International Studies

Students in UWM's international studies program take courses in history, political science, economics, anthropology, comparative literature, and foreign languages to build a program around their own specialized interests in international relations, politics, economics or development.

Understanding the nuances of globalization in our personal and professional lives, speaking the languages of others, and appreciating cultural diversity are essential skills for living and working in the world today. UWM's program is based on the principles of the liberal arts with an emphasis in broad knowledge of people, places, and institutions and the skills to be an adaptable career-changing in a fast-moving marketplace. International studies majors have the ability to interact across cultures, converse in more than one language, analyze problems across cultural or national boundaries, adapt to new and foreign situations, appreciate differences in people and processes, and problem solve across different areas and formats.

With this background, students have job opportunities in many different industries and many different roles. Career choices immediately after college are often influenced by the hands-on experiences obtained during the college years. Students are encouraged to explore all of their options through internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer experiences.

Similarly, a study abroad experience can open up new opportunities that would not have even been imagined prior to going abroad. UWM has programs at more than 70 sites around the world that vary in length from a few week immersion, to semester-long, to even a full year. Because of the complexities of planning a study abroad experience, students are encouraged to start planning early in sophomore year. Most students engage in study abroad during the second half of sophomore year or during their junior year.

Students often wonder what the differences are between Global Studies and International Studies. The foreign language requirements for the International Studies program are not as extensive as those in Global Studies. In addition, Global Studies has an experiential requirement comprised of a combination of study abroad and/or credit-bearing internship experience(s). International Studies majors are encouraged to engage in study abroad and internships but it is not required. Finally, International Studies coursework is all contained within the College of Letters & Science while the classes for Global Studies come from Letters & Science and other UWM Colleges such as the College of Business, the College of Health Professions and Sciences, or the College of Community Engagement & Professions.

Download the fact sheet at the right to learn more about our International Studies curriculum.