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International Studies BA


Preparing Students for 21st Century Careers

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies provides students with the opportunity to study and critically analyze global issues from various economic, geographic, political and cultural perspectives.  Issues such as global climate change, migration patterns, human rights as well as how to manage a global pandemic are critically analyzed in the context of globalization. An International Studies degree prepares students for careers in government, international education, and non-governmental organization among others. International Studies majors specialize in one of four concentrations – Development and the Physical Environment, Policy Studies, Peace and Justice and Global Society and Culture. They also specialize in a geographic region: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East. Students may choose from courses that include

Oil, Water and Security
The Five Wars of Globalization
Inernational Human Rights
Principles of International Development
Global Security Studies
Model United Nations
World Politics
And more!

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Resources for Current and Prospective Students


A Major for Students who want to pursue a career in International Affairs

The UCM International Studies program is an excellent choice for students interested in International Affairs. Students specialize in one of five geographic regions - Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East.  Course electives that fulfill this requirement are often taken while studying abroad in the region!

Contact the International Studies Coordinator


Gain Valuable Real-World Experience as an Intern

International Studies students have held internship positions with the Department of Homeland Security, non-profit organizations such as Global Ties KC, Global Futbol Community and the International Relations Council of Kansas City.

Contact the Internship Coordinator

 Model UN

Practice Diplomacy Skills in Model UN

Enroll in the Model United Nations course and participate in regional conference simulations of United Nations meetings in Chicago, St. Louis and Boston.  Conference participation allows students to serve on a UN committee where they work with delegates from other universities to develop solutions to international security, economic and humanitarian issues – and practice valuable diplomacy and leadership skills that employers look for in job candidates.

Contact the Model UN Advisor

 Study Abroad

Study Abroad and Travel

UCM International Studies students, on average, spend a semester studying abroad.  UCM has established relationships with universities in Japan, Korea, China, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, among others.  All classes taken abroad count as International Studies elective credits. Living abroad is also a great way to study and practice foreign language skills. Faculty-led study tours are also popular among International Studies students.  Recent trips include travel to Israel and Jordan, Cuba, Germany, Spain and Tanzania. All students are eligible for s study abroad grant to help cover costs.

 Study Abroad

Gain Expertise with a Minor

A variety of minors complement the International Studies major and allow UCM students to specialize in the study of a particular region of the world, issue area or language. Some popular options include:

Global Security Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
International Justice
Asian Studies
World Languages and Cultures


Dedicated Professors

The faculty members in the International Studies program work closely with students in and outside of the classroom. International Studies faculty are committed to ensuring student success and are available to advise and help students find internships, apply for scholarships and fellowships, and prepare for research presentations and academic conferences.  As teachers and scholars, UCM International Studies faculty have published books and journal articles on global issues such as immigration and migration, sustainable development and climate change, the Arab Spring and social movements and reparations.

Learn more about the International Studies Faculty



Alumni and Friends of International Studies: We Want to Hear from You!

We are proud of our many alumni, who go on to achieve great things and find rewarding careers after graduation. Check out what some of our recent alumni have been up to below. And please, if you are an alumnus of the International Studies program, we would love to hear what you have been up to, as well as talk to you about how you can stay involved with International Studies.

Contact the International Studies Program Coordinator




Katie K.

"When I think about the International Studies program at UCM, I remember courses that challenged my worldview, changed my perspective, and helped me conduct research in topics that I am passionate about. The skills I gained from taking these courses and working under the guidance of amazing, supportive professors equipped me to apply for several competitive programs, allowing me to study abroad four times on three continents and to begin working in Japan post-graduation." 


Dondre H.

"As an IS major, I had the opportunity to fully realize my international aspirations and interests by studying abroad in Morocco, volunteering in Cuba and attending several regional Model United Nations conferences."


Lindsey D.

'The University of Central Missouri’s International Studies major offers tremendous benefits and was a life-changing experience. Not only was I able to build cross-cultural skills, competencies, and knowledge which are all considered assets by prospective employers; but I also had the opportunity to grow a global network through immersion in local communities. More than a degree, this program offers students a pathway to becoming a global citizen."







Dr. Darlene Budd
Professor, Political Science
203 Wood Hall
Tel: (660)543-8148


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