International Studies Learning Outcomes
Allegheny students who successfully complete a major in International Studies are expected to demonstrate the following competencies and skills:
- Global Awareness Skills: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills defines global awareness as “the ability to understand global issues; learn from and work with people from diverse cultures; and understand the cultures of other nations, including the use of non-English languages.” By taking courses in various disciplines (especially in the departments of History, Political Science, Modern Languages, and Economics), students are expected to demonstrate awareness of global issues.
- Cultural Competency: Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the culture of a foreign country through a semester-long study abroad program approved by the college. Cultural immersion would enable students to understand cultural aspects such as culinary habits, indigenous religions, political culture, family structures, values and ethics.
- Regional Competency: While being knowledgeable in global issues, students are also expected to demonstrate knowledge of a specific region. Upon graduation, an International Studies student will become a “specialist” in one of the following regions: Latin America, East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, or Europe. Competency could also be gained in other regions through a self-designed curriculum approved by the International Studies Steering Committee.
- Foreign Language Competency: Students are expected to be proficient in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, or Spanish. Language competency will be demonstrated partly by the ability to undertake a senior project in a foreign language.
- Research Capabilities: Ability to undertake original, independent, and interdisciplinary research on an international topic. Students are expected to complete and defend a well-researched senior project by the end of their coursework.
- Interpersonal Skills in a Global Context: We expect International Studies students to be global citizens by developing the skills for interacting with people from different cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, and religious backgrounds.
The International Studies Major
The interdivisional major in International Studies leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree and requires the completion of a minimum of 54 semester credit hours. Because this major is interdivisional, students may complete any minor to satisfy the college requirement that the major and minor be in different divisions. International Studies majors must achieve an average GPA of at least 2.0 in all coursework presented for the major at graduation. All courses submitted for the major, except transfer credits, must be taken on the letter-grade basis. Normally no more than 16 transfer credits are accepted toward the major, and none of these may substitute for the Senior Project. Only the most recent grade is considered for courses that have been repeated.
The major in International Studies requires the successful completion of both a Junior or Senior Seminar and a Senior Project. A minimum of four courses (16 credit hours), in addition to the Seminar and Senior Project, must be taken at the 300-level or above. In addition, students must complete a semester of study abroad. Under normal circumstances, study abroad must be in a country where the focus language is spoken. Students must apply for off-campus study through the International Education office in the Allegheny Gateway and must meet all College requirements for study abroad, including maintaining a 2.75 minimum GPA. If a student is not accepted to study abroad in an Allegheny-sponsored program, s/he should consult with the International Studies Chair about other possibilities for completing the study abroad requirement for the major.
From the following, all majors must complete the required number of courses in each category. Double counting of courses between categories is not permitted.
Four courses, two from Economics, one each from Political Science and History:
Note: students who wish to use ECON 452 as one of these two courses should use Economics 201 as the other one, to be taken first. Certain sections of FSECO 201 may also be used to satisfy the Economics component of this requirement; consult the program Chair.
Note: certain sections of FSHIS 201 may also be used to satisfy this requirement; consult the program Chair.
Transnational and Global Issues:
Area of Focus:
Four courses from one of the following regional areas:
East Asia; Europe (General, France, Germany, or Spain); Latin America; or the Middle East and Northern Africa. Courses may be selected from the following list, and they may include those taken while studying abroad on a program approved by the International Studies program. At least two of these courses must be taken in the social science division, and one of the two social science courses must be a history course.
Those selecting a regional focus in Europe may choose their four courses from any of those offered in subcategories i-iv.
Middle East and Northern Africa:
An approved seminar:
- An approved seminar in the Departments of Economics, History or Political Science. A list of approved seminars is provided on the International Studies web site.
The Senior Project is a joint effort involving the Departments of Economics, History, Modern and Classical Languages, and Political Science.
European and Chinese Areas of Focus:
- At least ten minutes of the oral defense of the Senior Project will be conducted in the foreign language selected.
- European language speakers will present to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages a 15-page summary of the Senior Project written in the foreign language selected.
- If Chinese is the foreign language, the length of the summary should be approximately 1,500 characters.
Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) Focus:
- Track One (see “Facility in a modern foreign language” below): students will write a half-page summary in the regional language and a four-page summary in the European language. A short oral examination (approximately five minutes) will be conducted in the European language during the final oral defense.
- Track Two (see “Facility in a modern foreign language” below): students will write a 200-word (minimum) summary in the regional language and a short oral examination (approximately five minutes) will be conducted in that language during the final oral defense.
Facility in a Modern Foreign Language:
Facility in a modern foreign language at a level of skill acceptable to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. In all cases, students are encouraged to consult with the Modern and Classical Languages Department faculty.
- Students studying German, French or Spanish must complete three courses at or above the 300-level in the language of focus. Language courses listed under the Area Studies category may be used to demonstrate this facility, which is also assessed through the use of the foreign language in the Senior Project and student performance in the Senior Project Oral Examination.
- International Studies majors focusing on East Asia should take at least five semesters of Chinese language courses, including one course at or above the 300-level. Studying abroad for one semester is counted as two semesters of language studies at Allegheny.
- Students majoring in International Studies: Middle East and Northern Africa must follow one of the two following tracks to demonstrate language facility:
- Take two courses in a non-European language spoken in the MENA region (e.g., Modern Standard Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish). Allegheny College supports the study of Modern Standard Arabic. In addition, four courses must be taken in either French, German, or Spanish. If students opt to study four courses of European language, they are urged to consider which of the European languages fits their specific regional focus best.
- Take four courses in Modern Standard Arabic.
Any exceptions or exemptions to the requirements for the major must be approved by the program Chair.