International Studies

Why Study International Studies

International Studies prepares you to cross into other cultures and navigate global networks of an ever-changing and interdependent world. Majoring in international studies helps you gain awareness of intercultural differences and important trends in international affairs. You will learn how global linkages in the world’s economy, politics, media, culture, and natural environment can bring benefits, but also increase international tensions. The major is interdisciplinary.

Why Study International Studies at Ship

 The International Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary array of courses to prepare students for the challenges of the twenty-first century’s fast changing, globalized world. The program offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Studies, an International Studies Minor, and 4 different Areas Studies Letters of Completion that promote knowledge of the countries and cultures of the world as well as the forces of globalization knitting them together. The program also sponsors educational and cultural events to promote international understanding in the campus community. Shippensburg University produces graduates who can interact with people of different cultures and navigate global networks connecting the world’s economies, governments, and societies.

Each fall semester the program co-sponsors International Education Week with speakers, films, and activities promoting international understanding and providing information on study abroad opportunities. Every spring semester the program sponsors a series of campus-wide events, featuring speakers and an annual film festival, related to a particular global theme. Past themes include globalization, global environment, and human rights. Each year’s theme also serves as the topic of the International Studies Seminar (INT300). As part of their regular course work, seminar students attend and discuss the talks and films. Previous fall and spring-semester speakers have come from other universities, the US and foreign governments, international organizations, and the news media.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

International studies prepares graduates for a variety of careers in the United States and abroad. Graduates typically find employment in business, the federal government, international agencies, and social service, educational and media organizations. Businesses need employees who can operate in a multinational environment because exports, imports and tourism contribute substantially to the US and Pennsylvania economies. Federal agencies, such as the FBI and State Department, and non-profit organizations, such as the Red Cross and UNICEF, require employees with the intercultural and linguistic competency needed to interact with foreign governments and peoples. Since the world’s economic, political, and cultural spheres are increasingly interconnected, the demand for graduates with international and intercultural training is expected to grow in the future.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies (39 credits) promotes understanding of global issues and the various countries and cultures of the world. Majors must elect concentrations in 1) global perspectives and 2) area studies, as well as an associated foreign language. Over 130 courses that fulfill program requirements are offered in many departments, including:

  • Economics
  • English
  • Criminal justice
  • Geography
  • History/Philosophy
  • Management/Marketing
  • Modern languages
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology/Anthropology

Study abroad or an internship and foreign language learning are required to prepare graduates to understand foreign cultures, function effectively in other countries, and find international jobs. In the past, our students have studied in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. More than five thousand study abroad programs are available in most countries around the globe. The world is open to students who want to broaden their horizons.

International Studies Minor (21 credits) and Areas Studies Letters of Completion (12 credits each) allow students pursuing other majors, including those in business, communications, education, and science, to deepen their international knowledge. Minors choose from an interdisciplinary array of courses. Areas Studies Letters of Completion are offered in:

  • African and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • European Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies

A letter of completion allows a student to demonstrate specialized knowledge of a world region. Like the major and minor, the letters of completion include an interdisciplinary array of courses offered by many departments.

See the Undergraduate Catalog for specific course requirements or speak with a faculty advisor in the department.

Student Groups

Students also have the opportunity to get involved in other campus activities through several student clubs and organizations such as, International Studies Club, Sigma Iota Rho (national honor society in international studies), Foreign Film Club, and the International Student Organization.

Contact Info

Dauphin Humanities Center 109, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1135
Department Website