International Studies at Aquinas College

International Studies Major (BA)

Major Requirements: Thirty-five (35) semester hours.

  • At least eighteen (18) semester hours must be taken at Aquinas.
  • A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours can be taken in any one department.
  • Other courses may be negotiated to complete the major in advisement with the Director of International Studies.
  • Only courses with a grade of C or above will count toward the major.
Competency in a World Language is required through the 301 level or higher. Language competency will be determined by the Department of World Languages and the International Studies Program Coordinator.
ES211 Microeconomic Principles 3.0
ES342 International Economics 3.0
HY162 World History since 1500 (GP) 3.0
PS387 International Relations (WI) 3.0
PS388 American Foreign Policy 3.0
IS400 Senior Capstone Seminar (SC) 2.0
One (1) Non-Western Comparative Politics Course:
PS332 Politics of Developing Countries 3.0
PS333 Politics of Latin America 3.0
PS334 Middle East Politics 3.0
PS335 The Politics of Africa 3.0
Fifteen (15) semester hours of electives from the following
Business and Economics Courses:
BS315 Culture in International Business (GP) 3.0
ES212 Macroeconomic Principles 3.0
ES/BS313 International Business (GP) 3.0
ES435 Development Economics 3.0
ES492 History of Economic Thought (WI) 3.0
English Course:
EH212 World Literature in English (GP) 3.0
Geography Courses:
GY120 Human Geography (GP) 4.0
GY140 World Regional Geography (GP) 3.0
GY310 Special Topics in Geography (with permission) 3.0
GY370 Geography of Water Resources 3.0
World Language Course:
WL230 European Cultures and Identities 3.0
History Courses:
HY161 World History to 1500 3.0
HY221 History of Asia 3.0
HY230 Latin American History 3.0
HY250 Russian History 3.0
HY270 Modern Europe 3.0
HY271 The Middle East 3.0
HY303 The History of China 3.0
HY304 History of Japan 3.0
HY316 History of War 3.0
HY322 Modern Germany 3.0
Political Science Courses:
PS/PH312 Political Thought: Its Histories & Concepts 3.0
PS331 European Politics 3.0
PS332 Politics of Developing Countries 3.0
PS333 Politics of Latin America 3.0
PS334 Middle East Politics 3.0
PS335 The Politics of Africa 3.0
PS390 International Law 3.0
PS391 International Organizations 3.0
Sociology Courses:
SY103 Cultural Anthropology (GP) 3.0
SY/WS207 Arab Women (GP) 3.0
SY/WS315 Women and Development 3.0
International Studies Courses:
IS397 Field Experience V
IS398 Readings V
IS399 Independent Project V



  • ES211 Microeconomic Principles (3) SS1

    Introduction to the economic problem and the study of economics; basics of supply and demand; introduction to concepts and models used to understand the economic behavior of households and firms, economic outcomes under various market structures, market failures, and international trade.

  • EH212 World Literature in English (3) AT, GP

    A study of world authors who are not British or American but whose work is written in English. Authors covered may include writers from South Africa, Canada, India, the West Indies, Nigeria or other countries where English serves as a first or common language.

  • BS315 Culture in International Business (3)

    Explores such complex elements as language and communication, cultural and pragmatic disparities of background, and other issues critical to successful international business relations.

  • ES212 Macroeconomic Principles (3) SS1

    Introduction to the economic problem and the study of economics; basics of supply and demand; introduction to concepts and models used to understand the business cycle (fluctuations in national income and employment) and inflation; basics of international finance.

  • ES313/BS313 International Business (3) SS1, GP

    An introduction to international business theory and practice. The balance of trade, balance of payments, international business strategy options, and the various modes of conducting international trade are included.

  • ES342 International Economics (3) SS1

    A study of the fundamental principles of international economic relations. Subjects covered include the economic basis for international specialization and trade, the economic gains from trade, trade policies, economic blocs, and the international financial system. Prerequisite: ES211, ES212.

  • ES435 Development Economics (3)

    A study of economic development from primitive agricultural economies to modern manufacturing and post-industrial economies. Subjects include the many economic changes that accompany economic growth and why economic growth does or does not occur. Prerequisite: One course in economics.

