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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


International Studies BA Program

Major Requirements

Download the INTS major checklist 8.13.15.pdfINTS major checklist 8.13.15.pdf

What are the requirements for the major?

The major consists of a minimum of 48 credit hours (16 courses). Students who elect to do honors add an additional 3 credits to the major. No more than 54 credits may count toward the major.


  • Language proficiency exam or 4th semester of language with all grades above 2.0
  • Regional specialization (5 courses expected)
  • Courses from at least 3 different disciplines
  • No more than 18 hours (generally, 6 courses) in any one discipline
  • 24 credit hours (generally, 8 courses) at CU Denver
  • No more than 18 hours from study abroad (courses approved by relevant departments)
  • No more than 6 credits of internship (advised by INTS-affiliated faculty)
  • No more than 6 credits of independent study 
  • GPA of 2.5 or better in major 

  • No grades below C- in the major

To graduate with an International Studies major you must complete coursework in three categories: Introductory courses (three courses), Thematic Concentrations (twelve to thirteen courses), and a final Capstone Course. 

Introductory Courses

All Students must complete nine hours  from the three groups in the Introductory Courses list. The introductory courses provide majors with a common base of knowledge with one course each in the social sciences, international relations and the humanities. Students must complete one course from each of the following three groups of introductory courses for a total of nine hours. You are not required to complete these courses before you begin to take the courses from the thematic concentration list.

Courses taken for the introductory sequence cannot double count toward a concentration in the major. 

Courses can cross count toward the CLAS core requirements.  

The courses are:

Group 1) One of the following:

GEOG 1102-3 World Regional Geography or

ECON 2012-3 Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics. 

*Macroeconomics ECON 2012 is a pre-requisite for Thematic Concentrations "Economics, Development and Environment" and “International Commerce”.

Group 2)  One of the following:

P SC 3042-3 Introduction to International Relations or 

P SC 3022-3 Introduction to Comparative Politics or

INTB 3000-1 Global Perspectives

Group 3) One of the following:

ANTH 2012-3 Culture and the Human Experience ​or

HIST 3451-3 Introduction to African History or

HIST 3460-3 Introduction to Latin American History or

HIST 3470-3 Introduction to Asian History or

HIST 3480-3 Introduction to European History or

ANTH 2102-3 Culture and the Human Experience or

RLST 2660-3 World Religions

Thematic Concentrations

Majors must complete 36 to 39 hours from three different thematic concentrations. Students choose three concentrations from the following five themes. There is a specific list of courses that fulfill the requirements of each concentration available under the "Concentrations" link on the side bar of this page.

Majors must take a minimum of four upper division courses in three of the five concentrations, for a total of 36 credit hours (twelve hours in each concentration). In the Economics, Development and Environment concentration only three upper division courses are required in addition to the required ECON 2022 Microeconomics. 

Note: Each major must choose three concentrations from the five below

(For more info and a list of specific courses for each concentration click on the respective link)

Each concentration is organized around a theme in global studies. They are:

1) Language, Culture and Literature.

This concentration aims at deepening students' understanding of the cultural underpinnings of different societies. It aims at developing understanding of other societies' worldviews while refining their non-English language skills. Twelve credit hours. It requires upper division coursework in foreign languages.

2) International Relations and Comparative Politics .

Courses in this concentration stress comparative approaches, diplomacy and conflict resolution. Students will have an understanding of how different societies make decisions and manage international relations as well as how other cultures conceive of and practice power. Students learn the ins and outs of policy analysis and the tools of social science research. Twelve credit hours.

3) Economics, Development and Environment .

Students taking this concentration will develop an understanding of economic processes in an international context. The courses offer comparative approaches and cultural perspectives on development and global environmental issues. Students will gain an understanding of economic principles and the social science skills needed to understand the multiple policy choices facing world leaders and local actors. Twelve credit hours.

4) International Commerce .

The objective of this concentration is to give students an introduction to international business practices. It offers students the opportunity to study the basic skills of international commerce in the Business school.

5) Regional Societies and History​ .

Students in this concentration are expected to develop a historical understanding of how societies and political systems develop. This concentration provides a humanities-based approach to understanding the historical and cultural logic driving the world’s nations. Twelve credit hours. 

The International Studies Capstone Course

All majors must take a senior seminar focusing on a global issue. The capstone course provides a research seminar experience allowing students to explore a theme in global history, politics or economics with fellow International Studies majors. Three credit hours.

Currently capstone course options are:

HIST 4417: Commodities and Globalization: Dessert in World History

PSCI 4126: International Political Economy

Regional Specialization

Within the courses taken to fulfill the three different thematic concentrations and introductory courses, students must specialize in a single region. Students should consult with the major advisor to confirm which courses fulfill the regional requirement. At least 15 hours of courses must focus in one of the following world regions:

Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East or Islamic World, Sub-Saharan Africa

Majors may use any of the courses taken to fulfill the Introductory or Concentration requirements for the Regional Specialization. Language courses may be used to fulfill the regional requirement. Wherever possible, students must fulfill their language requirement with a language applicable to the region they study. (No credit hours are required beyond those needed to fulfill the Introductory Courses and Thematic Concentrations).