International Studies

International Studies prepares graduates to cross into other cultures and navigate global networks of an ever-changing and interdependent world.

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 Certificates 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.

BA in International Studies (39 credits) promotes understanding of global issues and the various countries and cultures of the world. Students who major in international studies gain awareness of intercultural differences and important trends in international affairs. Majors also 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. Over 120 courses that fulfill program requirements are offered in many departments, including:

  • Economics
  • English
  • Criminal justice
  • Geography
  • Global languages
  • History/Philosophy
  • Management/Marketing
  • 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.

International Studies Minor (21 credits) and Areas Studies Certificates (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. Letters of completion are offered in:

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

A certificate 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.

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.

Admission and Degree Requirements

Majors must complete 6 credits by taking the following two required courses:

  • INT200 Introduction to International Studies
  • INT300 International Studies Seminar

Majors must elect concentrations in 1) Global Perspectives and 2) Area Studies as well as an associated foreign language. Majors also are required to study abroad or engage in an off-campus internship that develops intercultural competency and/or international understanding.

  • Global Perspectives courses (12 credits) explore globalization’s impact on the world. Students must elect one Global Perspectives concentration: a) Comparative and Global Cultures, b) Global Political Relations or c) Global Business and Economics.
  • Area Studies (12 credits) and Foreign Language (9 credits) requirements promote intercultural and linguistic competency. Students must elect one Area Studies concentration and related foreign language in a) African and Middle Eastern Studies, b) Asian Studies, c) European Studies or d) Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Students minoring in International Studies must complete 6 credits by taking the following two required courses:

  • INT200 Introduction to International Studies
  • INT300 International Studies Seminar

Minors must complete 6 credits by taking two of the following four core courses:

  • GEO101 World Geography (General Education Category D)
  • PLS141 Introduction to International Politics (General Education Category D)
  • ANT220 Anthropology for International Studies
  • MGT370 International Business

Minors select 9 credits of electives from a list of approved International Studies courses.

Students obtaining Area Studies Certificates must complete the following required introductory course:

  • INT200 Introduction to International Studies

Area studies students select 9 credits of electives from a list of approved courses in African and Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, or Latin American Studies.

All international studies students are encouraged to exceed the program’s foreign language requirement by pursuing a foreign language letter of completion (12 credits), minor (18 credits) or second major (36 credits). Foreign language learning is a key to interacting successfully in multilingual and multicultural settings. Language students gain concrete linguistic skills and deeper insight into the ways of thinking of other cultures. As a result, they have a greater capacity to interact effectively in diverse cultural settings. Foreign language speakers are more successful in intercultural negotiations and forming cross-cultural personal and professional relationships.

Careers in International Studies

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.

Get Involved

International studies majors are required to study abroad or engage in an off-campus internship to assure that they develop the intercultural personal skills and foreign language expertise needed to succeed in an international environment. Courses taken while studying abroad should be chosen to satisfy academic requirements. In the past, our students have studied in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, 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 majors also have the option of completing an internship in the US or overseas. The university’s proximity to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City provides many opportunities for internships with the US government, multinational businesses, and international agencies. Students earn 3 to 6 credits of college credit while gaining real-world experience. Although students pursuing the minor and letters of completion are not required to study abroad or pursue internships, they are encouraged to do so because employers value college graduates with international learning experiences.

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.


Where can I get more information? 

For more information on International Studies at Shippensburg University, call or write:

     Director of International Studies
     Global Education Center
     Ceddia Union Building 221B
     Shippensburg University
     1871 Old Main Drive
     Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299



     Website:  /ism/international-studies-program/