THE MAJOR IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
International Studies is an interdisciplinary major in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi. It focuses on the connections between politics, economics, and culture at the international level, providing students both with an understanding of how the contemporary world works and with the tools to succeed in it. Students in the major are exposed to broad surveys of East Asia, Latin America, Europe, and-as of fall 2011-the Middle East, but also have the opportunity to study a variety of more specialized topics, such as the war on drugs in Latin America, globalization and religion in East Asia, or the development and significance of the European Union. They might also study the role of poverty, gender, and ethnicity in international politics, economic dependency and underdevelopment, energy policy, international trade, the challenges of national security in an age of globalization, and many other issues that affect our world today.
Students develop both qualitative and quantitative skills: they hone their writing ability and learn to make statistical analyses. Most Croft courses are taught in small classes by the Institute's professors. These small classes foster discussion, reflection and analysis. Other courses taught by the larger community of the faculty in the University can also count for the major, giving Croft students a wide variety of choices. International studies majors are required to specialize in a foreign language and study abroad for at least one semester in a country where that language is spoken. The goal is for the Croft graduate to become fluent in his or her chosen language.
Foreign Language: In order to reach the high level of proficiency expected of International Studies majors, Croft students are required to take foreign-language courses every semester they are enrolled at the University. Truly mastering a foreign language takes time, but it is very rewarding. The Croft Institute works closely with the University of Mississippi's excellent Department of Modern Languages to ensure that its students receive high-quality, oral proficiency-oriented language instruction. When they graduate, Croft students are able to live, study, and do business in their chosen language.
To measure their language skills, Croft seniors take an Oral Proficiency Interview - an independent test developed by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. The score they receive on this interview serves as additional proof of their ability to operate on the global stage.
Study Abroad: Croft students are required to study abroad, for either a semester or a whole year, in a country whose language they've been studying. In addition to studying the language itself, they can also take courses that count for the regional and thematic requirements of the major. The semester or year spent abroad is typically the highlight of a student's undergraduate career. It is the experience of a lifetime, a time of intense personal and intellectual growth. Specially designed intercultural communications courses help students prepare for their time abroad and adjust to being back.
Senior Thesis: All International Studies majors complete a two-semester senior thesis. They work closely with a faculty mentor to plan and carry out a substantial research project and produce a scholarly paper. The senior thesis is the culmination of an undergraduate career: it brings together all the skills they have developed in their other courses and lays the groundwork for future success.
Choosing your own path:
Customize your International Studies major
First, pick one regional concentration and a related foreign language:
Second, pick one thematic concentration:
*Croft students typically select a regional concentration and foreign language before starting their first semester in the program. The thematic concentration is selected no later than the second semester of the sophomore year.
The Croft Institute has developed a dual-degree program with the Patterson School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi. Equipped with both the Bachelor of Accountancy and the Bachelor of International Studies, graduates of this program are extremely competitive for jobs with major accounting firms around the world, as well as all the other businesses, non-profits, and government agencies that value accountancy skills.
Croft students must maintain a cumulative, resident GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in the international studies major past their sophomore year. The resident GPA includes all courses a student takes at the University of Mississippi.
The International Studies major requires a total of 44 credit hours, consisting of the following courses:
Lower-Division core courses (12 hours)
Inst 101 Introduction to International Studies (3)
Inst 203 Introduction to East Asian Studies (3)
Inst 205 Introduction to European Studies (3)
Inst 207 Introduction to Latin American Studies (3)
Inst 209 Introduction to Middle Eastern Studies (3)
Study abroad preparation and debriefing courses (2 hours)
Inst 110 Intercultural Communication: Pre-departure) (1)
Inst 111 Intercultural Communication: Re-entry (1)
Regional and thematic courses (18 hours)
Three 300-level courses in the regional concentration (9)
Three 300-level courses in the thematic concentration (9)
Research methods course and elective course (6 hours)
One approved research methods course (3)
One approved, 300-level elective course (3)
Upper-Division core courses (6 hours)
Inst 421 Senior Thesis: part 1 (3)
Inst 422 Senior Thesis: part 2 (3)
Inst 431 OPI course (pass/fail) (0)
A minimum grade of C is required in the 42 graded hours of course work required by the international studies major.