International Studies

Whether your goal is to strengthen global policy, improve conditions in third world countries, or teach internationally, St. Ambrose has a program that will put the world at your fingertips.

Our graduates work at AmeriCorps VISTA, are Fulbright recipients and educators, and pursuing graduate degrees and PhDs.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Participate in the Global Community Now
  • Be An International Expert
  • Flexibility in Your Studies and Career

Two Students at Model UN

Students at Model UN event

student walking on campus

You choose a plan of study, courses, projects and overseas experiences, and our expert faculty will give you a greater awareness of your place in a rapidly-changing world – and the confidence to be an active agent in that change.

See our international studies major fact sheet (pdf)

Why International Studies?
Our students will tell you.

More Information on the International Studies Program

What will I learn?

Our program is highly interdisciplinary so you will take courses in Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, International Studies, Communication, and Theology. You will be taught by top faculty from a variety of departments including Political Science, Business, History, Art, Philosophy, and English.

An important and exciting component of your education is cultural immersion. Through Study Abroad you gain a sophisticated knowledge of world affairs and perfect your language skills while attending classes at a foreign university.

Your program director works closely with International Education to make sure your overseas experience fits your goals and needs.

Also, if you join the SAU chapter of Model United Nations you can start addressing global challenges now. In November, our chapter will represent Colombia at the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago. In February 2018, we will represent Germany at the Midwest Model United Nations Conference in St. Louis.

You can build on your international education by participating in the thriving, diverse Quad Cities community. From Scotland to Sweden and Vietnam to Africa, you'll find a multitude of cultural traditions to explore during annual festivals, public events, lectures, and presentations.

International corporations such as Deere & Company, HON, and Ralston Purina are headquartered here. The SAU College of Business and Career Center have deep relationships with these companies and many more. You have exceptional opportunities to network, intern, and launch your career.

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country – without paying extra tuition – in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing - personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically. Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

Peace Corps Prep

If service is included in your future plans, we one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that can make you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. You'll gain skills and a cultural worldview that employers value and best of all, most students can earn the certificate - awarded by the Peace Corps - without taking extra courses. Peace Corps Prep is a competitive edge that sets you apart and broadens your opportunities, no matter what path you choose. Click here to learn more or talk to your faculty advisor.

What are some possible career outcomes?

International Studies majors can pursue careers in international law, foreign affairs, defense, intelligence, diplomacy, international business, journalism/communication, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, language, education, and policy.

Even better: you can dual major or minor in anything from marketing to political science to further specialize your skills and expand your job opportunities. We will help you design your education to your goals. Contact us today.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Paige Echele ‘16 is enrolled in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Iowa.
  • Natividad Hirsch ‘16 is employed with AmeriCorps VISTA at the Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Christopher Hollis ‘16 is in the political science PhD program at the University of Iowa.
  • Robyn Kincaide ‘16 is a 2016 Fulbright recipient and teaches English in South Korea.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (37 credits)

PSCI 130 Global Issues
WI-IS 400/PSCI 400 International Studies Capstone

Demonstrate proficiency in any secondary language necessary for your area of emphasis - 0-6 credits

International Affairs/Global Civil Society (At least one course at 300-Level) - 6 credits
Choice of:
+PSCI 230 Global Terrorism
+PSCI 306 Model United Nations
+PSCI 309 International Politics
+PSCI 313 US Foreign Policy
+PSCI 316 International Law
+PSCI 353 Internship
+WGS 201 Women's Studies

International Arts OR International Culture - 6 credits

International Arts (At least one course at the 300-Level)

Choice of:
+AH 353 Russian Art History
+ENGL 309 Victorian Literature (ENGL 101 Prerequisite)
+ENGL 344 Modernism (ENGL 101 Prerequisite)

International Culture (At least one course at the 300-Level)

