International Studies, B.A.


Entrance Requirements

New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another USC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  1. Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
  2. Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a USC campus.

Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 35-44
2. College Requirements 15-18
3. Program Requirements 34-46
4. Major Requirements 24

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (35-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours) 

SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)

  • Two 4-credit hour CC-SCI laboratory science courses

GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language  (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required for all baccalaureate degrees. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

GHS – ​Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours) 

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours) 

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours) 

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

History (3 hours) 

The College of Arts and Sciences requires one additional GHS course beyond the Carolina Core GHS requirement. 

  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course.
  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a U.S. history course. 

Please select the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement from the approved list of U.S. and non-U.S. history courses.

Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (12 hours)

3. Program Requirements (34-46 hours)

Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)

Students must complete a cognate (12 hours) or a minor as part of this program.  In lieu of a cognate or minor, an additional major may be added to a student’s program of study. Additional majors must include all major courses as well as any prescribed courses noted (*) in the bulletin.  Prescribed courses noted in the bulletin may be shared with Carolina Core, College requirements, and Program requirements in the primary program. 

Cognate (12 hours)

The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs.

Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements. It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.

For Bachelor of Arts degrees, all cognate courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

Minor (18 hours)

In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses.

The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must follow a structured sequence.

Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.

Electives (16-34 hours)

120 (or 128) degree applicable credits are required to complete any degree at UofSC. After the cognate, minor or second major is complete, any additional credits needed to reach 120 (or 128) total credits can be fulfilled by electives. No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Note: 1-22 hours of electives will be needed to reach hours to graduate and Program Requirements will range from 22-37 hours, if completing either the Intensive Major or the B.A. with Distinction in International Studies.

4. Major Requirements (24 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.

Major Courses (9 hours)

Course Title Credits
POLI 105Introduction to Politics3
POLI 315International Relations3
POLI 316Comparative Politics3
Total Credit Hours9

Major Electives (15 hours)

15 hours in approved internationally focused courses, to be chosen from the list below.  At least six hours must be POLI courses.

