Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

International Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
European Studies, General Studies, International Social Justice Studies, Latin American Studies, World Cinema
Program description

The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies is designed for students to acquire the historical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge to explore how culture, religion, media, politics, economics, and the environment shape each other and shape human life and the hands-on experience to participate in the work of building a sustainable and generous society that empowers all persons to live well as responsible global citizens. The program strengthens students’ abilities to see the world from diverse perspectives, communicate across cultures, and work with others to address significant challenges facing human beings locally and globally.


The program offers concentrations in Film Studies, Latin American Studies, European Studies, and International Social Justice. Each concentration offers a range of courses from which students may choose to fashion a course of study that best supports their educational and career goals. As is true with World Studies’ degrees in Anthropology, Foreign Languages, and Religious Studies, International Studies offers opportunities to engage in real world learning through internships, lab-based and field research, and study abroad programs. Through their coursework, students connect with students from different cultural backgrounds and develop genuine empathy and a practical commitment to contribute to the social good.

Career opportunities

International Studies majors graduate with an abundance of transferable knowledge, skills, and experience that are highly employable in a variety of businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, institutions, and programs that understand the value of diversity and are committed to contributing to the health and well being of society. These include such areas as social betterment organizational management, leadership, and advocacy; humanitarian relief; refugee assistance; research analyst for organizations and institutions that focus on barriers to and support for development, democracy, human rights, and environmental restoration, preservation, and protection; international cultural ambassadorship and cultural affairs; international journalism, reporting, communications; global business affairs; civil rights and legal aid/advocacy.


We encourage students to double-major in International Studies and one of the other majors degrees in the School of World Studies: Anthropology, Foreign Languages or Religious Studies, as doing so strengthens their cumulative knowledge, experience, academic record and resume for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.

Change of major requirements

Submit a change of major form to declare. Schedule an advising appointment with an academic advisor in the School of World Studies via Navigate or via telephone at (804) 827-1111 prior to approval.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Blogger/Vlogger
  • Event Planner
  • Flight Attendant
  • Health Systems Front Desk Specialist
  • Office Manager
  • Reporter
  • Social and Human Services Assistant
  • Social Media Manager
  • User Experience (UX) Researcher
  • Web Content Manager
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • International School Administrator
  • Producer
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.25+ major GPA
Department name:
School of World Studies
Building/room location:
312 North Shafer Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-1111
Email:
info-sws@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue to fulfill language requirements.
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and discuss strategies for success in your degree with faculty and advisors.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Take WRLD 291 - Intro to Research Opportunities.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and RELS 340.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program on campus.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Consider taking WRLD 394 - Research Assistantship, or doing the VA Capitol Semester.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete the ePass online portfolio by the first semester of your senior year.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take INTL 490 Senior Capstone.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

International Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
European Studies, General Studies, International Social Justice Studies, Latin American Studies, World Cinema
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue to fulfill language requirements.
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and discuss strategies for success in your degree with faculty and advisors.
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Take WRLD 291 - Intro to Research Opportunities.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and RELS 340.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program on campus.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Consider taking WRLD 394 - Research Assistantship, or doing the VA Capitol Semester.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
ExcelYear 4
  • Complete the ePass online portfolio by the first semester of your senior year.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take INTL 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
View graphic versionView graphic version