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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
Portrait of Sarah Kilmer

Sarah Kilmer

Associate Director, International Studies
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

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  • Kosko Receives Inaugural Outstanding Global Classrooms Faculty Award

    The University of Maryland's Office of International Affairs (OIA) recently honored Stacy Kosko, program director of International Studies (IS), as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Global Classrooms Faculty Award.A decade ago, Kosko launched UMD’s first global classroom on human rights with Tel Aviv University. Her commitment to, and success in this pilot served as the inspiration for scores of UMD faculty to participate in the Global Classroom Initiative (GCI). Today, UMD can boast more than 70 global classrooms involving universities around the world. Global classrooms have now become embedded in the curricular fabric of the university is now offered by every school and college on our campus.

  • Numerous Scholars Earn University Student Leadership Awards

    The Annual University Student Leadership Awards program recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of our student leaders and scholars. Through this program, the university aims to acknowledge the exceptional academic performances and contributions to the University of Maryland community and surrounding neighborhoods made by students.Numerous Scholars were finalists and recipients of several of UMD's top awards.

  • “Think Globally, Act Locally!” Do Good Innovators Build Bridges Between Students & International Communities

    In March 2024, the inaugural Provost’s Do Good Innovator Awards winners were announced. Out of 57 faculty named, Dr. Sarah Kilmer and Dr. Justine DeCamilis of the College Park Scholars program were rewarded for their joint work on the Terps Community Mentors program (TCM). Piloted in 2021, TCM builds bridges between first-year International Studies (IS), Justice and Legal Thought (JLT) students, and Afghan refugee families at the Parkview Garden Apartments in Riverdale. In the three years since its debut, these College Park Scholars students now routinely visit the Parkview Garden Apartments in Riverdale—cleaning up creeks and streams, donating meals, distributing school supplies and fostering big brother/sister relationships with the young children around the complex.

  • Fourteen Scholars Named Class of 2024 Senior Marshals

    Senior Marshals are graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth. The University of Maryland Senior Marshals represent graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth.

  • Scholars Shine at Do Good Challenge Finals

    Despite not capturing the top prizes at the 2024 Do Good Challenge Finals held earlier this week, four members of College Park Scholars and their respective projects shined.Two Scholars - Takiyah Roberts (STS) and Elias Laskey (GPH) - and their teams went head-to-head in the Project Track competition.

  • Three Scholars Advance to Do Good Challenge Finals

    The Do Good Institute recently announced the selection of the 2024 Do Good Challenge finalists. The teams were selected from groups and organizations across campus that are tackling issues ranging from providing health education to reducing health disparities around the world to educating low-income youth on how to become entrepreneurs. On April 30, the finalists will share more about their work and impact with an audience of hundreds and a panel of expert judges at the Clarice to compete for a share of more than $20,000.Three of the six finalists are College Park Scholars. Congratulations to Sara Blau (International Studies), Elias Laskey (Global Public Health), and Takiyah Roberts (Science, Technology and Society)!

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