International Studies

International Studies

Are you thinking about a career in international relations, public policy or law? Do you dream about working abroad one day? When you see international events unfolding on television, do you want to jump out of your chair and make a difference? Keep on reading!


Offered in the Department of History, international studies provides students with a broad knowledge of world affairs through a curriculum drawn in large measure from history and political science. They gain a full recognition and understanding of the many forces that shape the contemporary world, including nationalism, wars, political and economic ideologies, globalization, geographic factors, cultural differentials and modern technology.

Why International Studies is in Demand:

  • Embracing global perspectives – the rise of globalization means that the workforce of today and tomorrow requires international knowledge for career success.
  • Employers in both the public and private sectors increasingly value candidates who have a global mindset and cross-cultural sensitivities.
  • There’s an ongoing need to address humanitarian crises and political conflicts in our interconnected and interdependent world.
  • According to The Huffington Post, PayScale data shows that international studies places in the top 10 liberal arts majors that “pay back.”

Is it for me?

  • Thinking about working for a government agency like USAID or an international organization such as the United Nations or World Bank?
  • Interested in a career in law, education or working for a multinational company?
  • Are you planning on joining the R.O.T.C. and want a greater knowledge of international affairs?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for International Studies

Tailored curriculum.   You can concentrate in specific areas such as Asian studies or Latin American studies or you can pursue an independent study of a topic that fascinates you. We also encourage students to double major. Common double majors are business and world languages.
Top teachers with broad experience.   You will be taught by our distinguished history faculty, all of whom possess doctoral degrees. You will also learn from dedicated professors in other departments, such as political science and economics, for a broad perspective of world affairs.
Small class size.   The best learning takes place in small classes where students have more opportunities to participate in discussions, ask questions and receive personalized feedback. Scranton limits classes to 35 students and many upper division classes are limited to 18 students.
See the world.   One-of-a-kind opportunities for study abroad in 28 countries and Fulbright scholarships. There’s also the European Union Simulation in Washington D.C.
Jesuit education.   We treat students as individuals with a holistic concern for their well-being both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    At The University of Scranton, you’ll gain essential learning outcomes while sharpening your skills for further success in graduate school or in the workplace.

    You'll learn about:

    • Global and contemporary issues
    • The role of the United States in world affairs
    • The lives, cultures, economics and politics of other regions across the globe

    At the same time, you’ll strengthen your:

    • Critical thinking and analytical skills to solve challenging problems
    • Oral and written communication skills
    • Research acumen
    • Foreign language reading skills 
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    The curriculum draws in large measure from history and political science. Course work includes studies in:

    • World politics
    • Modern world history
    • International relations
    • World geography
    • Comparative government
    • Elective regional studies focusing on Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China and the Islamic world

    You also have the option of an Asian Studies concentration or a Latin American Studies concentration.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    Research Projects

    At Scranton, you’ll not only learn about international studies in the classroom, you’ll have an opportunity to conduct your own research in contemporary global issues. There are numerous opportunities to help faculty with their research as part of the Faculty/Student Research Program.

    Travel Courses

    The department offers travel courses to Italy, Germany, England and the Navajo Nation in Arizona. They also offer a course in Disney’s American History (HIST 271), which includes a trip to Disney World during intersession.

    Study Abroad

    A study abroad experience is strongly encouraged. Over half of international studies students spend a semester or more studying in a foreign country. Examples of study abroad opportunities include: 

    • Australia
    • Denmark
    • England
    • Israel
    • Japan
    • Netherlands
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Brazil
    • Egypt
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Korea
    • Poland
    • Spain
  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    How often do you hear or read the word “globalization?” It’s one of the major forces – if not the major force – shaping the 21st century. If you have any doubts about the importance of globalization, just download The New York Times foreign affairs columnist, Thomas Friedman’s bestseller, "The World Is Flat" – or check out his postings on Facebook. 

    With international studies as your major, you’ll gain a full understanding of how nationalism, wars, political and economic ideologies, geographic factors, cultural norms and modern technology impact the world at large.

    Whether your dream is to work abroad to help people in need in a developing country, apply for a job at a government agency in Washington, D.C. or pursue a career at a law firm closer to home, you’ll not only pursue your passion – you’ll make your mark on the world.

    Fulbright Scholarships:

    We are proud to note that many students who majored in international studies at Scranton were awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships. Here are two examples:

    • Elena Habersky ’13 - Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Amman, Jordan. Elena minored in philosophy, Arabic and theology with a concentration in peace and justice studies. She teaches English and American culture at a university in Jordan.
    • Christopher Molitoris ’08 - Fulbright Scholarship in Economic Development to Al Akhawayn University in Morocco where he conducted research on the roles of women and access to water in the development of Morocco’s rural villages. Christopher tripled majored in international studies, political science and philosophy.


Where will International Studies take me?

With international studies as your major, the world is your proverbial oyster. Here are just some examples of fields that you can go into depending on your interests: 

  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign Policy
  • Government
  • Higher Education
  • International Business
  • Journalism
  • Law

Top Graduate Schools

Here are some of the leading law schools which have admitted recent graduates:

  • American University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • New York University
  • New York University – Paris Campus
  • Temple University

Other alumni have pursued graduate education at other leading institutions including:

  • The American University, School of International Services
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Leading Employers:

Here are some of the organizations in the public and private sectors employing Scranton graduates:

  • ABC News
  • Bankers Trust Company
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Evite and BuySeasons
  • Fox News
  • Judge Advocate General’s Corps
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Paine Weber
  • Sears and Kmart
  • Teach for America
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Military

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our dedicated staff is very active in helping them achieve their career goals. As you walk across campus, you’ll often see students chatting with faculty over coffee to bounce ideas. 

Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level. That deep level of understanding means that our faculty members are not only top teachers and strong researchers, but also advocates for you professionally. 

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of History
Daniel Sweeney, S.J., Ph.D.
Advisor for International Studies
Tel: (570) 941-5933