Aug 15, 2020  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Studies

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Interim Director: J. G. Whitesides (history)
Office: King Center, 542
Telephone: 303-556-6649


The international studies program is an interdisciplinary major with faculty drawn from several independent academic departments.

Undergraduate Major

In a world where global commerce and politics have emerged as driving forces, the international studies major provides students with global perspectives. This interdisciplinary liberal arts degree is designed to offer a thorough education in international issues in preparation for international careers. This major offers students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of complex international issues and the forces shaping our world. Increasingly, government and the private sector seek graduates familiar with differing perspectives and cultures and willing to adapt to the rapidly changing workplace.

The international studies major not only introduces students to diverse cultures, but also gives them the methodological tools to analyze the world from different academic disciplines. The program requires students to take courses from a wide array of departments: anthropology, economics, geography, history, modern languages, political science, religious studies and the Business School. The program is designed to give students both a broad understanding of different methods and approaches to international problems and ensure that students come out of the program with a deeper understanding of one world region.

While the major does not require study abroad or an international internship, we encourage students to pursue such opportunities. The major is committed to supporting students who wish to take advantage of the numerous international education opportunities available through the CU Denver Office of International Affairs.


Regional Specialization

Within the courses taken to fulfill the three different thematic concentrations and introductory courses, students must specialize in a single region. Students should consult with the major advisor to confirm which courses fulfill the regional requirement. At least 15 hours of courses must focus on one of the following world regions: 

Latin America
Middle East or Islamic World
Sub-Saharan Africa

Majors may use any of the courses taken to fulfill the introductory or concentration requirements for the regional specialization. Language courses may be used to fulfill the regional requirement. Wherever possible, students must fulfill their language requirement with a language applicable to the region they study. (No semester hours are required beyond those needed to fulfill the introductory courses and thematic concentrations).



Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above in all CU Denver courses may compete for a degree in international studies awarded with Latin praise of cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Students with a GPA of 3.5 in their international courses are eligible for the award of cum laude, those with 3.7 are eligible for magna cum laude, and those with 3.9 or above may be awarded summa cum laude. In addition to a high GPA, candidates for honors must submit a research paper prepared under the supervision of a CU Denver faculty member for review by an honors examination committee. The committee will consist of three faculty members drawn from departments participating in the program.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to participate in a study abroad program in the region they choose as their specialization. Please note that the major advisor must approve the study program in advance, and no more than 18 semester hours from a study abroad program can apply to the major. The courses applied to the major must also be approved by their respective disciplines. Travel-study courses that are University of Colorado resident courses will not count toward the residency requirement for the major. Students should contact the Office of International Affairs for more information concerning study abroad opportunities (located at the Lawrence Street Center, 932, 303-315-2230).


Students may use up to 6 internship semester hours toward international studies graduation requirements. The internship must have a CLAS faculty sponsor who teaches courses applicable to the international studies degree. The internship must have an international element to count toward the degree. Students should seek the approval of the international studies program director for all internships. Students must fulfill the CLAS requirements to participate in an internship: junior standing and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students must maintain communication with their faculty advisors on the progress they make during the internship if they expect to receive credit toward the major. For further information regarding internships, students should contact the Experiential Learning Center in Tivoli 260, 303-556-2250.

Independent Study

Students may apply up to 6 semester hours of independent study toward international studies graduation requirements. All independent studies require students to work closely with a faculty member to carry out a research project. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students must prepare a serious research proposal to guide their project during the semester. Students participating in these courses must have completed at least 18 hours of the international studies major to participate in independent study. Students who participate in independent study must have an overall CU Denver GPA of 2.5. All independent studies are subject to approval of the dean’s office.


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