International Studies
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International relations and the politics that provoke violence

International Studies addresses political, economic, and social questions of global awareness and international conflict to explore the ways globalization transforms cultures around the world.

Students gain an understanding of the political structures, ideology and psychology crucial to interpreting international relations and global events. The curriculum places importance on an understanding of political violence, on the psychology that supports the uses of violence and terrorism, and on the psychodynamics and ethical patters that lay behind genocide and mass murder.

International Studies brings together students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Through film, literature, political policy and theoretical analysis, we explore a shared interest in global terrorism, international politics, and the cultures that provoke political violence.


Active Learning

The International Studies experience is shaped by multicultural and multidisciplinary living and learning and extensive interaction with global scholars from on and off campus. We also visit embassies in Washington DC, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the State Department and international organizations.

Students are encouraged to participate in the variety of international events occurring on and off campus, including International Studies’ annual participation in the Harvard Model United Nations which meets in Cambridge, MA.

In the first semester, The International Studies program grounds its exploration of historical and contemporary global relations in a film series and in small group discussions of these films.  

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • Impact of war on moral boundaries
  • Role of violence in destroying communities
  • Religious, ideological and state-supported terrorism
  • Mass murder and the ‘ethical’ values standing behind genocidal practices 

Curriculum Overview

The following table represents a typical curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the International Studies Citation Checklist.

View, print or download International Studies Citation Checklist

Freshman Fall Freshman Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Scholars Colloquium 2 Scholars Colloquium 1
Introduction to Political Ethics 3 4-5 Courses toward degree and major requirements 12-15
3-4 Courses toward degree and major requirements 9-12    
Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Ethics, Conflict and Immigration 3 Scholars Practicum 3
3-4 Courses toward degree and major requirements 9-12 4-5 Courses toward degree and major requirements 12-15