About International Studies

Our Program and Courses

International studies is an innovative program that combines off-campus study in a non-English-speaking location with on- and off-campus coursework. A rotating team of faculty teach courses from a range of disciplines to give you a broad multinational perspective. You’ll study globalization, human rights, global environmental policies, international business, and more.

By the time you graduate, you will have: 

  • Gained a multinational perspective through various academic lenses
  • Developed an advanced level of proficiency in a foreign language
  • Built a deeper understanding of other cultures through one or more international travel experiences

Joint Major in International Studies

You can major in international studies by combining the field with another discipline. This offers you a distinctive opportunity to design a major that is customized to your learning goals. Examples include:

  • International Studies & Anthropology
  • International Studies & Business, Organizations and Society
  • International Studies & Dance
  • International Studies & Environmental Studies
  • International Studies & Government
  • International Studies & Public Policy
  • International Studies & Sociology

Minor in International Studies or Area Studies

F&M’s International Studies program offers two minors: international studies and area studies. If you choose area studies, you will focus your minor on a specific region of the world. Examples include:

  • African Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • European Union
  • Japanese Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

We encourage all of our students in the program to reach a high level of proficiency in a second — or even a third — language. We offer courses in nine modern foreign languages and two classical languages:

  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Latin
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Hebrew

Curious what international studies classes are like? Take a look at our course catalog to see the depth and breadth of what’s available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Sylvia Alajaji

Professor of Music

International Studies

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Patrick S Bernard

Associate Professor of English

Africana Studies; Comparative Literary Studies; International Studies

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Lisa M Gasbarrone

Professor of French

International Studies

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Jerome I Hodos

Associate Professor of Sociology, Program Chair of Public Policy

International Studies; Public Policy

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Zeshan Ismat

Professor of Geosciences, Program Chair of International Studies

International Studies

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Kostis Kourelis

Associate Professor of Art History

International Studies

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Jun-Cheng Liu

Arthur & Katherine Shadek Professor of Art

International Studies

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Jeremy S Moss

Associate Professor of Film, Film & Media Program Director, Department Chair of Art, Art History & Film

Art, Art History and Film; International Studies

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Jennifer Redmann

Professor of German, Department Chair of German, Russian & East Asian Languages (Chinese, Japanese)

International Studies

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Shari Vegso

Academic Department Coordinator

Chinese Language Program; Comparative Literary Studies; French; German and Russian Studies; International Studies; Italian Studies and Hebrew; Japanese Language Program; Latin American Studies; Spanish

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Learning Outside the Classroom

A critical component of the international studies program is immersing yourself in the languages and cultures you choose to study. You’ll find extraordinary opportunities to step off the F&M campus and extend your understanding in other continents. 

Off-Campus Study

International studies majors are required to participate in one semester of off-campus study in a non-English-speaking country. They also must complete research or coursework in the native language of the country to which they choose to travel. Those minoring in the program are strongly encouraged to study outside the U.S., but are not required to do so. Our students have studied on six of the seven continents.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Research Opportunities 

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. International studies students in particular can look forward to summer travel awards, scholarships, and post-graduate fellowships to support their research or study-abroad experience.
Explore research at F&M

Joseph International Center

The heart of F&M’s global community is the Joseph International Center, a campus space dedicated to bringing all members of the F&M community together across borders, cultures and languages. JIC has an open, airy communal space for coffee hours and group study, a cozy seminar room, a kitchen, and a small Japanese garden. It hosts a variety of events such as a weekly international coffee hour and Lunar New Year celebrations. The JIC is the primary hub for off-campus study planning, international student services and the international studies academic program.
Explore the Joseph International Center

Success Beyond F&M

After you graduate with a degree in international studies, a world of opportunities awaits. 

Graduate School

Graduate school is a popular path for our students. Many complete or enroll in doctoral programs in government, languages, science, medicine or law. Our graduates have completed their advanced degrees at the best universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Career Paths

Career outcomes for international studies graduates are diverse. Many obtain entry-level positions in government, nonprofits, foreign service, international law, healthcare, medicine, and marketing and business consulting.

Alumni Spotlight

“Before I could even start officially writing, the consequences I was going to predict were already happening.”

As international studies and government major Anna Synakh '22 began researching Russian soft-power politics, her studies took a startling turn. The Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine in February added a new dimension to her work — one that felt particularly close to home. "I am a Ukrainian immigrant who moved here with my parents back in 2012. Only two years later, Russia invaded Crimea," Synakh said.
Read More »

Student Spotlight

F&M Diplomat Interns to Become U.S. Diplomat

Before she arrived at Franklin & Marshall College, Munahil Sultana knew she wanted to become not just a Diplomat, but a diplomat. The international studies and government major from New York City says the idea of enlisting in America's diplomatic corps captured her imagination through a national program for low-income students while in high school. "I learned about the USFSIP [United States Foreign Service Internship] program during my senior year of high school when I was talking to a Foreign Service Officer and knew I was going to apply," Sultana said. She later enjoyed an unforgettable experience working at the State Department in Washington, D.C., which is paving the way for her future endeavors.
Read More »

Related Fields of Study


F&M’s Department of Government has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the country. Study government at F&M and examine power, politics, justice, equity, and change while developing skills in language, economics, mathematics and philosophy.


Embark on an enriching journey through time, exploring a vast range of geographic regions, topical themes, and time periods. By studying history at F&M, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of history and historical processes, and develop keen insight into how they have shaped the present and will influence the future.


One field of study engages in all sorts of questions about people, institutions, and social structures: sociology. How does power operate in society? How do politics shape our lives? How and why have family relationships changed over time? As a student of sociology, you will explore these interactions to better understand how they shape the world and cultures that we live in.

Explore International Studies at F&M

April 17, 2024

My Student Experience: 'Night at the Museum' Could Never Compare

As a double major in French and history, people ask Ruth Axford, "What are you going to do with that?" How about spending a study abroad working in a Paris museum.

February 20, 2024

Record Number of Fulbrights Earns F&M a Top Producer Spot

For the seventh consecutive year, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has named F&M a top-producing institution. Eleven recent graduates were awarded Fulbright fellowships in 2023, the highest number in F&M history.

December 7, 2023

Students Take on Climate Change Beyond the Classroom

F&M students are inspiring climate action in unconventional ways. From internships to advocacy on campus, meet students making sustainability a more accessible concept.