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International Studies

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!

White female college student with brown hair, wearing a blazer
Caroline Thorne '24

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.

Curriculum Overview

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

Residence Hall

Cumberland Hall

Office Address

1119 Cumberland Hall

Office Phone



Portrait of Stacy J. Kosko

Stacy J. Kosko

Program Director, International Studies (on leave Fall 2023)
Portrait of Sarah Kilmer

Sarah Kilmer

Associate Director, International Studies (acting director fall 2023)
Portrait of Karim Makkawy

Karim Makkawy

Graduate Assistant, International Studies
Portrait of Trevor Norton

Trevor Norton

Graduate Assistant, International Studies

Social Media Etc.

International Studies News

Showing 1 - 6 of 22
  • Scholars Celebrates Citation and Founders Circle Award Winners at Annual Ceremony

    When the Citation class of 2023 entered the University of Maryland, they were already adjusting to a rapidly changing world being constantly reshaped by the Covid-19 global pandemic. One thing that didn’t change – their commitment to excellence in the classroom. All who successfully completed the requirements of their respective Scholars program received their official Scholars citation. But there were some that went above and beyond the expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

  • New Feller Research Professor to Advance Research on Activism by Marginalized Youths

    Stacy Kosko, an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Government and Politics (GVPT) and the Director of the College Park Scholars International Studies program, has been named the next Joel J. Feller Research Professor—an award that has supported professional track faculty in GVPT since 2015. 

  • 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.

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