About Our Program
The International Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program with areas of specialization in Global Security, International Political Economy & Policy Studies, and Culture in an Age of Globalization. Students select students one of these three tracks in which they wish to specialize.
These foci present an exciting opportunity for students to engage in contemporary debates on global issues. The impact of globalization has never been more apparent than now, with the rising concerns of national security, national and global economies, human rights, natural resources, sustainability, and the cultural flow of technology and imagery.
Student Opportunities and Support
Students in the International Studies Major have access to a wide variety of resources at UW-Madison and within the major. Academic, Peer, and Career Advisors assist students with curricular and co-curricular decisions. Students in the IS Major are encouraged to study abroad, pursue internships with an international focus, and explore opportunities like spending a semester interning in Washington D.C. In addition, student organizations provide opportunities for students to engage outside of the classroom.
The IS Major has three tracks that students can choose to focus on.
Global Security: Causes of and solutions to political crises and violent conflicts in interstate, transnational, and domestic settings.
Politics and Policy in the Global Economy: Policy issues pertaining to international commerce and trade, aid and development, and related environmental and natural resource problems.
Culture in the Age of Globalization: Cross-cultural interactions at different levels: local, national, and transnational and the impact of globalization on cultures.
The International Studies Major was founded in 1936 as the International Relations Major to help prepare students to work for the Foreign Service. Originally the major’s focus was on American foreign policy, but over time grew to encompass various regional tracks. After the end of the Cold War the program adapted to reflect the changing global and methodological landscape. In 1999 the International Relations Major officially became the International Studies Major and incorporated various disciplines outside of Political Science. Today, the International Studies Major incorporates over 40 different departments to offer a comprehensive view of the contemporary world.
Focus on Liberal Arts and Undergraduate Education
The International Studies Major is focused on undergraduate education in a liberal arts tradition. We value undergraduate teaching and learning; as such graduate students are not permitted in International Studies courses.
Faculty and Staff
For a listing of our faculty and staff with contact information please click here.