Search Google Appliance

International Studies Course Descriptions

As of Spring 2012 changes have been made to major requirements:

If you plan to graduate after summer 2012 and have only taken 1 or 0 colloquiums prior to spring term 2012 then it is recommended you register for Intl 390 Foundations of Global Studies. This will replace 3 colloquium credits with 4 credits for Intl 390.

This also reduces required Connected Learning or IDS Track elective classes from six to five (24 credits to 20 credits) and also reduces required upper-division interdisciplinary electives for the Regional Track from six to five (24 credits to 20 credits).

Please see description of Intl 390 listed below - active as of FALL 2012.

As of Fall 2014:

  • all majors will be required to take 36 credits with the INTL prefix to graduate. This means that students will have to take three of their connected learning or regional focus classes (out of ten total) from within INTL.
  • all majors pursuing a Europe regional focus are required to take INTL 452 The European Union as a regional focus course.


Intl 201 Introduction to International Studies (4 credits)

A survey of the main concepts, analytical tools, fields of study, global problems, and cross-cultural perspectives that comprise international studies.

Intl 2xx Introduction to Regional Studies (4 credits)

Be sure to register for a corresponding mentored inquiry section:

  • Intl 211 Introduction to African Studies
  • Intl 216 Introduction to Asian Studies
  • Intl 226 Introduction to European Studies
  • Intl 240 Introduction to Latin American Studies
  • Intl 247 Introduction to Middle Eastern Studies

In-depth interdisciplinary or topical study of one of the regional foci in the International Studies degree program: Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East.

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the study of diverse cultures and societies in their selected region through a variety of disciplinary approaches including history, literature, anthropology, the arts, and geography. Students will focus first on the origins of their selected region's major cultural traditions, and then on the way in which these traditions have transformed and been transformed by the powerful forces of imperialism, industrialization, and globalization.

Through written assignments and oral presentations, students will develop their critical, analytical, and communication skills.

Intl 317U Topics in Asian Thought (4 credits)

Study of the religious and ethical traditions of Asia including, but not limited to, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Islam, their social and cultural importance, and their ties to political thought and history.

Intl 321U Globalization and Identity: Humanities (4 credits)

Examines how U.S. and Asian societies define the meaning of globalization vis-á-vis themselves and each other using source materials from the humanities.

Intl 322U Globalization and Identity: Social Science (4 credits)

Examines how U.S. and Asian societies define the meaning of globalization vis-á-vis themselves and each other using source materials from the social sciences.

Intl 323U Tradition and Innovation: Humanities (4 credits)

Examines how U.S. and Asian societies employ the meanings of "tradition" and "innovation" to define themselves and view each other. Looks at tradition and innovation in both societies through plays, film and Asian and American literature

Intl 324U Tradition and Innovation: Social Science (4 credits)

Examines how U.S. and Asian societies employ the meaning of "tradition" and "innovation" to define themselves and view each other. Looks at tradition and innovation in both societies through historical. economic. and political science perspectives.

Intl 331U Women in the Middle East (4 credits)

Aims to explore the role and status for women in the contemporary Middle East with respect to institutions such as the family, law, education, work, and politics - areas which intersect and overlap with broader cultural questions about women and their place in tradition, modernity, nation-building, Islam, and the West. This course is the same as FL 331 and WS 331. May only be taken for credit once.

Intl 332U Islamic Movements in the Contemporary Muslim World (4 credits)

An overview of Islamic political movements in the contemporary Muslim world. Examines the roots and development of Islamic movements in Muslim-populated societies in the context of Social Movement Theory and globalization. Particular attention to the rise of Islamic political movements from their position as a local and regional force to a global political movement. 

Intl 341U Environment and Development in Latin America (4 credits)

Examines the interrelationships between environment and development in Latin America from a interdisciplinary perspective. Explores issues of sustainable development including agriculture, deforestation, trade, urbanization, ecotourism and migration. 

Intl 342U Globalization and Conflict in Latin America (4 credits)

Examines issues of globalization and its impacts on regional conflict in contemporary Latin America. Topics include political systems, trade, poverty, inequality and human rights.

Intl 343U Commodity Chains in Latin America: From Silver to Cocaine (4 credits)

Explores the politics, economy, culture and environment of Latin America from the point of view of export commodities. Tracing commodity chains, from silver to cocaine to bananas and soy. The course shows how these chains connect places to the world economy, and the ramifications of economic dependence.

Intl 350U The City in Europe (4 credits)

Focus on modern urban life since the 18th century and various responses to industrialization, state power, modernity and globalization. The city provides a lens into debates on imperialism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism. Through case studies, literature, and film, the course explores cities' roles in shaping European identity and citizenship.

Intl 360U Bollywood (4 credits)

Bollywood encompasses media industries in India and South Asia that produce entertainment for worldwide consumption. We examine transnational Indian Cinema emphasizing: Globalization and the politics of transnational film production, distribution, and reception. Local-regional-global dynamics. The construction and negotiation of gender, family, nation, religion/communalism, and emerging filmic genres. Filmic representation and diasporic identities.

Intl 362U Amazon Rain Forest (4 credits)

Examines different ways in which the Amazon has been perceived through time.

