Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

International Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
European Studies, Latin American Studies, General Studies, International Social Justice Studies, World Cinema
Program description
The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies is designed for students to acquire the historical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge to explore how culture, religion, media, politics, economics, and the environment shape each other and shape human life, and the hands-on experience to participate in the work of building a sustainable and generous society that empowers all persons to live well as responsible global citizens. The program strengthens students’ abilities to see the world from diverse perspectives, communicate across cultures, and work with others to address significant challenges facing human beings locally and globally. The program offers concentrations in Film Studies, Latin American Studies, European Studies, and International Social Justice. Each concentration offers a range of courses from which students may choose to fashion a course of study that best supports their educational and career goals. As is true with World Studies’ degrees in Anthropology, Foreign Languages, and Religious Studies, International Studies offers opportunities to engage in real world learning through internships, lab-based and field research, and study abroad programs. Through their coursework students connect with students from different cultural backgrounds and develop genuine empathy and a practical commitment to contribute to the social good.
Career opportunities
International Studies majors graduate with an abundance of transferable knowledge, skills, and experience that are highly employable in a variety of businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, institutions, and programs that understand the value of diversity and are committed to contributing to the health and well being of society. These include such areas as social betterment organizational management, leadership, and advocacy; humanitarian relief; refugee assistance; research analyst for organizations and institutions that focus on barriers to and support for development, democracy, human rights, and environmental restoration, preservation, and protection; international cultural ambassadorship and cultural affairs; international journalism, reporting, communications; global business affairs; civil rights and legal aid/advocacy. We encourage students to double-major in International Studies and one of the other majors degrees in the School of World Studies: Anthropology, Foreign Languages or Religious Studies, as doing so strengthens their cumulative knowledge, experience, academic record and resume for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Blogger/Vlogger
  • Community Organizer Associate
  • Copy Editor
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Digital Marketer
  • ESL - Teaching Assistant
  • Event Planner
  • Flight Attendant
  • General and Operations Management
  • Governmental Agency Staff
  • Health Systems Front Desk Specialist
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • International School Administrator
  • Producer
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • 1-2 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.25
Department name:
School of World Studies
Building/room location:
312 North Shafer Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-1111
Email:
info-sws@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Take INTL 101.
  • Continue language course sequence from high school or begin new sequence.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Continue to fulfill language requirements.
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and discuss strategies for success in your degree with faculty and advisors.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and RELS 340.
  • Start developing World ePass portfolio.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program on campus.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements and concentration electives.
  • Take INTL 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete an internship (INTL 493).
  • Complete the World ePass portfolio by the middle of your final semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Expand your network; you can network anywhere!
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

International Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
European Studies, Latin American Studies, General Studies, International Social Justice Studies, World Cinema
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Take INTL 101.
  • Continue language course sequence from high school or begin new sequence.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Continue to fulfill language requirements.
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and discuss strategies for success in your degree with faculty and advisors.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and RELS 340.
  • Start developing World ePass portfolio.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program on campus.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements and concentration electives.
  • Take INTL 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete an internship (INTL 493).
  • Complete the World ePass portfolio by the middle of your final semester.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Expand your network; you can network anywhere!
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.