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Liberal Arts Major
International Studies Concentration

Frequently Asked Questions

Is International Studies a Major?

Yes, International Studies is a Concentration of the Liberal Arts Major. Within this major, there are four concentrations, each one dealing with a different area of the world. When you graduate, the Major and the Concentration will appear on your transcript. If you want to emphasize your area expertise when you apply for graduate school or for positions in government and industry, make sure you do so in your letters of application, and have the teachers who write letters on your behalf do the same.

What can I do with this Major?

Of course, you will develop a level of expertise in a region of the world that will set you apart from many other students. You may or may not choose to develop more specific expertise in any of the disciplines represented in your Track courses. But there is something more basic that you will achieve, something that will make you even more "marketable." We suggest you also meet with the College of Liberal Arts Career Counselor:

In a recent issue of Phi Beta Kappa's Key Reporter, William Cronon (University of Wisconsin) listed the qualities that one finds in liberally educated people, and we take the liberty of abbreviating his points here. As a graduate in Liberal Arts, and especially as a product of the International Studies Major:

  1. You will listen and hear, because you can follow a line of reasoning and you have learned how to empathize with others;
  2. You will read and understand in many areas, because you will know there are multiple ways of reading the world (which is why this is an interdisciplinary major);
  3. You will be able to talk with anyone, because you are genuinely interested in others;
  4. You will be able to write clearly and persuasively;
  5. You will be able to solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems, because you will be able to take them apart, figure out what the issues are, and find a solution;
  6. You will respect rigor not so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth, because you will have a larger vision that calls for the humane use of knowledge;
  7. You will practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism, because, in this Concentration especially, you will have begun to know and celebrate the wider world and you will understand the history and the dreams of other peoples;
  8. You will understand how to get things done in the world, because you will sincerely want to leave the world a better place than you found it;
  9. You will nurture and empower the people around you, because you know that nothing gets done by one person alone, that a free and flourishing community is essential to your freedom and your achievements;
  10. You will see the connections that allow you to make sense of this diverse world and act within it in creative ways.

Now, can you imagine an employer who would not welcome a person with the qualities above?

Usually, no matter how many "practical" courses you take in school, you'll find yourself getting a refresher course or a totally new training regimen when you go to work for someone else. You will learn finance, marketing, crop management, teaching—whatever special skills you need—on the job, tailored to the needs of the job. Now, while you are in this program at CSU, is the time to develop your vision, to see the connections.

How many credits do I have to take in the Major?

The number of credits you must take within the Major/Concentration depends on the language you study as part of your Option. See this Breakdown by language (LARA = Arabic, LITA = Italian; LRUS= Russian; LSPA = Spanish; LFRE = French; LGER = German; LCHI = Chinese; LJPN = Japanese).

Is study abroad part of the program?

Study Abroad is encouraged, of course! You may complete the program through course work on campus, but you also have an option of substituting courses you take on a study abroad program. Of special interest to the International Studies major are CSU's reciprocal undergratuate exchanges with universities in France, Spain, Mexico, Japan, and China. You should discuss your plans with the Study Abroad office and your International Studies advisor in advance.

What if I study abroad on a non CSU Program?

You can receive credit if classes you took abroad transfer back to CSU as the equivalent of courses on the International Studies course listing in this brochure. You may also be able to apply courses that have no equivalent at CSU to your track courses if they are appropriate to your Option. Before you go abroad on any study program, talk to the Study Abroad Office and see your International Studies advisor.







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