International Studies

Program Co-chairs: Jennifer Mitzen, Gr 415, 834-7585; Lloyd I. Randolph, P 422A, 702-8056
Program Assistants: Michelle Murray, Mark Torma, Gr 415, 834-5288,
World Wide Web:

Program of Study

The concentration in International Studies draws on the existing strengths of the College faculty in a variety of international fields, and on innovative work in a number of areas of international relevance: human rights, international relations, globalization, the Regional Worlds Project, the Human Rights Program, and the Council on Advanced Studies in Peace and International Cooperation (CASPIC). This concentration is designed to attract students who are interested in preparing for academic, government, nonprofit, or business careers with an international focus; and who value the benefits of study abroad and of cross-cultural learning.

This concentration is organized around courses drawn from the following four sub-fields of study:

1. international relations;

2. international and comparative history;

3. international political economy, business, and economics; and

4. area and civilization studies.

Program Requirements

There are five main requirements for the concentration:

1. Students are required to take a two-quarter introductory core course in the field of International Studies, which is taught annually. One quarter focuses on contemporary theories in International Relations, the other on theories of nationalism, post-colonialism, and human rights. These course should be taken early in the student's career and need not be taken in any order.

2. Students are required to complete ten substantive courses from at least two of the four sub-fields listed above. Students must take a minimum of three courses in each of two selected subfields. A further four elective courses may be taken from any of the sub-fields, or from amongst a supplemental grouping of electives within the concentration. Up to four language courses (in the same language) may be counted toward these elective requirements if such course work is required to complete the concentration requirements in a given language. Students select their courses in close consultation with the program adviser and their faculty adviser. A list of classes accepted toward the concentration is selected by the International Studies faculty each year.

3. The International Studies faculty believe that communicative proficiency in languages is vital for understanding diverse civilizations and regions, and will be increasingly important in the future. All students in the concentration must obtain a University of Chicago Second Language Proficiency Certificate or complete the equivalent of seven quarters of language study. The first six quarters may be fulfilled by University examination or course work. The final quarter must involve classroom study.

4. Students are required to study abroad for a minimum of ten weeks in an approved study abroad program. This requirement will be waived only by petition for those able to demonstrate a similar significant, structured international education experience.

5. Students are required to prepare a B.A. essay on a topic that they select in consultation with their faculty adviser and graduate preceptor. Students take a one-quarter B.A. seminar (International Studies 29800) in the autumn quarter of their senior year.

Summary of Requirements

Concentration 2 core International Studies courses

10 elective courses (four of which
may be language courses)

1 B.A. Seminar (INST 29800)

- B.A. Essay (INST 29900) (optional)


B.A. Essay. A B.A. essay is required of all students in the program. After students choose their faculty adviser, they prepare a topic page that is due eighth week of spring quarter in their third year. Students may wish to take a Reading and Research course with their faculty adviser to research the B.A. essay. Students are required to take a Senior Seminar (International Studies 29800) designed to teach them research skills in International Studies. In winter quarter of their senior year, students who are not concentrators in other programs may elect to take the B.A. Essay Preparation with the International Studies faculty or preceptors (International Studies 29900) to prepare for the B.A. essay. The final version of the essay is due by the second Monday of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate.

Study Abroad. Participation in any University of Chicago approved study abroad program will fulfill the concentration requirement. Students should consult with the University's study abroad office for more information on program offerings. If students seek to undertake a program outside of the University offerings, it must be approved by the concentration program adviser previous to departure on the program.

Honors. Students will be considered for honors on the basis of having earned an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher and 3.5 or better in the concentration, and on the basis of recommendations from the faculty and preceptor readers of the B.A. essay.

Grading. Courses taken for P/N or P/F will not be accepted toward concentration requirements.

Faculty Governing Committee

John W. Boyer, Professor, Department of History and the College; Dean of the College; Chairman, Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Bruce Cumings, Norman and Edna Freehling Professor, Department of History and the College

Norma Field, William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor and Chair, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Michael E. Geyer, Professor, Department of History and the College

Rashid Khalidi, Associate Professor, Departments of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and History, and the College; Director, Center for International Studies

Alan Kolata, Neukom Family Professor, Department of Anthropology and the College

Susanne Hoeber Randolph, Professor, Department of Political scienceand the College

Susan Stokes, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College

Katie Trumpener, Associate Professor, Departments of Germanic Studies, History, English Language & Literature, and Comparative Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College

Elissa Weaver, Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures and the College; Chair, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

Lisa Wedeen, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College

Alexander Wendt, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College


For a description of the numbering guidelines for the following courses, consult the section on reading the catalog on page 15.

The following are a sample of the courses meeting the requirements of the International Studies concentration. All concentrators are required to take the two International Studies core courses and the B.A. seminar listed below. Students are also required to take ten courses from at least two of the four sub-fields listed below. Approved courses for the concentration are selected by the International Studies faculty each year. Students should consult the quarterly Time Schedules, the program adviser, and the concentration Web site ( for further information.

