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4-Year Plan

The typical program for an SIS student will look something like this:

First semester


  • Dean’s Seminar, introducing the School of International Studies to you and focusing on building your academic skills by finding your best learning style.
  • Contemporary World Issues, putting global issues (terrorism, environment, globalization, nationalism and identity crises, etc.) into context by examining the history of the 20th century around the world.
  • Modern foreign language, of your choosing, with the level of the course dependent on your prior skill level.
  • Pacific Seminar I, an examination of deep questions which people and societies have been asking themselves for thousands of years.
  • Introductory course in the social science discipline (economics, political science, microeconomics, introduction to political science, cultural anthropology, macroeconomics, or international politics).

Second semester


  • Perspectives on World History, looking at the history of five major world civilizations, but each from several different viewpoints so that you can understand why serious disagreements exist in the world.
  • Modern foreign language, the next sequential course in the language of your choosing.
  • Pacific Seminar II, practice in developing and advocating your personal position on several current issues of social or political importance.
  • Introductory course in a second of the social science disciplines (economics, political science, microeconomics, introduction to political science, cultural anthropology, macroeconomics, or international politics).

Third semester


  • World Geography, looking at each of the major world regions to see how the physical geography and the history of an area has influenced its current social, political, and economic systems.
  • Modern language, the third course appropriate for you in your foreign language.
  • Introductory course in the third of the social science disciplines (economics, political science or anthropology).
  • A formal systems of thought course (Intro to Probability and Statistics or Calculus I), which you choose from a list of special courses in computer science, math, economics, philosophy, or psychology. OR
  • Specific major requirement (Globalization, Macroeconomics, International Politics, or Accounting).

Fourth semester


  • International Research Methods, training you on how research is done in the social sciences, with a focus on research questions related to international issues.
  • Globalization, the US, and the World, refreshing you on the political, economic, and social systems of the U.S. and how we are interacting with the rest of the world in the globalization process since the end of the Cold War.
  • Modern language, a fourth course in your foreign language.
  • Specific major requirement, (Globalization, Macroeconomics, International Politics, Business or upper-division course).
  • Cross Cultural Training I, helping you get oriented for your Study Abroad program which most of you will enter in the next semester, at the start of your junior year.

Fifth semester


  • A semester of Study Abroad in one of over 100 academic programs around the world which we have selected as appropriate for our students’ education. You will choose your particular program in consultation with your faculty advisor and the study abroad advisor.

Sixth semester


Either a second semester of Study Abroad for you or a chance for you to take major requirements and electives in a number of fields:

  • International Relations
  • Global Studies
  • Development and Cultural Change
  • International Affairs and Commerce
  • A world region of particular interest to you
  • Advanced study in a foreign language (Minor / Second Major)
  • Another field of concentration which you develop with your faculty advisor

Seventh semester


  • Cross Cultural Training II, helping you make sense of the life changing experiences you will have gained during the Study Abroad semester (or two) from which you will have just returned.
  • Pacific Seminar III, asking you to consider thoughtfully the basic ethics and morals which have guided you so far in your life.
  • A laboratory science course, which you choose from a list of introductory courses in the natural sciences which have been developed for non-science students.
  • A formal systems of thought course (Intro to Probability and Statistics or Calculus I), which you choose from a list of special courses in computer science, math, economics, philosophy, or psychology. OR
  • An upper division elective, to help you complete a voluntary concentration within international studies, or a minor in a foreign language or a social science discipline, or possibly a second major (if you have done very careful planning).

Eighth semester


  • SIS Senior Capstone
  • An upper division elective, to help you complete a voluntary concentration within international studies, or a minor in a foreign language or a social science discipline, or possibly a second major (if you have done very careful planning).
  • An upper division elective, to help you complete a voluntary concentration within international studies, or a minor in a foreign language or a social science discipline, or possibly a second major (if you have done very careful planning) or an Independent Research project.
  • An upper division elective, to help you complete a voluntary concentration within international studies, or a minor in a foreign language or a social science discipline, or possibly a second major (if you have done very careful planning) or free elective.