Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Curriculum Overview
International Studies

The mission of the International Studies Program is to unite a cohort of students who, both individually and in collaboration, will broaden the experience of their various major programs as they develop an international perspective and immerse themselves in the language and culture of a non-English-speaking country. The program prepares students for future study, careers and life in the increasingly unbordered community of the 21st century. The International Studies Program offers two minors: one in International Studies and one in Area Studies. 

A minor in International Studies requires that a student: (1) take IST 200, typically in the first or sophomore year; (2) propose a coherent program of four specific courses (of which no more than two can overlap with courses in the major) focusing on a particular geographical or topical theme; (3) study for at least one semester outside the United States in a non-English speaking environment, including (where feasible) doing coursework or research in the local language; (4) achieve an approved level of proficiency in a foreign language; and (5) complete IST 489. In addition, while not required, an international internship is highly recommended. 

A minor in Area Studies requires a student to take six courses on a given geographical area, of which at least two must be at the 300 level or above, selected in consultation with a faculty member specializing in that area. The Director of the International Studies Program will refer interested students to an appropriate adviser, with whom the student will develop a list of appropriate courses. The minor declaration form must include signatures of chairpersons of departments offering the courses included in a student’s program and the signature of the Director of the International Studies Program. Topics for which there is no existing minor housed in a regular department or program are appropriate for this minor, which would take its name from the geographical area of its emphasis, for example, African, Chinese, European Union, Francophone, Iberian, Japanese, Middle Eastern or Latin American Studies. An Area Studies minor could include courses in a language other than English, although ordinarily no more than four will be foreign language courses. IST 200 and 489 could be a part of this minor, but are not required. Study Abroad and language proficiency are strongly recommended but not required. 

In addition to the minor, the International Studies Program offers a concentration. Requirements for the concentration are the same as for the International Studies minor except that the concentration requires only two courses in addition to IST 200 and IST 489. These two courses can be either inside or outside the student’s major and are expected to cohere with and bring a significant international dimension to the student’s chosen major. 

Recent students in the program have studied abroad in Italy, Spain, Germany, China, Switzerland, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Uganda and France through programs run by the School for International Training (SIT), the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) and various U.S. colleges and universities. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

200. Introduction to International Studies. (S) (NW)

Interdisciplinary course required for students with an International Studies minor or concentration. Through coordinated lectures by a team of 5 – 6 F&M faculty and guest speakers, students will consider issues of development, security and terrorism, human rights, food and resource management and public health in the light of various disciplines. Offered every Spring. Staff

228. Middle Eastern Music and Culture. (A) (NW)

This interdisciplinary course will explore the musical identities of the Middle East and North Africa in terms of the complex sociological, historical, and political processes that have shaped the region. We will proceed from the idea that music is a powerful agent in the negotiation of power and identity, and examine the ways in which it has been utilized throughout transformative periods of history. Particular attention will be given to the transnational and diasporic nature of musics under consideration. Classical, folk, and popular musical traditions will be considered, as will the roles of art, popular culture, and mass media. Same as MUS 228. Alajaji

327. Latin American Politics. (NW) (S)

This course introduces students to Latin American government and politics. The course provides a brief overview of the region’s history and a discussion of some of the key issues shaping the region’s politics, including: authoritarianism and democracy; development and dependency; and revolution. The rest of the course will be dedicated to a survey of the politics of several countries from different areas of Latin America. McNulty

350. International Business. (S) 

Students in this course will learn about the history of international business, investigate the political and economic institutions that structure the global economy, and explore the impact of international environments on firm-level decisions. Same as BOS 350. McCaffrey 

425. Human Rights/Human Wrongs. (S) (NW)

This course is structured as a senior seminar. It focuses on human rights and human wrongs in general, emphasizing political asylum in the United States. The major component of the course, aside from the weekly seminar readings and discussions, centers on the political asylum project. Students work on a political asylum case in the context of a community partnership. Students work in groups and compile evidence, testimony, and detainee affidavits that are used in an immigration court of law for the political asylum detainee’s case. Students have direct hands-on experience working with asylum seekers currently incarcerated in an INS detention facility. Students present and evaluate individual cases in a mock trial. Permission of the instructor required. Dicklitch

426. Political Asylum Practicum. (S) (NW)

This course is a community-based learning internship for credit (CBL-IFC). Students, with the help of our community partner, PIRC (Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center), will have the opportunity to work on a real asylum, Withholding of Removal, or Convention Against Torture (CAT) case. Students will work in teams of two. GOV 425 Human Rights-Human Wrongs must be taken in conjunction with this course. Each student-team will meet bi-weekly with the instructor and managing attorney to discuss the individual cases. Dicklitch

489. International Studies Seminar. (S) (NW)

This capstone seminar for International Studies seniors is also open to other seniors with permission of the instructor. The course will be organized around a core set of readings on one broad international topic: in Fall 2014 States, non-States & the World. Students will define an individualized research program, building on their previous coursework in International Studies, share readings and findings with fellow seminar students and produce a final paper and oral presentation. Prerequisite: IST 200. Offered every Fall. Anthony

Travel Courses


210. Cross-perceptions: Europe-U.S.A. (H)

This seminar examines the origins and effects of European and American perceptions of each other, with attention to heritage of the Roman Empire, medieval Christianity, the Enlightenment and 20th- century international conflict and cooperation. Offered only at “F&M in Paris.” Mitchell

210. TRAVEL: Japanese Studies at Tohoku Gakuin University. 

(Summer Travel Course) (NW) 

Franklin & Marshall College offers a May – June Program that includes pre-departure sessions on the Franklin & Marshall campus; three weeks of classes at Tohoku Gakuin University, during which students live with Japanese families; field trips. Staff


Gender and Global Childhoods.

9/11 and the War on Terror.

Urban Design and Development.

Indigenous & 4th World Peoples.

Peoples and Culture of Central America.

World War I.