  • ES492 History of Economic Thought (3) WI

    Analysis of the contributions and perspectives of major economic thinkers from Adam Smith to the present. Prerequisite: ES211 and junior status.

  • GY120 Human Geography (4) (SS1/SS2) (GP)

    The geographic subfield of Human Geography discusses and interprets the role of human beings as they are distributed across the surface of the earth. This is a far-ranging field of inquiry that incorporates information from the traditional social scientific realms of economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology into a spatial analysis of the world around us. Given the nature of the topic, this course will be introductory in nature and examine the breadth of cultural geographic thought.

  • GY140 World Regional Geography (3) (SS1/SS2) (GP)

    An introduction to human and physical geography by use of the world regional approach. Fundamental geographic concepts and ideas (regional economic development, global systems, spatial diffusion) are presented in different regional contexts.

  • GY310 Special Topics in Geography (3)

    Variable topic in geography offered on an occasional basis. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY370 Geography of Water Resources (3)

    The Geography of Water Resources is a course that looks at the nature and distribution of the water resources that our society depends upon. A sizeable portion of the course will detail the characteristics of the different sources of water as well as the myriad environmental and legal problems that arise from our usage of this resource. Prerequisite: GY101 or instructor approval. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • HY161 World History to 1500 (3) HP

    Survey of World History from the advent of settled farming communities until the maritime revolution of the fifteenth century (roughly 10,000 BC–AD 1500). Special topics covered include prehistory, the advent of civilization, the expansion of trade and cultural exchange, the social-political organizations of pre-modern societies and the emergence of the world’s great religious traditions.

  • HY162 World History since 1500 (3) HP, (GP)

    Survey of World History from 1500 to the present. Major topics covered include the development of the scientific world view, the industrial revolution, imperialism, revolutionary movements, modern ideologies, world war, decolonization, and the Cold War.

  • HY221 History of Asia (3) HP

    This course examines the cultural, economic, political, and religious development of East Asian civilizations from ancient times until today, with an emphasis on China, Korea, and Japan. Throughout the semester we will examine the ways in which patterns of East Asian political systems, cultural values, religions and social structures developed during the modern era. We will also explore each country’s distinct identity, the modernization process, and the fate of traditional institutions, systems, and customs.

  • HY230 Latin American History (3) HP

    A study of the history and culture of Latin America from the first European contact to the present. Special emphasis is placed on Latin American relations with the United States.

  • HY250 Russian History (3) HP

    A general overview of Russian history, beginning with its origins in 9th century Kiev. Other topics include Russia under the Mongols, the rise of Muscovy, the expansion and expansion of the Russian Empire, the establishment and collapse of the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia.

  • HY270 Modern Europe (3) HP

    A survey of European history from the French Revolution 1789 to the present. Major themes include the revolutionary and Napoleonic era, nineteenth-century ideologies, industrialization, imperialism, modernism, the women’s movement, World War I, totalitarianism, World War II, the Cold War, the European Union, Decolonization, and the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

  • HY271 The Middle East (3) HP

    Political, cultural, and economic development from ancient times to the present. Special topics include Islam, the Ottoman Empire, Zionism, the Arab-Israeli dispute, the Palestinians, and oil.

  • HY303 The History of China (3)

    A study of the cultural, political, and economic development of China with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Special topics include Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, European imperialism, the Communist Revolution, and U.S.-China relations.

  • HY304 History of Japan (3)

    A study of the cultural and political development of Japan from ancient times to the present. Special topics include Buddhism, Shinto, the Samurai code, the Shogunate, the modernization of Japan, and U.S. - Japan relations.

  • HY316 History of War (3)

    This is a variable topics course that will explore the history of different wars. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the history of the Mexican-American War, the Boer War, WWI, and WWII.

  • HY322/WL322 Modern Germany (3)

    Survey of German history with emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics covered include the end of the old regime, German unification, the German Empire, World War I, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, World War II, postwar Germany, and reunification.

  • IS397 Field Experience (negotiated credits)

  • IS398 Readings (negotiated credits)

  • IS399 Independent Project (negotiated credits)

  • IS400 Senior Capstone Seminar

  • PS312/PH312 Political Thought: Its Histories & Concepts (3) SS1/SS2

    Highlights of the history of political philosophy, Ancients, Medieval, Modern social contract theories, Marxism, liberalism, and postmodernism, using primary and secondary source materials. Deals with the relationship between politics and truth; the nature of political authority; democratic theory; the nature of the good society and its relationship to particular theories of human nature. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

  • PS331 European Politics (3) SS1/SS2

    Government and politics of England, France, West Germany, and the Soviet Union, comparison to each other and to the United States.

  • PS332 Politics of Developing Countries (3) SS1/SS2

    Exploration and comparison of government and politics in various developing areas of the world. Fundamental analysis of the issues of development within a comparative framework and political economy is emphasized.

  • PS333 Politics of Latin America (3) SS1/SS2

    Comparative examination of politics and governments in Latin America. Examine the internal politics and policy making, political institutions, cultures and locus of power in “newly industrialized states,” socialist states, less developed states, and developing states of Latin America.

  • PS334 Mid East Politics (3) SS1/SS2

    An in-depth examination of politics and foreign policy in the Middle East. Issues discussed include Arab-Israeli-Palestinian relationships, specific interstate rivalries in the Middle East (Iran v Iraq), the role of super-power politics, ongoing Middle East Peace negotiations, the political economy of oil, and the effect of religious diversity on politics. Participation in the Model Arab League may also be a part of this course.

  • PS335 The Politics of Africa (3) SS1/SS2

    The comparative examination of the politics and governments of African states. Issues of development, culture, and political economy are discussed. Political interaction within and between African states is examined.

  • PS387 International Relations (3) SS1/SS2, WI

    This is an upper-division course on the contemporary history and theory of international relations. Examined is the interaction of various international actors such as nation-states, international organizations and regimes, multinational corporations and even individuals and groups who influence world politics. International Political Economy and Post-Cold War Crises are emphasized. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

  • PS388 American Foreign Policy (3) SS1/SS2

    This course is designed as a critical examination and in-depth evaluation of American Foreign Policy. The actors and processes involved in making and executing foreign policy will be examined, along with the policy perspectives of the major nation-states and international organizations with which the United States interacts. We will look at the history of US foreign policy, with a special emphasis on 20th century interaction. Specifically, we will study: US–Soviet/Russian relations, the rise and decline of US Hegemony, United States–Japanese and Sino relations, American policy toward West and East Europe, US policy in Central and Latin America, US policy toward Africa, and American foreign economic policy. Emphasis is placed on counter-revolution and counter terror policies. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

  • PS390 International Law (3) SS1/SS2

    In-depth study of law and mores guiding nations and individuals in relations with other nations and peoples. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

  • PS391 International Organizations (3) SS1/SS2

    Theory and practice of international organizations; successes, failures and operations of United Nations and various regional integrative efforts. Theories of integration. Participation in the Model United Nations may also be a part of this course. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval

  • SY103 Cultural Anthropology (3)

    This course is a critical analysis of human cultural adaptations in various societies around the world.

  • SY315/WS315 Women and Development (3)

    A sociological examination of women’s involvement in development and social change activities across diverse societies. Use of sociology and women’s studies theories and analyses to understand development roles played by women in public and private spheres.

  • WL230 European Cultures and Identities (3)

    This course examines the notions of Europe and the diverse interactive cultures and identities of the people living in Europe. From a multidisciplinary perspective it offers students the opportunity to improve their knowledge of Europe in light of a broad spectrum of cultures. Specifically, it explores the development and current state-of-affairs of these cultures in France, Germany and Spain as European Union members. This is not a course about the history of the European Union per se; however, selected readings will demonstrate how historical experiences and memories play a vital role in shaping identities and cultures. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the different perspectives and issues arising from this cultural diversity and study European cultures within a wider international and global viewpoint. Note: Strongly recommended for FH/GN/SH majors and minors, this course counts towards degree requirements. Prerequisite: None