Become a global citizen.
The international studies major is ideal for students who wish to take an interdisciplinary approach to the world that lies beyond the United States. Building on a core of at least 18 hours in history and political science, each student consults with her advisor to choose an additional 17-18 hours from courses in history and political science or other disciplines that offer insight into the contemporary global community. Each student should strive for fluency in one target language.
International studies majors regularly go on to graduate school, and to jobs in international business, in travel and tourism, in the foreign service, in non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and in many other areas.
This flexibility of Meredith's international studies program offers several advantages. Because many of the core and related courses will also count towards General Education and/or other programs, international studies can be a sound and efficient base for adding a second major or minor. It fits especially well with international business and with majors in foreign languages and literatures.
International studies is the perfect major for students who intend study abroad, because virtually all courses taken abroad will count toward this major and the student will return with as many credit hours as she would have had she stayed at Meredith. All international studies majors should plan to study abroad. Majors should also consider Meredith's Model United Nations program, the U.N. Semester at Drew University, the International Relations semester at American University, and the many specialized courses available at NC State University.
All majors will ordinarily write a Senior Research Project, or, for Honors Students, an Honors Thesis, during one semester of their senior year. Each student works with her advisor to identify a viable topic and sources during the semester before she undertakes the project. All majors will also present the results of their work to faculty, majors and other guests.
International studies majors participate in a wide variety of internships available in business, governmental and non-profit settings. Recent internship placements include the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants, the International Affairs Council Internship, and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Bureau, among many others.
An international studies degree prepares students for a wide array of potential careers as well as graduate study. Recent graduates are engaged in a range of professional and academic pursuits, including:
- Project Analyst ACDI-VOCA, Washington, D.C.
- Foreign Affairs Analyst, Federal Government, Ft Meade, Md.
- Analyst, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
- Analyst, Vetted International, Raleigh, N.C.
- Project Analyst, Indonesia, Constella Futures NGO, Washington, D.C.
- Project Analyst, Francophone Africa, RTI International, RTP
- Georgetown University
- New York University
- University of Delaware
- Utrecht University
Opportunities for research and special events are available through the Broder-Wallace Endowment Fund in support of educational initiatives related to Asia or the Middle East. The Alice B. Keith Senior Scholarship, for which juniors in the department apply each year, awards roughly $1,000 to that student with the best combination of academic achievement and career goals. The Frank and Carolyn Grubbs Scholarship goes each year to that rising senior with the most compelling combination of academic achievement and promise as a teacher. The members of the Department decide upon the recipient of this roughly $2,000 award.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This allows faculty to identify interesting research and internship opportunities for students, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research. In fact, students and faculty frequently work together on such projects—more than 140 were conducted by student/faculty teams last year.
International studies faculty members include:
- Jeffrey Martinson, Ph.D., received his doctorate from Ohio State University. His research foci are international relations, foreign policy analysis, political psychology, international organization and Mideast politics.
- Molly Varley, Ph.D. Dr. Varley's areas of study include Latin American history, which allows her to teach introductory and upper level courses in that region.
- Gregory Vitarbo, Ph.D., received his doctorate from the University of Michigan. Dr. Vitarbo teaches in the fields of Russian/Soviet history, Western Civilization, Modern European history, history of technology, and history of warfare, and has also directed the Meredith Summer Study Abroad in Italy program the past three years. His forthcoming book examines the military, social, and cultural impact of the new technology of the airplane on the Russian Imperial army in the decade before the World War I.
For more detailed information about the international studies major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page.