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

  • 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

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.

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?

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 here. The SAU College of Business and Career Center have deep 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 Ambrose Women 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?
  • Paige Echele ‘16 is the International Education Coordinator at St. Ambrose University.
  • 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, 6 credits

Choose two courses (at least one at 300-level):
+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 at 300-level)

+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)

+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, 6 credits

Choose two:
COMM 340 Global Communication
INTL 372 Managing Across Cultures
MKTG 349 International Marketing
ECON 330 Economic Analysis of Institutions

Emphasis Area, 6 credits

Choose two courses from an area (at least one course must be 300-level): Europe, Latin America, Asia, or 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 314 Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
+SPAN 316 Intro to Hispanic Film Studies

Latin America:
+HIST 213 Latin America
SPAN 314 Intro to Hispanic Cultural 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), 6 credits
International Affairs/Global Civil Society, 3 credits
International Arts or International Culture, 3 credits 
One additional course from any discipline or any area of emphasis in the IS curriculum, 3 credits

International Communication and Commerce, 3 credits

Choose one:
COMM 340 Global Communication
INTL 372 Managing Across Cultures
MKTG 349 International Marketing
ECON 330 Economic Analysis of Institutions

+ = satisfies a general education requirement

Apply Visit Info


Duk Kim, PhD, Program Director

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

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