Choice of:
+IS 101 Cultures of the World
+IS 204 Selected Works of Hispanic Literature in Translation
+IS 210/+310 Special Topics in International Studies
+MUS 115 Music Culture
+SOC 210 Cultural Anthropology
+SOC 340 Race and Ethnicity
+THEO 250 Intro to Comparative Religions
+THEO 345 Intro to Religions of the West
+WGS 320 Women and Irish Film

International Communication and Commerce (At least one course at the 300-Level) - 6 credits
Choose two.
COMM 340 Global Communication
+INTL 221 Survey of International Business
INTL 322 International Marketing
INTL 372 Managing Across Cultures
INTL 374 World Regions
INTL 377 Political and Regulatory Environment of International Business

Emphasis area (At least one course at the 300-Level) - 6 credits
Choose an area: Latin America, Europe, East Asia, Africa

+ENGL 202 British Literature
+ENGL 310 19th Century Fiction
+HIST 217 Modern Europe
+HIST 337 Northern Ireland or +HIST 338 Modern Ireland
+HIST 343 20th Century Europe and the World
+PSCI 319 Comparative Politics
+SPAN 324 Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
+SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies

Latin America:
+HIST 213 Latin America
SPAN 314 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies
SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies
+WGS 315 Latin American Women's Issues
+WGS 210 US Latina Literature and Culture

Individualized courses of study approved by the IS director

Individualized courses of study approved by the IS director

Study Abroad
An approved Study Abroad experience of one semester or an approved shorter-term study abroad experience of one to six weeks with a special assignment (e.g., service project, internship, or special project approved by the IS director) is required.

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in International Studies. This plan assumes the student has not completed three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

Oral Communication 3 Foreign Language 101 3
Information Literacy 1 Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3 KIN 149 1
GenEd Humanities I 3 KIN 206 OR 200 1
PSCI 130 Global Issues 3 PSCI 313 International Law (or PSCI 230, 306, 309, 353; WGS201) 3
NSS 101: New Student Seminar 1 International Arts** 3
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 14

Year Two

Creative Arts 3 Humanities 3
Foreign Language 102 3 Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 PSCI 319 Comparative Politics 3
PSCI 230 (or PSCI 306, 309, 313, 353; WGS 201 3 Int'l Comm. and Commerce: COMM 340; INTL 322, 372, 374, 377 3
PSCI 313 3 Int'l Arts (choose at least one at the 300-level): AH 353, ENGL 221;307; 309; 344; OR Intl Culture (choose at least one at the 300-level): IS 101; IS 204; IS 210/310; MUS 115; SOC 210, 340; THEO 250; 345 (100-level THEO prerequisite); WGS 320 3
IS 103 International Experience 1
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 16

Year Three

Study Abroad (Take courses in Foreign Languages to Demonstrate Proficiency in Your Area of Emphasis) 15 Natural Science 4
Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
Electives 9
*Emphasis Area 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 16

Year Four

Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 IS 400 Senior Capstone 3
3 Electives 9 3 Electives 9
Emphasis Area* 3 ^HIST 337
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

*Europe: ENGL 310; HIST 337, 343; PSCI 319; SPAN 314, 316. Latin America: SPAN 314, 316; WGS 315, 210. Asia, Africa, The Middle East (Individualized courses of study approved by the IS director).
^Requires HIST 100 or 200 level; SPAN 316 requires SPAN 311, 313 prerequisites
**(choose at least one at the 300-level): AH 353, ENGL 221;307; 309; 344; OR Intl Culture (choose at least one at the 300-level): IS101; IS 204; IS 210/310; MUS 115; SOC 210, 340; THEO 250; 345 (100-level THEO prerequisite); WGS 320

Minor in International Studies (21 credits)

PSCI 130/IS 210 Global Issues, 3 credits
Foreign Language Proficiency through 102 (Gen Ed Requirement)
International Affairs/Global Civil Society, 3 credits
International Arts or International Culture, 3 credits
International Communication and Commerce, 3 credits
One additional course from any discipline or any area of emphasis in the IS curriculum, 3 credits

+ = satisfies a general education requirement

Apply Visit Info


Duk Kim, PhD, Chairperson

International Studies
Folwell Center
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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