Online Track for International and Global Studies

International and Global Studies (INTL) offers an online track, which allows students to complete all of their major requirements digitally. Our online track is designed to give students the utmost flexibility to pursue their degrees.

Online Programs

Major in Global Studies (52 credits)
Major in International Development (52 credits)

  • NOTE: INTL 470 "Intercultural Leadership and Change" will substitute for the required core class INTL 471 "Understanding the International Experience". INTL 470 will be taught online in Fall 2019. The course will likely only be offered once in the 19/20 academic year, so it is strongly recommended that all online track students take this class this Fall if they are in their junior or senior year.

Minor in International & Global Studies (28 credits)

Undergraduate or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Global Studies (20 credits)

How do I start?

There are several steps that you need to take to become a fully-online student in the International & Global Studies program: 

  1. Apply to Portland State University. 
  2. Online track students will need to do an online orientation to the university. Please email Orientation to request access to the online orientation. 
  3. Schedule a meeting with our online program Advisor, Dr. Shawn Smallman, to discuss our programs and your educational goals. This meeting is required for all new students. (During summer June 16th-September 15th, please schedule a meeting with one of our professional advisors instead of Dr. Smallman.)
  4. Check the Course Projection for courses with online offerings over the next two years and make your tentative schedule. Contact your Advisor if you have questions.

NOTE: International students should first check with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) to see if their home governments have any restrictions regarding online programs. 



Shawn Smallman

Shawn Smallman, Ph.D.


Phone: 503-725-9978

Online Appointment Booking (available September 16th - June 15th)

The lead advisor for the online track, Professor Shawn Smallman, is available for appointments by phone or video chat on Facetime, Skype (shawn.smallman), or Google Hangout. Please contact Dr. Smallman by email to arrange an appointment, or book an appointment online. Prof. Smallman has many available slots outside his office hours and can be flexible to find times to meet with people in time zones outside the United States.


In addition, online students can contact the department’s professional advisors.

During the summer (June 16th - September 15th), please schedule meetings with professional advisors instead of Dr. Smallman.



INTL majors must complete two years of a language requirement (also a requirement for a Bachelor of Arts degree). There are three ways to complete the language requirements:

  1. Enroll in online, or face-to-face language classes through PSU
    • The World Languages and Literatures (WLL) department will offer five languages fully online in 2019/20: 1st and 2nd year Spanish, French, German and Arabic, and 1st year Italian. These classes start in the Fall, so students should not plan to start taking them mid-way through the year.
    • Students need to work with their advisor to register for the online language courses in the Fall term, as these courses are not posted on the university course schedule.
  2. Transfer language course credits from another institution
    • Students can take languages at their local college face-to-face or online, and then transfer the credits to PSU.
  3. Test out of the language requirement
    • Students who have learned a language in other ways may test out of this requirement by taking a language proficiency test. These language tests are offered either at PSU, or any center that offers the SAT.

B.A. and General Education requirements

  • Students at PSU must take a number of credits in arts and science or social science courses to receive a B.A. It is possible to take all of this coursework entirely online. For INTL students, your major classes will count as social science credits and will work to meet the requirements of both your major and the B.A. degree.
  • In addition, all PSU students must complete General Education requirements through the University Studies program at PSU.
    • Online freshman who enter PSU with fewer than 29 credits will need to take an online FRINQ class, in order to fulfill their general education requirements. These classes only start in the Fall term. In the Fall of 2019, two online FRINQs will be offered: UNST 101B - Race and Social Justice, and UNST 131C - Work of Art. The basic course descriptions can be found here. Please talk to one of the department’s professional advisors to make arrangements to enter the online FRINQ.
    • Juniors and Seniors may complete both their upper division cluster requirements and the capstone requirement fully online. Please see here for more information about the university’s online general education offerings. Please note that there are more clusters online than this list now includes, so a University Studies advisor can help you to identify other choices.
  • Transfer students with an Associate of Arts degree typically will have already completed their B.A. and lower division General Education requirements. You can see more information about transfer students and University Studies requirements here.


Tuition & Fees

PSU online courses have an additional fee of $35 per credit. Estimate your cost of attendance and see the full schedule of tuition and required fees here.


Technical Support

The first place to ask questions is our HELP desk at 503-725-4357. You may also use the new online PSU Help Center at for requesting services and finding answers to technology-related questions.