Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To find some of the most frequently asked questions, please select a topic or scroll down.

Foreign Language

Q: To earn a degree in International Studies am I required to study a foreign language?

A: The International Studies major requires that students demonstrate second-year proficiency in one language appropriate to their regional focus (as of Fall 2015 catalog year).  For students taking courses at PSU, second-year proficiency is defined by successful completion of the terminal course in the second-year language sequence.

***Since this requirement is met by proficiency and not credit hours, you may have learned the foreign language outside of a classroom, for example, from relatives or by living abroad. If this is the case, please contact the World Languages and Literatures department for information on how to satisfy this requirement by demonstrating third-year proficiency. 


Study Abroad

Q: To earn a degree in International Studies am I required to study abroad?

A: No. Studying abroad is a valuable experience and is encouraged, but not required. If you have any questions regarding study abroad, visit Education Abroad page.



Q: What is my major code?

A: The major code for International Studies depends on your regional focus area as follows: Africa = ISAF; Asia = ISEA; International Development = ISID; Europe = ISEE; Latin America = ISLA; and Middle East = ISME.


INTL Classes

Q: Must I complete INTL 201 before I can enroll in other INTL courses?

A: No; but it is strongly encouraged. INTL 201 is a required pre-requisite for the new Intl 390 Foundations of Global Studies course, which should be taken junior year. 

Q: Is it acceptable to use courses from other departments to satisfy my Regional Focus requirements?

A: Yes. The regional focus classes can be taken from any department, as long as they are upper division courses with a concentration on your region of focus. A list of suggested courses is compiled and made available every term from this office.  For course work in your region, see the Course Recommendations page under each region.

Q: Can I take another class in place of INTL 396?

A: Yes. PS 345 U.S. Foreign Policy or SOC 320 Globalization may substitute.

Q: What is INTL 499?

A: This course, Senior International Experience, doesn't appear in the class schedule. Generally, to fulfill this requirement, students will complete an International Studies approved Univeristy Capstone (UNST 421) with a global focus. See your International Studies Adviser for more information.

Q: Can I take a class outside of my "Regional Focus" and have it count for "Connected Learning" requirements?

A: Yes, it is possible to take one class focused on a different region of the world and have it satisfy a "Connected Learning" requirement.

Q: How can I get a list of classes that satisfy my "Connected Learning" requirements?

 Contact for more information.


University Studies

Q: What is University Studies? Does it relate to the International Studies major?

A: University Studies is a unique program that PSU requires for its students to take, and it is separate from International Studies Program. Check the University Studies page for more information.

Q: Can I take Global Perspectives for my Junior Cluster as an International Studies major?

A: We encourage majors to take advantage of University Studies cluster courses to pursue areas of interest beyond the major. While it is possible for majors to complete the Global Perspectives cluster, the number of allowed courses is limited.

If your major is International Studies you:

1.   MAY NOT count any INTL-prefixed course towards the cluster.

2.   MAY NOT count any course that relates to your region of focus towards the cluster.
3.   MAY NOT count any course that is being used to satisfy your connected learning or International Development focus towards the cluster.

What if I am a double major?

If you declare International Studies as your SECOND major, then you may count any course towards the cluster (including Intl-prefixed, regional focus or connected learning courses) that is not required to complete your first declared major.

Here is a list of courses in the Global Perspectives Cluster