Investing in global citizenship for a more just world
In our increasingly interconnected world, we no longer have the luxury of focusing only on our own country. What happens globally can affect us locally, while policies enacted locally can have implications for citizens halfway around the world. So how can we address the challenges of today’s world—from refugee displacement to gender inequality to rising authoritarianism—in a way that ensures a safe, sustainable and fair future for all?
International Studies (IS) explores global justice, including international development ethics, and the intricacies of how culture and society feed sociopolitical issues (and our understanding of them). Through discussions, in-class projects and guest speakers, students delve into the Sustainable Development Goals and learn what it means to be a citizen not just of one’s country but of the globe.
Students consider questions such as:
- What does a more just world look like and how can we get there?
- What does inclusive global citizenship mean for—and require of—communities, institutions and individuals?
- Can we justify extreme poverty amidst immense riches? Who is responsible for aiding the world’s poorest and most vulnerable?
IS offers an engaging and immersive opportunity for students who are interested in better understanding the world, including the forces that are shaping it. All majors and backgrounds are welcome. The program will be of particular interest to anyone interested in global justice, development ethics and human rights, but also international issues more broadly.
Colloquium and Lecture Topics
- Forced displacement (refugees and internally displaced persons)
- International development and human rights
- International Humanitarian Law and the “laws of war”
- Individual identity and intercultural dialogue
- Social action, diplomacy and the tools of change
I love International Studies because the topics we cover are ever-changing, relevant to current events and interdisciplinary. I find it amazing how we're able to cover and connect with many different topics like human geography, political science and public health!
Other Learning Opportunities
The IS experience is shaped in part through excursions and other active learning opportunities, both on and off campus. To broaden our understanding of what is covered in the classroom, we may visit embassies in Washington, DC, the Organization of American States, the Museum of the Americas, the Museum of the American Indian and our local Piscataway indigenous community, among others.
Students have walked Washington, DC’s, culturally diverse Heritage Trails to glean the international elements of the nation’s capital, participated in international negotiation simulations, presented on policy solutions to global challenges, and engaged in project-based learning in the classroom. Students also have the opportunity to engage in ongoing community-based learning by tutoring and mentoring refugees.
Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will take a colloquium, practicum and select additional courses. Note that these Scholars courses are generally in addition to any courses students take to satisfy major requirements.
The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the International Studies Citation Checklist.
|Freshman Fall||Scholars Colloquium||1 credit|
|Academic Writing||3 credits|
|3–4 courses toward degree and major requirements||9–12 credits|
|Freshman Spring||Scholars Colloquium||1 credit|
|International Political Relations, or The Study of Political Philosophy||3 credits|
|3–4 courses toward degree and major requirements||9–12 credits|
|Sophomore Fall||Scholars Colloquium||1 credit|
|Supporting course||3 credits|
|2–3 courses toward degree and major requirements||6–9 credits|
|Sophomore Spring||Scholars Practicum||3 credits|
|4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements||12–15 credits|
Social Media Etc.
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: International Studies Students are on a Mission to Give Back, December 2022
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: International Studies and Justice & Legal Thought Scholars Support Recently Resettled Refugee Families, September 2022
The Diamondback: First-ever Refugee Day creates community for refugees, May 2022
International Studies News
Scholars recognizes Citation Class of 2022, Founders Circle Award winners
Students in College Park Scholars’s Citation Class of 2022 began their University of Maryland (UMD) careers in the fall of 2020, under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They spent their first year almost entirely online: Some Zoomed into their program colloquium from their double-turned-single dorm rooms; others attended virtually from their families’ homes, away from campus.
UMD Grant Initiative Bolsters Scholars Curricula With Additional Experiential Learning
Hands-on, active learning has always been a hallmark of College Park Scholars. Thanks to new grants from the University of Maryland (UMD), some Scholars programs will expand upon those traditions with more resources and support. The grants come from UMD’s campuswide Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants initiative, which is providing significant funds—up to tens of thousands of dollars in some cases—for innovative educational projects that focus on active and experiential learning.
4 Scholars Among the Freshman Cohort Spotlighted in Maryland Today
College Park Scholars students are an impressive bunch, and this year's entering cohort is no exception. Four Scholars students were among the handful of first-year Terps profiled in today's issue of "Maryland Today," the University of Maryland's daily newsletter: Marcus Barros, Public Leadership Aidan Borden, Media, Self and Society Shonchori Mukherjee, International Studies Sayee Naresh, Media, Self and Society
4 Graduating Scholars Alums Recognized With Prestigious University Awards
Four Scholars alumni are among the handful of graduating seniors recognized this month with some of the University of Maryland’s most prestigious awards. Gabriela Winter, an alum of the Public Leadership Scholars program, received the Wilson H. Elkins Citizenship Awards, presented each year to one of the top students in the graduating class who has displayed outstanding involvement and leadership in campus activities.
Course provides safe space to unpack power, privilege
When Michelle Pinkrah strolled into her first Thursdays-at-3:30 p.m. class of the semester in late January, she had no idea what she’d signed up for. She had signed up by accident, actually. The class wasn’t her first choice for her practicum course requirement with College Park Scholars, where she is a student, and she’d quickly forgotten it was even on her schedule. Pinkrah sat down in the circle of her peers and encountered something she hadn’t expected: a dialogue class, or, a class that centers around group discussion of life and experiences.
Making Tough Conversations a Little Easier
The following article originally appeared in Maryland Today: You might feel the attentiveness—or lack of it—of a doctor listening to you describe your symptoms, based on your accent. Or the eyes on you when you take your seat in a lecture hall full of people with skin tones different than yours. Or the fear when you’re driving while Black and realize your taillight is out. In ways big and small, social identity molds our individual experiences, often making it difficult to explain ourselves to people who don’t share our backgrounds and worldviews.