Attention Freshmen Wildcats, be sure to schedule a Freshmen Appointment with your Academic Advisor.

College of Arts & Sciences

International Studies


Fastest growing major in A&S




People cover the globe

Restart your search

International Studies is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students to understand a global theme and a non-North American world area from multiple perspectives, to gain competence in a related foreign language, and to carry out in-depth research and writing. International Studies majors graduate with skills that enable them to live and work as global citizens throughout the world.


Grow Your Future

As the world shrinks, opportunities grow for International Studies majors. With a degree in International Studies you can pursue anything from international policy making to philanthropic work to teaching English as a second language in another country. International Studies graduates go on to international careers with governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic agencies, and educational institutions. 

Career opportunities in International Studies

  • archaeologists
  • communications specialists
  • cultural anthropologists
  • cultural diversity trainers
  • development experts
  • diplomacy careers
  • editors/publicists
  • environmental specialists
  • foreign service officers
  • foreign study coordinators
  • foreign exchange specialists
  • geographers
  • hospitality industry specialist
  • human rights associates
  • import/export brokers
  • insurance specialists
  • intelligence specialists
  • international global activists
  • international law careers
  • international news writers/journalists
  • international sales representatives/managers
  • international security specialists
  • international trade specialists
  • international student advisors
  • marketing analysts
  • multiculturalism experts
  • museum & cultural arts personnel
  • natural resource management careers
  • philanthropic agency officer/manager
  • political analysts
  • program officers/managers for international non-profits and NGOs
  • public relations careers
  • research assistants
  • social studies and language teachers
  • teachers of English as a second language (ESL)
  • travel and tourism

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • International Studies (BA) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester

    An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of International Studies, including the main thematic emphases and approaches that characterize the field and the International Studies major at the University of Kentucky. Emphasis is placed on the relations between people and places across the globe. Students will be exposed to a variety of theories and methods that help in understanding the challenges that face people and nations in the global milieu. Furthermore, this course explores theoretical foundations for analyzing the ways in which the world's economies, politics, and societies change.The course will explore key global issues through different perspectives, using concepts drawn from the social sciences and the humanities. Case studies will be used selectively to allow students to develop skills in critical analysis of international phenomena and processes, and to strengthen the ability to bring an international perspective to bear on key issues.

  • Foreign Language 1014
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • UK Core - Humanities3
  • Pathways Course3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • Foreign Language 1024
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Freshman Hours32

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • Foreign Language 2013
  • Area or Theme Course (200+ level)3
  • UK Core - Natural, Physical and Math3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Foreign Language 2023
  • Area Course (300+ level)3
  • UK Core - Quantitative Foundations3
  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Sophomore Hours30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Additional Foriegn Language Course3
  • Area Course (300+ level)3
  • Theme Course (300+ level)3
  • UK Core - Statistical Inferential Reason3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • Additional Foriegn Language Course3
  • Area Course (300+ level)3
  • Theme Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Junior Hours30

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • Theme Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
Spring Semester

    In this capstone seminar students have to write a 20-25 page research paper. Each seminar has a subtitle of a broad theme to allow students working in different world areas and thematic concentrations to work on their projects. The class works both as a seminar where students learn different theoretical and methodological approaches to a broad topic and as a space where they learn to write their own research paper. Students will be required to present their paper in a power point presentation or another type of creative project. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • Area Course (300+ level)3
  • Theme Course (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Senior Hours31

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

International Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which majors explore global issues in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, geography, foreign languages, English and the arts. Students choose course work focused around a central theme and geographical region. Cultural knowledge will be developed further through expanded foreign language study.

IS Four Year Plan - BA IS Four Year Plan - BA Abroad

Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30

Major Requirements 

Pathway Courses

Complete 6 credit hours from the following list. Courses must be from two departments: ANT 160, ANT 225, GEO 152, GEO 160, GEO 161, GEO 162, HIS 104, HIS 105, PS 210, PS 235 (for a list of course descriptions please refer to the UKY Bulletin [6 hours]

Language Competency 

Complete the fourth semester in one language AND two semesters in a second language or two additional semesters in the same language [6-8 hours]

Thematic Concentration 

Complete 12-15 hours in one theme from at least two different departments. The themes include: Culture and the Arts, Global Development and Comparative Politics and Societies. For a complete list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [12-15 hours]

Area Concentration

Complete 12-15 hours in one Area Concentration from at least two different departments. The Areas include: Africa and the Middle East, East South and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, Russia and Eurasia. For a complete list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [12-15 hours]

Capstone Senior Project

  • INT 495 - Capstone Seminar for International Studies Majors [3 hours]

Total Hours - 42-44

Featured Career

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2014

Number of Jobs


in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Public relations specialists usually work in offices. Some attend community activities. Long workdays are common, as is overtime.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
  • Advertising Sales Agents
  • Editors
  • Market Research Analysts
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives
  • Writers and Authors

A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at 

Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

View Major Advising Page

Get more information about going to the University of Kentucky