degree or graduate studies in the legal field.

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Arts & Letters to view degree requirements.

    International Studies at SFU

    Our program is designed to help you develop to your full potential and these are some of the reasons why you should study international studies at SFU:

    • Experiential learning: The program is built around experiential learning. Tying academic knowledge to real world experiences is vital to future career success. An experiential learning component is required to complete the degree. You will have opportunities to pursue internships in Washington, DC; study abroad in France, Mexico, Italy and elsewhere; and conduct independent research.
    • Active learning: You should be engaged in your learning, not passive note-takers. The lecture has its place, but active learning is crucial to your development and growth. As such many of our classes emphasize classroom discussions, role-playing, simulations, debates, research presentations, moot courts, the use of social media, and field trips.
    • Skill development: You will learn to think critically and independently, acquiring the skills necessary for the 21st century global economy. Our coursework emphasizes communication, research, and teamwork, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills.
    • Ethics and values: In keeping with the Franciscan heritage of the institution you will learn to develop a respect for others and a concern for the larger community around you. Our curriculum emphasizes ethical decision-making.
    • Curriculum flexibility: The program requirements are flexible enough to permit you the opportunity to combine the international studies major with a second major or minors from other disciplines, developing a coherent program of study, preparing you for graduate school, law school or the workplace.

    Career Possibilities

    Majoring in international studies at SFU can help you stand out in the job market and/or as you apply to graduate school or law school. Your research experience, internships, and skills will help to build career contacts and gain real-world experience. The international studies major at SFU is a gateway to a variety of international careers in law, government, the non-profit sector, and the private sector including:

    • International law
    • Foreign policy and national security
    • Intelligence analysis
    • International trade and finance
    • Economic and social development
    • Human rights
    • The global environment
    • International negotiation and diplomacy
    • International communications and media relations