VCU Bulletins

International Studies, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in area studies/Latin American studies

Special requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, students must complete 120 course credits, at least 31 of which must be in the major, with a minimum GPA of 2.25. Students must take at least 21 credits in upper-level (300 or 400) INTL courses. The focus should be interdisciplinary, with no more than half of major course credits beyond the INTL core coming from any one traditional discipline (e.g., ANTH, POLI, SOCY or foreign language).

Students should work with their advisers to establish a plan for a minor that will broaden their international studies perspectives. International studies majors are encouraged to complete the course requirements for a minor in one of the following fields: African studies, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, anthropology, Asian and Chinese studies, economics, business (general business minor), French, geography, German, history, Italian studies, Mediterranean studies, political science, religious studies, Russian studies, sociology, Spanish or urban and regional studies. Students also may want to consider a second major. Advisers will work with students to explore the benefits of a double major and a minor.

Students must fulfill an experiential learning requirement through an approved internship, service-learning course or study-abroad program. Additionally, students must complete foreign language study through the advanced level (300, 305, 320 or 321) by course or placement, unless this level of instruction is not available in the chosen language. (In such cases, the faculty adviser will assist the student in identifying appropriate language study options at other U.S. institutions or abroad.) International studies students also must fulfill the college general education requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree.

To major in international studies, students must take course work that fulfills the requirements for either a general international studies major (offered with a humanities emphasis in the School of World Studies or a social science emphasis in the Wilder School), or students must choose a major with a global studies concentration (with options in both World Studies or Wilder School) or a geographical area studies concentration (available only through World Studies). Students may choose the program of study that best fits their interests.

Experiential learning and study abroad

World Passport
As part of the School of World Studies’ commitment to learning through engagement, each student within the school is required to complete a World Passport to introduce him or her to a breadth of experience beyond the core curriculum: cultural opportunities, experiential learning, seminars and conferences, international experiences, and multicultural campus activities. Students are required to obtain information about their personal World Passport from the School of World Studies Advising Office. The passport will be kept in the student advising file throughout the duration of study. It will be reviewed and stamped by an SWS adviser prior to graduation, and then given to the student upon completion.

The passports are color-coded for four required categories of activities to be completed by students before graduation from VCU with a degree from the School of World Studies.

  • Professional preparation prepares students for careers, graduate school and lifelong learning.
  • Crossing boundaries exposes students to international and multicultural interactions and ideas.
  • Community engagement enhances the undergraduate experience by greater involvement in the community.
  • Experiential learning provides students the opportunity to demonstrate success in applying program content beyond a classroom setting.

The School of World Studies is committed to the premise that learning is best facilitated through engagement with the dynamic complexities and challenges of the world outside the classroom. Majors in the school are required to participate in experiential learning options. All experiential learning opportunities must receive prior approval from the SWS Advising Office and include internships, service-learning courses, certain noncredit options and study abroad.

Study abroad
Summer study-abroad programs provide students with opportunities for short-term immersion in the language, culture and civilization of the countries they visit. A list of current VCU study abroad opportunities can be found at www.global.vcu.edu/abroad/programs/vcu. VCU is a member of the International Student Exchange Program, which offers junior year abroad programs at one of 40 universities worldwide. For more information about study abroad, visit the School of World Studies website at www.has.vcu.edu/wld.

Degree requirements for International Studies, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in area studies/Latin American studies

Learning outcomes

  1. Knowledge regarding the interrelationship between local and global institutions, cultures, languages and religions
  2. Knowledge regarding the differences and unity of human values, aspirations and concerns
  3. Knowledge of local and global issues of social justice, human rights and sustainability
  4. Development of reading, writing and oral communication skills
  5. Development of ethical, critical and creative thinking skills
  6. Development of global awareness and global citizenship

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  1. Possess knowledge regarding interrelationship between local and global institutions, cultures, languages and religions
  2. Possess knowledge regarding the differences and unity of human values, aspirations and concerns
  3. Possess knowledge regarding local and global issues of social justice, human rights and sustainability
  4. Be able to read, write and orally communicate well
  5. Be able to think ethically, critically and creatively
  6. Be able to think globally and engage thoughtfully with society
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
   
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
   
Collateral requirements (3-9 credits)  
Foreign language through the 300-level (300, 305, 320 or 321) 3-9
World Passport completion 0
   
Major requirements (31 credits)  
HIST 109 or 110 Survey of Latin American History 3
INTL 101 Human Societies and Globalization or INTL/POLI 105 International Relations 3
INTL/ANTH 349 Rethinking a Continent: Latin America 3
INTL/POLI 353 Latin American Governments and Politics or SPAN 321 Latin American Civilization I 3
INTL 398 Directed Study Abroad (or other approved study-abroad experience) or INTL 493 International Studies Internship or an approved service-learning or independent study course 0-3
INTL 490 Seminar in International Issues (capstone) 3
INTL 499 Senior Seminar 1
Concentration electives (from List G below) 12-15
   
Open electives (34-54 credits)  
Open electives 34-54
   
Total minimum requirement 120

Latin American studies electives (List G)

Students complete the concentration by selecting course work from the following list. Students may earn a maximum of 6 credits within the same discipline to fulfill these requirements. Courses marked “when appropriate” require pre-approval from the School of World Studies Advising Office.

CRAF 369 Ancient Peruvian Textile Techniques
FLET 391 Topics in Foreign Literature in English Translation (when appropriate)
HIST 109, 110 Survey of Latin American History (when not used as core)
HIST 378 History of Central America
HIST 384 Latin America and World Affairs
HIST 385 History of Mexico
HIST 386 History of Brazil
INTL/WRLD 203 Cultural Texts and Contexts (when appropriate)
INTL/MKTG 320 International Marketing
INTL/SPAN 331 Survey of Latin American Literature
INTL/GEOG 334 Regional Geography of ____________ (when appropriate)
INTL/EUCU 345/URSP 350 Great Cities of the World (when appropriate)
INTL/ANTH 348 South American Ethnography
INTL/ANTH 349 Contemporary Cultures of Latin America
INTL/ANTH 350 Peoples and Cultures of the World (when appropriate)
INTL/POLI 353 Latin American Governments and Politics (when not used as core)
INTL/POLI 361 Issues in World Politics (when appropriate)
INTL 391 Topics in International Studies (when appropriate)
INTL/ANTH 455 Anthropology of Development and Globalization (when appropriate)
INTL 490 Seminar in International Issues (when appropriate)
INTL 491 Topics in International Studies (when appropriate)
INTL 492 Independent Study (when appropriate)
RELS 336 Religions in Latin America
RELS 490 Seminar in Religious Studies (when appropriate)
SPAN 321 Latin American Civilization I (when not used as core)
SPAN 421 Civilization of Latin America II
SPAN 430 Literary Genres
SPAN 485 Spanish Study Abroad (Latin American locations)
WRLD 391 Topics in World Studies (when appropriate)
WRLD 491 Topics in World Studies (when appropriate)

No more than one course (3 credits) may be counted from the following group:

ARTH 335 Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture
ARTH 338 Colonial Art and Architecture of Latin America
ARTH 339 Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture of Latin America
ARTH 427 Renaissance Art and Architecture of Colonial Latin America,1500-1650
ARTH 428 Baroque and Neoclassic Art and Architecture of Latin America
ARTH 450 Art and Architecture of Mesoamerica
ARTH 451 Art and Architecture of Andean America
ARTH 452 Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture
ARTH 460 Art and Architecture in Latin America, 1780-1915
ARTH 461 Art and Architecture in Latin America, 1915 to the Present

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

 

 

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Last update: 7/3/2013

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