International Studies

Issues and challenges are opportunities to transform the world. Our International Studies program emboldens you with the education and skills to navigate and influence global policy, improve conditions in third world countries, or teach internationally. It's a broad education, full of new experiences, so you can discover your passion and become a force of change.

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

Ambrose Advantages

  • Blend national and global economies with political policies to become part of global change
  • One-on-one mentorships with our experienced faculty who hold real-world expertise
  • Hands-on learning opportunities through internships, study abroad, and Peace Corp Prep programs

Two Students at Model UN

Students at Model UN event

student walking on campus

International Studies is a wide field, but here, your education is catered specifically to your personal goals. Embark on a plan of study that includes courses, projects, and overseas experiences that excite and motivate you. Our faculty will help you gain a greater awareness of your place and power in our rapidly-changing world.


Why International Studies?
Our students will tell you.

More Information on the International Studies Program

What will I learn?

You'll take courses in Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, International Studies, Communication, and Theology. Your professors come from a variety of departments, including Political Science, Business, History, Art, Philosophy, and English.

Cultural immersion is essential to your education, so it's required to Study Abroad to build your knowledge of world affairs and language skills. You will do more than witness a new culture; you will become a member of the community and share their challenges and joy. It's an authentic and dauntless experience and one of the best ways to discover the role you want to play in the world.

On campus, begin addressing global challenges now by joining the SAU chapter of Model United Nations (see below). Or, explore cultures and traditions at local festivals, events, lectures, and presentations.

International corporations, including Deere & Company, HON, and Ralston Purina, are headquartered in the Quad Cities. The SAU College of Business and Career Center have long-standing relationships with these companies and more, which gives you many opportunities to intern, network, 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 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.

What Are My Unique Learning Opportunities

Join the SAU chapter of Model UN, a unique opportunity to address global challenges and change the world in which we live. Then, participate with your peers at the annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference at which various United Nations simulate key activities. You get to explore a wide range of current global issues including international conflicts, terrorism, nuclear weapons, HIV/AIDS, human rights, population, poverty, and trade.

Widen your worldview by attending student, university and community events, lectures, and discussions on topics that touch lives here and across the world.

Learn about and support diversity during Multicultural Week.

During the annual Ambrosians Working for Social Justice conference, you can meet internationally recognized leaders, such as Native American activist Winona LaDuke, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, and author Sheryl WuDunn.

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 help you design your education to your goals. Contact us today.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Laura Meloy '23: ETA Fulbright Grantee in Bulgaria.
  • Amelia Seys '23: Client Care Advisor, Animal Family Veterinary Care Center, IA.
  • Patrick Barron '22: 2 nd  Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Kylee Colvin '21: Administrative Specialist, Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, CA.
  • Hugh Lugg '21: English Teacher, POLY English Academy, Republic of Korea.
  • Patrick Redmond '19: Deputy Broadband Director, Nebraska Dept. of Transportation.
  • Delina Tesfamichael '19: Forms and Records Analyst, WA.
  • Beth Ann Koustas '19: Election Specialist, State of Illinois.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (30 credits)

View courses and descriptions in the online course catalog 

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

Language Requirement: Must have completed 3 years of foreign language in high school or complete two semesters (six credits) of foreign language at SAU

International Affairs/Global Civil Society, 6 credits

Choose two courses (at least one at 300-level):
+PSCI 230 Global Terrorism
+PSCI 309 International Politics
+PSCI 313 US Foreign Policy
+PSCI 316 International Law
+PSCI 353 Internship
+WGS 201 Women's Studies

International Arts and Culture, 6 credits

Choose two courses (at least one at 300-level):
+AH 353 Russian Art History
+IS 101 Cultures of the World
+IS 210/+310 Special Topics in International Studies
+MUS 115 Music in Culture
+MUS 315 Music and Social Justice
+SOC 210 Cultural Anthropology
+SOC 340 Race and Ethnicity
+SPAN 314 Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film
SPAN 335 Latin/x American Comics
SPAN 360 Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture
+THEO 250 Intro to Comparative Religions
+THEO 276 Holocaust in Film
+WI-THEO 321 Theologians of Liberation
+WGS 320 Women and Irish Film

International Communication and Commerce, 6 credits

Choose two:
COMM 340 Global Communication
INTL 372 Business Across Cultures
MKTG 349 International Marketing
ECON 331 International Economics

Emphasis Area, 6 credits

Choose two courses (at least one must be 300-level) from one of the following areas:

+ENGL 202 British Literature
+HIST 210 The Atlantic System
+HIST 211 Asia
HIST 214 
+HIST 217 Modern Europe
HIST 317 The Vietnam Wars
HIST 347 European Revolutions
+PSCI 319 Comparative Politics
+SPAN 314 Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
+SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies

Latin America:
+HIST 213 Latin America
PSCI 319 Globalization Democracy and Human Rights
SPAN 314 Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies
+WGS 210 US Latina Literature and Culture
+WGS 315 Latin American Women's Issues

East Asia, Africa, or the Middle East:
PSCI 319 Globalization Democracy and Human Rights
Contact the IS director for individualized plan

Study Abroad
An approved Study Abroad experience of one semester or an approved shorter-term study abroad experience of one to six weeks is required.

If a student is unable to fulfill the study abroad requirement, approved by the IS director, the student may choose from one of the followings: PSCI 306, PSCI 353 Internship, or the Peace Corps Prep Certificate program.

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 (15 credits)

PSCI 130/IS 210 Global Issues, 3 credits
International Affairs/Global Civil Society, 3 credits
International Arts and Culture, 3 credits
International Communication and Commerce, 3 credits
Any discipline or area of emphasis in the IS curriculum, 3 credits

Apply Visit Info


Duk Kim, PhD, Program Director

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

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