The International Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program within the College of Letters & Science. New students interested in declaring the IS Major should meet with the IS Peer advisor and attend one of our workshops.

Follow our Facebook and Twitter for careers, scholarships, and campus events!

Spring 2018 Advising Hours (333 Ingraham Hall)
International Studies Major Walk-In Advising
Monday 12-3 pm
Thursday 1-4 pm
Walk-In Career Advising for IS Major
Monday 10 am- 1 pm
IS Peer Advisor Walk-In Advising
Monday 3:30-4:30 pm
Tuesday 10 am- 12 pm
Thursday 2-3 pm (until 4 pm on days without workshop)

Course Announcement:Spring 2018

INTL ST 401: Emerging Human Rights in East and Southeast Asia
Visiting Instructor: Dr. Jean Geran
395 Van Hise Hall
W/F- 2:30-3:45
 Dr. Jean Geran is a human rights practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in international affairs, policy formulation and implementation, and impact analysis. She has a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the UW-Madison and has spent the better part of the past twenty years serving in a variety of capacities in the State Department: as a Foreign Affairs office responsible for implementing democracy and human rights policies, as an advisor on United Nations reform, and as a human rights and human trafficking policy planner in the Office of the Secretary of State. She has been Director for Human Rights in the National Security Council and an adjunct professor in the Elliot School of Public Affairs at George Washington University. She served for two years as a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute in London, and in 2010 founded Each Inc., a non-profit corporation developing technology solutions to facilitate child protections work globally. She continues with Each Inc., as president. Jean Geran has had overseas postings and positions in Thailand, Laos, Zambia, Central America, Kuwait, Iraq, and England, and is a leading expert and practitioner in human rights policy making, especially around issues of human trafficking. The course is structured around advocacy approaches and tools used by a range of actors involved in promoting human rights in East and Southeast Asia. Students will become familiar with basic human rights frameworks, key thematic and emerging issues in Asian human rights, points of leverage, and how various advocacy tools can be effectively applied to specific human rights situations in specific countries. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think creatively about the link between human rights and other global issues such as trade, security, law-enforcement, conflict, and development so that these links can inform and improve any human rights advocacy efforts.
CA 470: Contemporary Political Discourse
The Rhetoric of Modern Democratic Revolutions
4028 Vilas Hall
T/Th – 1:00PM – 2:15 PM
This course will explore the ideas and rhetoric of the democratic mass movements that have played a defining role in the making of our modern world, examining the imagery, speeches and symbolic actions shared by democratic revolutions on five continents over the span of a century. Taking a comparative approach, it will trace links from Gandhi’s influence on Martin Luther King, Jr., to the impact of the US Civil Rights Movement on the ‘people power’ revolutions of the past three decades, ending with the recent uprisings in the Arab world and new social movements at home. In pursuit of this inquiry, the course will examine a range of political discourse, from the soaring speeches of key leaders to pivotal acts of defiance. Class discussions will study their mobilizing impact in each movement as well as the power of iconic moments to inspire similar actions elsewhere in the world. The course will also allow students to study the role of different media in transforming public and counter-public within and outside democratic movements. Finally, it will help students begin to look critically at the role of different forms of rhetoric in driving or derailing popular movements to help make sense of successes, failures, and transformations that otherwise defy easy assessment.
C&I 366: Internationalizing Educational Knowledge
468 Teacher Education Building
Mon 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Read course description here.
*For further information, contact Prof. Thomas Popkewitz (thomas.popkewitz@wisc.edu).
Geog 475: International Migration, Health, and Human Rights
MWF 11:00-11:50
Read course description here.

Russ Feingold to Teach IS 601 On Campus Fall 2018

Russ Feingold, the former state and U.S. senator will teach on campus in Fall 2018 as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in International Studies. He will teach a capstone seminar for International Studies majors entitled IS 601: “Negotiating Peace in the African Great Lakes Region.” Students will be able to enroll the course when registration is open in spring.

“I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater to teach, having benefitted so greatly from the education I received at UW–Madison,” Feingold said.

Feingold speaks to UW-Madison’s Mandela Washington Fellows during a campus visit on July 14, 2017. (Photo credit: Meagan Doll)

Feingold will spend the Fall 2018 semester in residence in the UW–Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer. Distinguished Visiting Lecturers provide a practitioner’s perspective on current affairs by teaching special topics courses, hosting public events, engaging with faculty, and sharing in the intellectual life of the university.

To read more, click here.

Dr. Stephen Young, earns the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Stephen was one of 12 faculty members selected for this prestigious honor!!!

Dr. Stephen Young

Stephen Young has always stressed that thinking and acting as a global citizen means paying attention to how our own campus and local community are shaped by the myriad ways in which we are connected to other places around the world. In order to allow students to discover these connections for themselves, Young – in collaboration with another faculty member – designed a walking tour through the old industrial section of Madison in which directions, audio narration and historic images are delivered in real time via a mobile map. Young also applied for funds through the Global Studies program to buy a sufficient number of devices that students could check out from the library. During the walk, students took their own photos and then used these images to create a photo essay about Madison as a distillation of global processes. The walking tour has now taken place three times, receiving rave reviews from students.

We’re always accepting submissions to put on our walls!

What we’re looking for:
– any student photos taken during study abroad, internship abroad, IS-related student groups, or international events in and around Madison

If you’re looking to submit, you can send us your materials at  ismadvisor@ismajor.wisc.edu Remember to include your name, the place that your submission came from, and, if preferred, a small caption or some context for the material submitted. Please inform us if you would like your submission returned to you at any point, and make sure we have the contact information to do so.

Send us a postcard! 

Postcard_FarAre you studying abroad? We would love to get a postcard from you! Postcards can be dropped off in our office or mailed to:
International Studies Major
333 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Interested in Declaring the International Studies Major???

Students that are interested in declaring the International Studies major need to attend an

Student peer advisor Josh Jackson helps with registration (Photo credit: Jeff Miller)

Student peer advisor Josh Jackson helps with registration (Photo credit: Jeff Miller)

Intro to IS Major Workshop.  Workshops are offered 12 times per semester, you can see the full schedule here.  After attending a workshop, students are welcome to use Declare Me, walk-in advising, and scheduled appointments to declare the IS Major.



Senior IS Major, Ruth Lied interned in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lied, a UW–Madison senior majoring in International Studies and French, is interested in a career in diplomacy. Her time at the U.S. embassy provided invaluable insight into which positions she might want to pursue and how to navigate the application process.

Senior IS Major, Ruth Lied

She assisted with many embassy tasks. For the public affairs department, she photographed the U.S. ambassador during outreach visits. For the executive office, she managed documents. For the political department, she took notes during official meetings with the foreign ministry.

“Being able to shadow officers during their daily meetings and tasks helped me better understand how an embassy functions,” she says. “I was able to get advice from current professionals and build my network of contacts.”

For more information and the full story, please visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison News.

Career Events

Fall is a great time to develop your resume with an internship.  Please check the weekly IS Major e-newsletter and like our Facebook page for updates about internship and job postings.   Also, please check our events website for upcoming information.

Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery)

Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery)

Also, L&S Career Services can help you build and improve on your skills and learn about the following areas: mock interviewing, networking with alumni, job searching strategies, and  tailoring resumes or cover letters.

For more information  please visit their website.