Course Title Credits
Comparative Politics:
POLI 380Comparative Politics of Developing Countries3
POLI 381Comparative Politics of Industrialized Countries3
POLI 383Genocide: A Comparative Perspective3
POLI 416Revolution and Political Violence3
POLI 448Politics and Government of China3
POLI 480Politics and Government of Russia3
POLI 481Politics and Governments of Europe3
POLI 483Middle East Politics3
POLI 487Politics and Governments of Africa3
POLI 488Politics and Governments of Latin America3
POLI 489Politics and Government of Japan3
International Relations:
POLI 330International Organization3
POLI 340The Conduct and Formulation of United States Foreign Policy3
POLI 341Contemporary United States Foreign Policy3
POLI 342National Security Policies of the United States3
POLI 417Theories of War in International Relations3
POLI 420International Law3
POLI 421Law and Contemporary International Problems3
POLI 430Ideology and World Politics3
POLI 432Nationalism and Ethnicity in World Politics3
POLI 433Economic Aspects of International Politics3
POLI 437International Relations of Latin America3
POLI 440Russian Foreign Policy3
POLI 442Globalization and Security3
POLI 443International Relations of East Asia and the Pacific3
POLI 444International Relations in Japan3
POLI 445Political Economy of Africa's Regions3
POLI 446International Relations of Africa3
POLI 447Foreign Policies of Selected Powers3
POLI 449International Relations of the Middle East3
Approved Non-POLI Major Courses 1
ANTH 203Comparing Cultures Through Film3
ANTH 204Plagues Past and Present3
ANTH 207Gender and Culture3
ANTH 208Anthropology of Globalization and Development3
ANTH 210Human Life Cycles in Different Cultures3
ANTH 211Learning Across Cultures3
ANTH 212Food and Culture3
ANTH 213Ethnobotany: Plants and Peoples3
ANTH 216Violence and Peace: Anthropological Perspectives3
ANTH 234Caribbean Cultures3
ANTH 236Cultures of Africa3
ANTH 237Cultures of Islam3
ANTH 238Middle Eastern Cultures3
ANTH 240South Asian Cultures3
ANTH 241Southeast Asian Cultures3
ANTH 242Chinese Popular Culture3
ANTH 243Japanese Cultures3
ANTH 273Cross-Cultural Communication3
ANTH 280Humans Going Nuclear: Atomic Bombs, Cold War, and the Fallout3
ANTH 301Latin American Cultures3
ANTH 342Environmental Anthropology: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Environmental Change3
ANTH 350Anthropology & Development3
ANTH 351The Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective3
ANTH 353Anthropology of Law and Conflict3
ANTH 355Language, Culture, and Society3
ANTH 356Anthropology of Art3
ANTH 357Psychological Anthropology3
ANTH 359Theories of Culture3
ANTH 360Anthropology of Sex3
ANTH 373Introduction to Language Sciences3
ANTH 381Gender and Globalization3
ANTH 388Cultures, Pregnancy, and Birth3
ANTH 392Global Women's Health3
ANTH 512Gender Issues in China3
ANTH 515Tradition and Transformations in Islamic Cultures3
ANTH 552Medical Anthropology3
ANTH 553Anthropological Approaches to Narrative and Performance3
ANTH 556Language and Globalization3
ANTH 557Psychological Anthropology3
ANTH 568Nutritional Anthropology3
ANTH 569International Development and the Environment3
ANTH 572Temporal Processes in Culture3
ANTH 575Economic Anthropology3
ANTH 576Archaeology of the African Diaspora3
ANTH 580Culture and Identity in the African Diaspora3
ANTH 581Globalization and Cultural Questions3
ARAB 320Introduction to Modern Arab Literature in Translation3
CHIN 335Women in China3
CHIN 341Modern Chinese Literature3
CRJU 440Homeland Security and Terrorism3
ECON 303The International Economy3
ECON 503International Trade Economics3
ECON 504International Monetary Economics3
ECON 505International Development Economics3
ECON 507Comparative Economic Systems3
ECON 509Economics of Sustainable Development3
ECON 514The Economics of Terrorism3
EURO 300Introduction to European Studies3
FAMS 308Global Media Industries3
FAMS 360Special Topics in Global Media3
FAMS 361Middle East on Screen3
FAMS 363Hong Kong Action Cinema3
FAMS 365Screening China3
FAMS 598Special Topics in Global Film and Media3
FREN 330The French Theatre Experience3
FREN 397World Cinemas in French3
FREN 452French Literature and Culture After 18003
FREN 453Francophone Literatures and Cultures3
FREN 501Contemporary France3
FREN 510Current Events in the France and the Francophone World3
GEOG 210Peoples, Places, and Environments3
GEOG 223Geography of Latin America3
GEOG 225Geography of Europe3
GEOG 226Geography of the Middle East3
GEOG 228Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa3
GEOG 311Landscape and Cultural Geography3
GEOG 312Geography and Global Geopolitics3
GEOG 330The Geography of Disasters3
GEOG 343Environment and Society3
GEOG 512Migration and Globalization3
GEOG 515Political Geography3
GEOG 538Global Food Politics3
GEOG 568Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change3
GEOG 569International Development and the Environment3
GEOG 581Globalization and Cultural Questions3
GERM 320German Kabarett Production3
GERM 340Readings in German Literature3
GERM 450German Literature from 1890-19453
GERM 460Post-War and Contemporary German Literature3
GERM 500Survey of German Culture3
GERM 518German Sociolinguistics3
GERM 580Topics in German Film3
GLST 300Introduction to International Development3
GLST 308Global Media Industries3
GLST 370History of Capitalism From the Industrial Revolution to the Global Economy3
HIST 314Video Games and History3
HIST 317Contemporary Europe from World War I to World War II3
HIST 318Europe from World War II to the Present3
HIST 329Modern and Contemporary Britain3
HIST 333France Since 18153
HIST 335The History of Modern Russia and the Soviet Union3
HIST 336Russian and Soviet Diplomatic History3
HIST 338Modern Germany3
HIST 344Eastern Europe Since WWI3
HIST 347The Middle East in Modern Times3
HIST 348North Africa from Colonialism to Revolution: 1830-19623
HIST 349The Contemporary Middle East and North Africa3
HIST 350Saving Africa: Development and Humanitarianism in Historical Perspective3
HIST 352Africa since 18003
HIST 353Problems in the History of Africa South of the Sahara3
HIST 354Modern East Asia3
HIST 356China Since 19493
HIST 358Japan since 18003
HIST 360Into the Wild: Global Conservation since 18003
HIST 365East Africa and the Indian Ocean World3
HIST 3671947 Partition of India and Pakistan3
HIST 370History of Capitalism 2: From the Industrial Revolution to the Global Economy3
HIST 371History of Airpower3
HIST 372History of Modern Sea Power3
HIST 374Nationalism: Myth and Reality3
HIST 375Nazis and Fascists in European History, 1919-19453
HIST 376War and European Society, 1914-19453
HIST 377Business in Historical Perspective3
HIST 378Urban Experience in Modern Europe3
HIST 379Women in Modern Europe3
HIST 380History of the Holocaust3
HIST 381The Nobel Peace Prize: Peace, War, and Politics3
HIST 384Jewish History II: 1500 to the Present3
HIST 386Islamic Institutions and Traditions3
HIST 387Messiahs, Mystics and Rebels in the Islamic World3
HIST 389Science, Magic and Religion3
HIST 395Plagues and Societies in World History3
HIST 398Sustainability in World History from Early Times to the Anthropocene3
HIST 413History of Canada3
HIST 421Modern Latin America3
HIST 422Social and Economic History of Latin America3
HIST 423History of Mexico3
HIST 446Immigration and Ethnicity in America3
HIST 465American Diplomatic History3
HIST 466American Diplomatic History3
HIST 468American Military Experience3
HIST 562The Middle East and the United States: 1800 to the Present3
HPEB 470Principles of Global Health3
ITAL 400Contemporary Italian Civilization3
ITAL 404Twentieth Century Italian Literature3
ITAL 412Post-World War II Italian Cinema3
JAPA 340Introduction to Japanese Culture and Literature3
JAPA 341Modern Japanese Literature3
JAPA 350Japanese Culture and Society through Film3
JAPA 351Japanese Culture and Society through Theatre3
JAPA 353Japanese Culture and Society through Animation3
JAPA 500Japanese Language in Society3
LING 303Chinese Language and Society3
LING 340Language, Culture, and Society3
LING 546Japanese Language in Society3
LING 556Language and Globalization3
RELG 210Introduction to Hinduism3
RELG 219Ethics and the Good Life in Asian Religions3
RELG 220Introduction to Buddhism3
RELG 221Buddhist Meditation in Theory and Practice3
RELG 230Introduction to Judaism3
RELG 240Introduction to Christianity3
RELG 250Introduction to Islam3
RELG 260Anthropology of Magic and Religion3
RELG 261Global Human Religiosity3
RELG 314Religion and Culture3
RELG 334Asian Religious Philosophy3
RELG 343Religions of the African Diaspora3
RELG 344Hindu Devotional Traditions3
RELG 349Tantra: Sex, Power, and Bliss in South Asian Religions3
RELG 350Buddhist Stories, Poetry, and Films3
RELG 351Yoga: The Art of Spiritual Transformation3
RELG 352Religions of East Asia3
RELG 354Islamic Institutions and Traditions3
RELG 358The Qur'an and Hadith3
RELG 359Islamic Theology and Philosophical Thought3
RELG 362Science, Magic and Religion3
RELG 367Sufism3
RELG 368Messiahs, Mystics and Rebels in the Islamic World3
RELG 369Islamic Law3
RELG 373Literature and Film of the Holocaust3
RELG 382Jewish History II: 1500 to the Present3
RELG 387Jews and Muslims3
RELG 551Tradition and Transformations in Islamic Cultures3
RUSS 320Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Translation3
SOCY 315Global Population Issues3
SOCY 512Internal and International Migration3
SPAN 380The Cinema of Spain3
SPAN 381The Cinema of Latin America3
SPAN 400Spanish Culture3
SPAN 401Latin American Culture3
SPAN 500Contemporary Spain3
SPAN 501Contemporary Latin America3
SPAN 538Twentieth-Century Spanish Literature3
SPAN 543Spanish-American Literature from the Independence Through Modernism3
SPAN 555Spanish-American Literature from Modernism Through 19603
SPAN 557Contemporary Spanish-American Literature3
WGST 335Women in China3
WGST 351The Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective3
WGST 379Women in Modern Europe3
WGST 381Gender and Globalization3
WGST 388Cultures, Pregnancy, and Birth3
WGST 392Global Women's Health3

