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International Studies

Investing in global citizenship for a more just world

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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.

Semester 1 CPSN 100: Colloquium I 1 credit
Semester 2 CPSN 101: Colloquium II (DVCC) 1 credit
GVPT 200: International Political Relations (DSHS, DVUP; or
GVPT 241: The Study of Political Philosophy: Ancient and Modern (DSSP)
3 credits
3 credits
Semester 3 CPSN 200: Colloquium III 1 credit
IS Sophomore Supporting Course 3 credits
Semester 4 CPSN 230: Internship; or
CPSN 240: Service-Learning; or
CPSN 250: Research; or
CPSP 359S: Discovery Research (DSSP); or
CPSP300: Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation (DSSP); or
Study Abroad
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits

Office Address

1117 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

News and Notes, Etc.

International Studies News

Showing 1 - 6 of 23
  • Two More Programs Added to Scholars for 2024-25

    COLLEGE PARK, MD. – College Park Scholars in Fall 2024 will add two programs to its roster of two-year living-learning experiences for academically talented students, but one will look and sound familiar.Data Justice will debut, and the University of Maryland’s CIVICUS program will relaunch with a new name: Civic Engagement for Social Good.The expansion will bring the number of Scholars programs to a record of 13 and provide 150 additional first-year students with the opportunity to begin their college journeys as members of an intellectually rich and socially vibrant Scholars community.

  • 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

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