International Studies Major Study Away Advising Guide

The Global Education Office and the International Studies Program have compiled the following information for IS majors to assist in planning for a semester of study away. Students should let their Academic Advisor know as soon as possible about their plan to study away so they can help fit this experience into the student’s graduation plan.

**Please note that the IS Program asks majors to study away (in almost all cases, study abroad) as a program requirement. It is the only major on campus with this requirement.**

Academic Planning Prior to Going Away

Successfully Complete the Following Courses Before Studying Away

To be eligible to study away, students in the International Studies major must successfully complete the following courses at Allegheny prior to studying away:

  • FS-101, FS-102 OR SWS-105.
  • In almost all cases, students study away after having reached the intermediate level (200) in their regional focus language.

When should I study away?

Students in the IS Program can study away any semester after the first year; most study away in the junior year. The IS Program requires a two-semester senior project, therefore students may only study away in the senior year if that two-semester sequence has been taken into account. For example, some IS majors study away in the fall of their senior year, after having completed INTST 600 in the spring of their junior year. 

Students should pay attention to the requirements per study away program for language proficiency to ensure that their previous coursework at Allegheny qualifies them for the study away program and its coursework.

Allegheny’s graduation requirements state that a student’s final 16 semester credit hours before graduation must be taken in academic residence on campus, therefore study away during the second-semester senior year is not allowed without the permission of the Dean’s Exemption Committee.

Plan Around Your Junior Seminar/Senior Project

The junior seminar in IS is a qualifying seminar offered by the departments of History and Philosophy, Political Science, and World Languages and Cultures (some students may qualify for a seminar in Business and Economics). There are qualifying seminars every semester, but there is no particular assurance that a given department will be offering one in any given semester. Typically, there are more IS-qualifying seminars offered in the fall than in the spring. This seminar, which can also be taken in the senior year depending on the sequencing with study away, must be taken on campus.

As mentioned above, there is a two-semester senior project in the IS Program. Occasionally, the senior project courses (INTST 600 and INTST 610) bookend study away: this sequencing can be of particular interest to students who want to do fieldwork or interviewing that relates to their senior project while studying away.  

Courses that Must Be Taken on Campus

The following courses in the International Studies major cannot be taken during a study-away program: 

  • The Junior Seminar (can also be taken in the senior year)
  • INTST 600
  • INTST 610

How Studying Away Counts Towards the Major

Students in the IS Program should focus, in particular, on coursework for the regional focus section of the major while studying away. They should also be working to complete their language proficiency requirement. 

Normally no more than 16 transfer credits are counted toward the major, but please consult with the Program Chair on a case-by-case basis as exceptions may apply.

Suggested Programs for International Studies Majors in the International Studies Program

IS majors study away at a very wide range of Allegheny-sponsored programs. See pages 42 and following in the 2023-24 Academic Bulletin. Students study away in the region corresponding to their regional focus (East Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East and North Africa) in programs where they can take coursework using the language that they have been studying. The key here is to find a program that offers courses in the language so that students can advance toward language proficiency as required by the major. So for example, a student focusing on MENA and studying Arabic could choose to study away at Al-Akhawayn in Morocco or at CIEE Amman in Jordan.

  • Note: Students who have self-designed a focus in West Africa can study away at MSID Senegal, taking coursework in French.