Intl 364U Modern Brazil (4 credits)

Examines such topics as slavery, abolition, messianism, banditry, the Amazon, race, military rule, and democratization in the making of modern Brazil. This course is the same as HST 463. May only be taken once for credit.

Intl 365U Digital Globalization (4 credits)

This course will explore how digital globalization has impacted all aspects of global society. The course will examine three main areas: digital culture and the individual; the sharing economy and innovation; and security issues, particularly questions of privacy and surveillance.

Intl 372U Sociology of Africa (4 credits)

Study of the social, political, economic dimensions of imperialism in twentieth century Africa from the perspective of post-colonial studies.

INTL 380 Globalization and Difference in Media and Film (4 credits) 

Culture Industries such as television, film, social/digital media, community-based media, & local press are global in reach and influence. The course employs international cultural artifacts to understand how globalization impacts the representation of difference & commoditization of culture. 

Intl 390 Foundations of Global Studies (4 credits)

Exploration of key ideas and theories for analyzing and interpreting global social and cultural realities, from positivism, liberalism, and Marxism to contemporary critiques and new approaches. Includes social science and humanities, Western and non-Western perspectives. Uses historical and comparative framework, as well as case studies. Prerequisite: INTL 201.

Intl 391U Media and International Relations (4 credits)

Examines the role of media (traditional and new media), historical and contemporary, in the conduct of international relations and in the reporting and representations of national and international politics and cultures.

Intl 395 Colloquium (1 credit)

Lectures by PSU and visiting scholars on major world issues.

Note: INTL 395 must be taken three times to meet the major requirement if you are following the old major format.

Intl 396 The United States and the World (4 credits)

Interdisciplinary study and analysis of the role of the United States in world affairs with emphasis on the twentieth century, relations between the U.S. and the Third World, the era of the Cold War, American globalism, diplomatic, economic, and geopolitical issues.

Intl 397 The United States and International Development (4 credits)

Exploration of the relation between U.S. domestic and foreign policy on the formulation of the concept of development, its theoretical evolution and application in developing nations. A historical approach is utilized starting with colonialism and ending with topics of contemporary salience such as trade, financial liberalization and sustainability.

Intl 399 Special Studies (Credits to be arranged)

Intl 407 Seminar (4 credits)

Reading and discussion about an interdisciplinary topic in international affairs. Restricted to seniors with an International Studies major or minor. Prerequisite: INTL 390.

Intl 410 Selected Topics (Credits to be arranged)

Intl 445 Cities and Third World Development (3 credits)

Critical survey of historical, economic, cultural, political, and urban aspects of Third World development, starting with the colonial era. Includes historical patterns of integration of the Third World with the emerging world market system. Covers development theories and problems of the post-independence period, focusing on urban issues and policy alternatives.

Intl 452 The European Union (4 credits)

Focuses on how the EU has evolved since its beginnings in the 1950s, on its present-day organization and functions, and on how the member countries interact in making EU policies for jointly regulating their internal economies and societies as well as how the EU members also try to manage their relations with the rest of the world. This course is same as PS 452; course may only be taken once for credit.

Intl 460/560 Political Development in Modern Turkey (4 credits)

Designed to provide students with an in-depth study of political development literature with a focus on modern Turkey. Examines how modern Turkish republic emerged from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire and evaluate stages of political development during the first, second and third republic. Finally, assesses the implications of Turkey's new geopolitics (since the end of the Cold War) on Turkish political and economic development in a global perspective. This course is the same as PS 460/560. May only be taken once for credit.

Intl 461/561 Politics of Economic Reform in Modern Turkey (4 credits)

Course examines the politics of planned economic growth under the Republic Peoples Party, transition to the import-substituting growth model during the post WWII era, problems associated with economic stagnation in the 1970s, and transformation of the Turkish economy during the 1980s and 1990s. The last two decades provide important insight into how politics and economics (domestic as well as international) converge in shaping Turkey's economic growth strategies. This course is the same as PS 461/561. May only be taken once for credit.

Intl 470 Intercultural Leadership and Change (4 credits)

This course prepares students for citizenship, leadership, scholarship, and research in a changing and globalized world. This course culls perspectives from extant intercultural scholarship. We develop analytical tools to reflect upon politically created difference in race, religion, class and gender in cosmopolitan societies. 

Intl 471 Understanding the International Experience (4 credits)

Examination of communication-based, cultural, economic, emotional, physical, political, religious, and social aspects of an overseas or community-based international/intercultural experience. Presentation of strategies for development of an appropriate level of preparation to meet challenges of working and traveling in an international/intercultural setting. Emphasis on general methodology and process required to develop personal awareness and resources for successful field experience. Also offered as LING 471.

Intl 490 Global Sustainable Development (4 credits)

An examination of key concepts of global sustainable development, international policies associated with sustainable development, and the power relations inherent to these policies. The subject matter is approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Expected preparation: Intl 397.

Intl 499 Senior International Experience (6 credits)

 A service learning and/or community-based learning experience in an international or inter-cultural setting, in a group-supervised, team-centered format, within either a study-abroad program or a local project (or both) with an appropriate international agency, business, community, or nonprofit organization.