International Studies Core

INST 29400/37400. International Relations: Perspectives on Conflict and Cooperation (=PLSC 29400/37400, SOSC 20400). Recommended for International Studies concentrators in their second year. Students may substitute PLSC 27000 for this requirement. This course examines a number of competing approaches to the study of conflict and cooperation in the international system. Lectures by University faculty introduce key analytic concepts from several intellectual traditions (e.g., realism, liberalism, cultural theory, modernization theory, and social constructivism) and discuss their ability to explain war, alliances, revolutions, nationalism, cooperation, ethnic conflict, and other important international phenomena. Staff. Autumn.

INST 29500/39700. International Relations: Transnationalism in a Post-Colonial World (=PLSC 29500/39700, SOSC 20500). Recommended for International Studies concentrators in their second year. Dominant conceptions in international relations privilege states by treating them as natural and exclusive actors in international relations; privilege the Western world by treating it as the center; and privilege the balance of power and deterrence by treating military force as the primary means of self-help in allegedly anarchical space beyond state frontiers. This course focuses on national and transnational civil society as the arena of action. We address a variety of topics, such as nationalism, transnational identities generated by migration and refugee flows, environmentalism, human rights, cyber space, religions, and internal wars. Staff. Winter.

International Studies B.A. Seminar

INST 29800. B.A. Seminar. Required of fourth-year International Studies concentrators. This seminar is taught by faculty members who, together with graduate preceptors, assist in the preparation of the B.A. essay that all students are required to prepare on a topic that they select in consultation with their faculty adviser. Staff. Autumn.

INST 29900. B.A. Thesis. Optional for fourth-year International Studies concentrators. This seminar is designed to offer special assistance in the preparation of the B.A. thesis. Faculty members and the graduate preceptors guide students in academic writing skills and offer topical guidance. Staff. Winter.


Most literature courses not in translation and most civilization courses taken beyond the general education requirement are accepted towards the International Studies concentration. For the complete list of approved courses, which is selected each year by the faculty, see the program adviser. The following courses are a sample of those that meet the concentration requirements. For descriptions of the following courses, consult the relevant concentration sections of the catalog.

International Studies Sub-Fields

International Relations

ANTH 22600. Ethnic Violence: Global Perspective. A. Appadurai. Spring.

HIST 29300/39300. Human Rights I: Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (=GSHU 28700/38700, HMRT 20100/30100, INRE 31600, LAWS 41200, MAPH 40000, PHIL 31600). M. Green. Autumn.

HIST 29400/39400. Human Rights II: Historical Underpinnings of Human Rights (=GSHU 28800/38800, HMRT 20200/30200, INRE 39400, LAWS 41300). M. Geyer. Winter.

HIST 29500/39500. Human Rights III: Contemporary Issues in Human Rights (=GSHU 28900/38900, HMRT 20200/30200, INRE 57900, LAWS 47900, PATH 46500). Staff, R. Kirshner. Spring.

PLSC 21000. International Institutions, Organizations, and World Politics. D. Moon. Winter.

PLSC 24800. Ethics in International Affairs and Development. I. Young. Winter.

PLSC 27000. Theories of International Relations. A. Wendt. Spring.

PLSC 27600. War and the Nation State. J. Mearsheimer. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

SOCI 26900. Globalization: Empirical and Theoretical Elements. S. Sassen. Autumn.

International and Comparative History

GEOG 29500. Readings in Culture and Nationality. M. Mikesell. Winter.

HIST 26000. The United States and the Arab World. S. Yaqub. Winter.

PLSC 26300. Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. L. Wedeen. Winter.

SOCI 23100. Revolutions and Rebellions in Twentieth-Century China. D. Zhao. Winter.

SOCI 24000. Sociology of National Identity and Nationalism. G. Zubrzycki. Spring.

International Political Economy, Business, and Economics

ECON 22100. Colonial Servitude and Slavery. D. Galeson. Winter.

ECON 27000. Introduction to International Economics. L. Sjaastad. Autumn.

ECON 27900. Economies in Transition: Russia, China, and Beyond. J. Leitzel. Winter.

PBPL 24300. Global Environmental Politics. H. P. Schmitz. Spring.

PBPL 28600. Problems of Economic Policy in Developing Countries. L. Sjaastad. Winter.

PLSC 22100. International Organization. A. Thompson. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

PLSC 25000. Comparative Politics of Latin America. S. Stokes. Autumn.

PLSC 27800. Introduction to Chinese Politics. D. Yang. Winter.

Area and Civilization Studies

ANTH 212XX. Intensive Study of a Culture. NOTE: For descriptions of these courses in cultural studies, consult the Anthropology section of the catalog. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

ANTH 22900. Diasporas: Asian Migration. C. Breckenridge, Spring.

GEOG 25300. Problems in Human Geography: Middle East. M. Mikesell. Spring.

GRMN 22700. German Nationalism, 1860-1960. S. Weichlein. Winter.

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