International Studies Major

The global challenges we face today call for solutions that expand beyond the confines of a single discipline. Take courses from a myriad of areas, such as history, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and philosophy, to gain a rich knowledge of global issues. Learn how to function effectively in a globalized world by acquiring language competency and cultural humility. Experience studying abroad as part of fulfilling your International Studies major requirements.

Three Albion College students working together in a common area on campus

Why Study International Studies at Albion?

In International Studies at Albion, the world becomes your classroom. Through multidisciplinary academic training and study-abroad experiences, as an International Studies major you will acquire the knowledge and the ability to thrive in diverse cultural settings. Regardless of your future career plans, these qualifications will make you attractive to prospective employers and set you apart from the crowd.

What Will You Learn as an International Studies Major?

As an International Studies Major, you’ll acquire multi-disciplinary analytic skills from three core courses on international issues. You’ll also develop an area of expertise, whether in a particular region of the world or in a selected transnational issue. You’ll demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language and study abroad for at least a semester in one of the many off-campus programs available to Albion students. Finally, you’ll cap off your senior year with a seminar that will help you integrate your experiences abroad through a semester-long research project.

You will learn to analyze international issues.

You will develop the ability to explain the similarities and differences between your own culture/society and those of people in other countries.

You will demonstrate interactive skills with people of different cultural backgrounds and spoken languages.

You will apply multi-disciplinary perspectives to a research topic.

You will synthesize your in-depth understanding of international issues through an independent research project.

Program Highlights

Independent Research

Albion College student working at a table

As an International Studies major, you can develop your own research project while studying abroad. Integrate your research findings and study-abroad experiences in the capstone seminar upon your return. Effectively communicate your findings through written and oral presentations, and share your work at the Elkin Isaac Research Symposium.

Language Proficiency

Two students conversing in front of a whiteboard.

All students pursuing a major in International Studies are expected to be proficient in a second language. You’ll build on your language skills by participating in lectures and extra-curricular activities outside of the classroom, learn from native speakers and have the opportunity to be part of special activities hosted by I-Space, our international housing residence on campus. 

Study Away Opportunities

Jessica Butchley with friends in Berlin, Germany

As an international studies major, you’ll be required to complete at least one semester abroad in an off-campus program approved for Albion College credit. You’ll grow both academically and personally, and form relationships that span countries and continents. Albion offers a multitude of opportunities for students to study abroad, experience other cultures, and dive deeper into a particular area of focus. 

Student Organizations

Three students walking outside on campus.

Use everything you are learning in your major to build connections with peers or take on a  leadership role in one of our  Diversity Awareness clubs and organizations, such as the International Student Union.

Careers & Outcomes

Your passion for global affairs translates to many different job fields and occupations. As the world becomes more interconnected and interdependent, there is an increased need for professionals who know how to navigate and communicate effectively across borders and regions. International Studies majors at Albion go on to pursue a multitude of careers, from law and government to human services. Depending on your area of focus within the International Studies major, you will also have solid credentials for graduate study in fields such as international relations, development studies, and business.


Job Titles

  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Human Rights Activist
  • Language Specialist
  • Political Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Nonprofit Program Coordinator

Graduate Schools

  • University of Chicago
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Kent (UK)
  • University of London (UK)
  • Michigan State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Rochester
  • San Diego State University
  • Webster University (Austria)