International Studies

Bachelor of Arts
Interdisciplinary Program
College of Arts and Sciences

International Studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to international and global connections. The major acquaints students with approaches from the humanities (history, communication, region based cultural studies), social sciences (economics, political science and geography), and natural sciences (geography). The student’s individual program may focus on a world region (Africa, Europe), a particular issue or discipline (development, environment, sociology), or a future career goal (government, business administration). All IS majors continue foreign language at least through the third-year college level. You may continue with your high school language, or you may decide to “start over” with a language not usually offered at the high school level, such as Japanese or Russian. We encourage all majors to spend a year or a semester abroad; shorter programs are also available.

Career Opportunities

In today’s global society, this undergraduate major may lead to a wider variety of career options than a traditional major. Potential employers include federal agencies such as the departments of State, Defense, Commerce and Agriculture, and state offices in international trade, tourism, and economic development. Students also find positions in not-for-profit associations, business enterprises and education. The International Studies Program also prepares students for graduate or professional training in foreign relations, languages, the social sciences, law, public administration and business.

Program Objectives

International Studies is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to provide students with the training needed to understand and analyze a continually evolving region and its role in a global context. Students who complete the International Studies major will be able to:

Study Abroad

Because international experience is an important part of global competence, International Studies requires that every major study abroad. A year or semester abroad is recommended, but a shorter program may be substituted with advisor approval. Each student is free to choose any approved program in any country that meets his/her needs, but may wish to give special consideration to BGSU-sponsored programs, which usually cost no more than a year on campus.

The University offers three internationally respected, full-year study abroad programs taught in the language of the host country; summer and one-semester options are also available:

BGSU offers additional programs in Australia, Benin, Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Information on these and many other programs is available from the Education Abroad and International Partnerships Office, University Hall, 419-372-0479.

Additional opportunities

Each year our majors participate in internships and cooperative education programs such as The Washington Center semester. Activities such as Model United Nations, foreign language clubs, housing options with an international or language focus, the International Studies Network, and the World Student Association enrich the learning experience. Please see the “Study the World” flyer for further information.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking two, three, even four years of the same foreign language, this is excellent for preparation for college. Four rather than three years of mathematics are also recommended highly.

Program Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements, the International Studies major requires 36-45 hours; a minor is also required. International studies also offers a minor.

Required courses include:

International ResearchScape Journal

This online undergraduate journal aims to publish and showcase outstanding student research on international issues. The philosophy of the journal is to promote research collaboration between BGSU faculty mentors and undergraduate students; faculty mentors help students finalize their manuscripts for submission and publication. The journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

International Studies majors and minors are also strongly encouraged to participate in the annual research conference, “Embracing Global Engagement: Internships, Service- and Experiential Learning in BGSU

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for International Studies, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: