2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog 
    May 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies, B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Departments

The world’s biggest challenges are interconnected and the HSU International Studies Program helps students remain rooted in the community while becoming agents of change in the world.

A unique interdisciplinary program, International Studies has four distinct components: a core curriculum based on the cultural, political and economic aspects of globalization; proficiency in a second language; a concentration in one of five areas (China, Europe, Latin America, Global Culture, and Development Studies) and the equivalent of a semester study abroad.

These elements come together in a flexible combination of classroom instruction and direct experience with the regions and issues of interest and make HSU stand out as one of the few universities in the CSU system that requires both a language and study abroad as part of this degree.

Employers also regularly report language skills, intercultural awareness and study abroad as strong indicators of success in the workplace. This is why our graduates can be found in the international labor force in the US and abroad, working in the private sector, for nonprofits and commonly go on to serve in the Peace Corps. The program also provides a strong foundation for graduate work in many fields.

A bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 units. For a description of degree requirements to be fulfilled in addition to those listed below for the major, please see “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements ”.

Requirements for the Major (37-58 units)

A minimum grade of C- must be earned in all courses for the major or local equivalent while abroad.

Core Courses (25-46 Units )

The following core courses are required for all international studies majors. The range of units includes up to five second language courses, which may be required depending on second language proficiency.

Second Language (0-16 Units )

Demonstrate proficiency in a target language pertinent to the concentration area, equivalent to a fourth semester or higher of college-level language. Meet this requirement by taking a fourth-semester-level language course.

This requirement can also be met by examination. Contact the Department of World Languages and Cultures for instructions.

Residency Abroad

Complete an approved academic semester program abroad equivalent to at least 12 units and normally lasting at least 10 weeks. Program must be selected in consultation with and approved by advisor.

In exceptional circumstances, the program leader may approve an accommodation based on an alternative experience that meets the residency abroad learning outcome. The procedure for requesting such an accommodation, along with the criteria, can be found on the International Studies website.

Residency abroad may begin during the second semester of a student’s sophomore year (generally spring) and must be completed by the end of the first semester of a student’s senior year (generally fall).

Residency abroad may not occur during a student’s last semester. Students are expected to complete their final semester in residence at Humboldt State University.

For some concentrations, courses taken abroad may be necessary to fulfill requirements. Concentration electives may also be completed while abroad. Both require prior advisor approval.

All students are encouraged to use their academic residency abroad efficiently by completing, where possible, language and university general education requirements.

The cost of the residency abroad varies according to the program and world region.

Students should understand the costs involved and plan ahead. Consult with the HSU Center for International Programs office.


Students are encouraged to complement the International Studies program and concentrations by selecting electives related to the international studies field that will fulfill the total number of units for graduation.

Equivalent or Special Topic courses offered by any department may fulfill requirements for any concentration. Prior advisor approval is required.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing this major will have demonstrated:

  • the ability to analyze regional and global issues from economic, political, and cultural perspectives
  • linguistic competency in a second language
  • cultural competency in diverse international environments
  • the ability to gather information and use interdisciplinary analysis skills to critically evaluate regional and global issues
  • proficiency in formal written and oral communication
  • skills required to build an international career.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Departments