The International Studies Program examines the diversity and interdependence of the world’s peoples and their institutions. Since 1969, the program has trained students to analyze the variety of human experience and to consider the challenges posed to our planet by our current circumstances and history. Because of the breadth of its purview, the program asks students to choose from one of two pathways through the major: either the study of one of five world regions (Africa; Asia; Caribbean and Latin America; Middle East; or Russia and Eurasia) or the study of global interrelations with a disciplinary or thematic focus (global studies).
All majors, whether following the area studies or the global studies pathway, must take at least one course from the program’s “global core” (global studies majors take three); complete a minimum of four semesters of study in a single language other than English; complete at least one semester (or summer) of college-level study abroad; and cap their major with the INTS 401. Senior Seminar in International Studies. Area studies majors must also take at least five courses relevant to their world region from across the Trinity curriculum, and global studies majors must choose between a disciplinary or thematic focus cluster and a comparative regions option.
Number of courses, credits and overall GPA required for the major:
Credits and grades—Students must earn 10 credits to complete the major. Language courses applied toward the four-semester minimum are not counted in the total credits required for the major. No course taken toward the 10-credit major may be taken pass/fail or completed with a grade of less than C-. No more than three credits earned away from Trinity’s Hartford campus may be counted toward the major. Students who study abroad for more than one semester may be eligible for an exception upon consultation with the director. All required courses at the 300 level or above must be taken at Trinity.
- African Studies
- Asian Studies
- Caribbean and Latin American Studies
- Global Studies
- Middle Eastern Studies
- Russian and Eurasian Studies
Core courses: All international studies majors must fulfill the following core requirements:
- The Global Core. These courses act as the gateway to the program as well as its intellectual core. All majors must take at least one course from the core, and global studies majors must take three, one of which should be at the 300 level. See the entire listing of global core courses under the global studies heading below.
- Area Courses or Focus Cluster. Students following the area studies pathway choose among the following five world regions (Africa; Asia; Caribbean and Latin America; Middle East; or Russia and Eurasia) and take five area courses according to the guidelines listed under the appropriate heading below. One of these must be at the 300 level. In certain cases, area studies majors may be allowed to fulfill this requirement by taking a 300-level course from the global core. Students following the global studies pathway choose, in consultation with their international studies adviser, one of two options: a disciplinary/thematic focus cluster or comparative regions. The focus cluster option requires students to choose three courses from a single discipline or on a single theme, one of which must be at the 300 level. Further guidelines for the focus cluster option are supplied under the Global Studies heading below. The comparative regions option requires students to distribute six credits evenly among the area courses listed for any two of the five world regions listed below, at least one of which must be at the 300 level.
- Language: International studies majors are required to engage in sustained college-level language study by completing a minimum of four semesters of credit-bearing work in a single language other than English after matriculating at Trinity. One semester (or one summer) of intensive language acquisition on a study-away program counts toward this requirement as a single semester, regardless of the number of credits earned. Language courses beyond the four semester requirement may count toward the major as electives or, in some cases, as area courses. Students following the area studies pathway should select a language from the region under study in consultation with their international studies advisers.
Electives: Students following the area studies pathway, as well as those following the global studies pathway with the focus cluster option, choose three electives, ordinarily consisting of additional area courses, global core courses, or language courses.
Capstone/Senior Project: Senior Seminar in International Studies (INTS 401). Every student must complete INTS 401, ordinarily in either the fall or spring semester of the senior year. This course fulfills the Writing Intensive II requirement for the major, and its goal is for students to complete a substantial research paper that engages critically with dominant disciplinary approaches to and public discourses about the global or international sphere. Instruction will rotate among international studies faculty, each of whom will organize the course around a particular theme and/or methodological approach.
Study away: International studies majors are required to complete at least one semester (or summer) of college-level study outside of the United States, typically by completion of an accredited study-away program selected with the aid of international studies faculty and the Office of Study Away staff. In certain cases, students may, in consultation with their international studies advisers, fulfill this requirement by completing a course with a community learning component or a globally inflected internship in the United States.
Honors: Prerequisites for honors are an A- average in the 10-credit major and the completion of a one-credit honors thesis, normally in the spring semester of the senior year. These will be graded on a pass/fail basis. A committee convened in early May of each year will evaluate the theses to determine which among the eligible majors will receive honors at graduation. In certain cases, theses submitted to other departments and programs may be considered for honors in international studies. Guidelines and applications for the honors thesis are made available each year on the program website and are typically due to the director in late October.