The Program


International Studies is an interdisciplinary Program that brings together the strengths of faculty from across the university to examine the major issues of the contemporary world, combined with language skills and a study abroad experience.


The Major

The world’s biggest challenges are intercon­nected and the Humboldt 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) 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 Humboldt 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. This program also provides a strong foundation for graduate work in the international field.

The Core

Introduction to International Studies (INTL 210) serves as a gateway to the Major, providing an overview of Globalization from the perspective of five disciplines and five regions of the world. Individual courses in Cultural Studies (INTL 220), Economics (ECON 305 or 306) and Politics/International Relations (PSCI 240) or Political Geography (GEOG 363) offer in-depth study of the main drivers of Globalization. 

Students learn research skills and analytical approaches in one of a range of Methodology courses before applying those skills to case studies in Global Issues Analysis (INTL 410). International Studies is also one of the few majors to include a career workshop specifically designed for the program (INTL 320) and an experiential 1 unit course (INTL 387) International Education Week that is part of a campus and nation wide effort to broaden our perspective. After a residency abroad, students return for a Capstone course (INTL 490) designed to help them integrate their overseas experiences with the rest of their academic career - and to plan for the future in a range of fields.


Concentrations consist largely of upper-division courses - taken on campus and/or abroad - focused on a geographic region or an interdisciplinary topic. Concentrations require at least 12 units of coursework variously tailored to each topic or area.

Chinese Studies European Studies Latin American Studies

 Global Cultural Studies Development Studies


Language Proficiency

Students are required to gain proficiency in a second language by completing four semesters of college-level work in a single language or by demonstrating equivalent competency to the World Languages and Cultures faculty. Some languages may require intensive study while abroad.

Study Abroad

Many students feel that the time they spend abroad is the most valuable of their university career. The Program requires completion of an approved academic program abroad of at least one semester in length or the equivalent of at least 12 credit units.

Study abroad generally takes place sometime during the student’s sophomore or junior year, but cannot be done at the end of senior year, as students are required to spend their final semester on campus.

With care and planning, study abroad can be used to satisfy other university degree requirements and/or requirements for International Studies Concentrations. The costs of Study Abroad programs vary greatly according to location and duration. Early research and planning are key to success.

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