Students are NOT required to take non-POLI courses for this major, but they may opt to take up to nine hours toward major credit from the list of approved courses.

Intensive Major (33 hours) 

A minimum grade of B is required in all major courses.

In addition to the requirements for the General Major, Intensive majors must complete the following:

  • An additional 6 hours of International Studies-related courses (approved by the major advisor)
  • POLI 499
  • Demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language through the intermediate level

Note: Foreign language proficiency will be demonstrated by earning a rating of “intermediate high” on the ACTFL/ETS examination or a “1+” rating on the Interagency Roundtable (ILR) examination. In thoselanguages for which such testing is not available within a foreign language department, proficiency will be demonstrated by passing with a C or better a minimum of 15 hours of one foreign language.

B.A. with Distinction (33 hours)

Departmental Undergraduate Research Track available to students majoring in International Studies who wish to participate in significant research activities of the major field in collaboration with, or under the supervision of, a faculty mentor.   

In addition to the requirements for the General Major, “B.A. with Distinction” majors must complete the following:


  • A minimum GPA of 3.60
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30


  • POLI 301
  • POLI 498
  • POLI 499
  • Public presentation of the Senior Thesis in a venue approved by the faculty mentor, such as:
    • annual meeting of the South Carolina Political Science Association (or any other annual meeting of the appropriate professional organization)
    • a regular (or special) session of the Political Science Research Workshop
    • sessions scheduled for the Political Science Awards Day activities
    • USC Discovery Day
    • submission to a professional journal
  • A written sponsorship agreement from the faculty mentor to be placed on file in the department or college office

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

International Studies, B.A.