International Studies

International Studies Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree On-campus

About International Studies

Learn to thrive and succeed in a changing, global world.

Today's world is connected in ways that were unimaginable just a generation ago. Global economies, markets, cultures, political structures and religions link all nations and all cultures. The B. A. in International Studies degree program prepares you to participate in, and contribute to, a fast-paced, ever-changing world.  

For any career, a degree in international studies at California University of Pennsylvania will help you develop global awareness and readiness for success and encourage your continued intellectual growth. Cal U's bachelor's degree in international studies also strives to enhance your skills in critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, so you can move ahead as a fully skilled professional in the global community.

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's top undergraduate program in international studies.

The philosophy of the international studies program is that well-educated individuals are those who are knowledgeable in their particular specialties, as well as in the humanities and in the social and natural sciences. Developing communication skills and cross-cultural expertise is also important to ensure that you can deal positively and accurately in all diplomatic, cultural, social and business-related interchanges.

International studies students begin with an interdisciplinary course that introduces them to the broad and varied approaches that will be used in the program. In addition to general education courses, international studies majors complete courses in selected areas: international language (French, Spanish or Arabic); culture and/or international experience; business and economics; history and political science; science and technology; and global issues.

Our diverse faculty includes professors with national reputations for outstanding and innovative research in their fields of expertise. Since the international studies program is interdisciplinary in nature, all of our faculty members collaborate on the development of our programs. 


Specialized study: International studies majors complete a common core of courses and choose one of four focus areas:  business and economics; history and political science; science and technology; or global issues. All majors will have a core adviser and a focus adviser, with faculty members drawn from such areas as biology, business, Spanish, Arabic, history, French and geography. 

Travel abroad: The international studies program sponsors travel abroad, enabling students to explore and learn around the world. Past trips have featured such destinations as Cuba, Ethiopia, Greece, Russia, and Cozumel and Belize. In spring 2017 students visited European sites related to the Holocaust.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in international studies, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

Students in the international studies program can complete short courses for credit on trips abroad. International studies majors also have access to undergraduate research funding. As a member of the Council for Undergraduate Research, Cal U offers institutional support for undergraduate research endeavors. Students also can get help with travel and research funding through the University. 

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Graduate Outcomes

The B.A. in international Studies prepares you for careers in business, government, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic agencies and the arts. At Cal U, you'll learn how to enter the workforce with knowledge, integrity, character and experience. Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center will help to connect you with potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and organizational visits. 

International Studies (B.A.)
International students at Cal U.

See the World

International studies students get the full experience at travel destinations during planned trips. For instance, in March 2016, on a seven-day trip to Ireland, students visited the Malahide Castle, toured the Guinness storehouse, walked the streets of Dublin, visited the Old Jameson distillery, toured Kilkenny and Glendalough, kissed the rock of Blarney Castle and visited Galway.

A Cal U graduate.

Campus Connections

International studies students can take advantage of a wide range of academic and social activities on campus. For instance, the history department sponsors Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society. Membership is a recognized mark of excellence. Students also can participate in such diverse activities as the Fencing Club and the Silvi Vulcani Club (dedicated to pre-1601 studies).

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Learn Abroad

Through Cal U's Cultural Experiences Abroad or National Student Exchange (CEA/NSE), you can complete your studies during any semester, including summers, in countries such as Spain, France, Mexico or Argentina. You may take courses at the host university in English, French or Spanish, and your course credits and grades transfer automatically back to Cal U. Your Cal U financial aid can be applied. Additionally, the National Student Exchange provides opportunities to study at another college or university within the United States and Canada. 

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B.A., International Studies Courses


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 16
ENG 101  English Comp. I 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
FRE/SPN/ARB Elementary I 3
General Education Courses 9
Second Semester 15
FRE/SPN/ARB Elementary II 3
Area of Study Course* 3
General Education Courses 9
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
FRE/SPN/ARB Intermediate I 3
Area of Study Course*
General Education Courses
Fourth Semester 15
FRE/SPN/ARB Intermediate II 3
Area of Study Course* 3
Area of Study Course* 3
General Education Courses 6
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
FRE/SPN/ARB Conv/Comp/Phonetics
Area of Study Course* 3
Area of Study Course* 3
General Education Courses 6
Sixth Semester 15
General Education Course 
Laboratory Course 
Minor or Elective Course 3
Cultural/International Experience Requirement 6
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
Upper-Division Writing Intensive Course 3
Minor or Elective Courses 12
Eighth Semester 15
Special Experience Course 3
Upper-Division Writing Intensive Course 3
Minor or Elective Course 9
Total 120

Program Notes: Minimum GPA 2.0

Required Major Courses

INT 200  Intro to International Studies

Language Proficiency (15 credits)

Additional languages by approval.

  • Elementary I: SPN 101, FRE 101, or ARB 101
  • Elementary II: SPN 102, FRE 102, or ARB 102
  • Intermediate I: SPN 203, FRE 203, or ARB 203
  • Intermediate II: SPN 204, FRE 204, or ARB 204
  • Advanced Course: SPN 311, FRE 345, or ARB 350

Cultural/International Experience (6 credits)

  • SPN 345, SPN 346, SPN 348, SPN 349, SPN 350, FRE 341, FRE 343, FRE 344, FRE 346, ARB 351, ARB 480, MFL 479, MFL 481, ENS 480

* Focus Areas (18 credits)

Business & Economics Focus (6 courses, 18 credits)

  • ACC 200, ECO 201, ECO 202, FIN 301, MGT 300, MGT 431, MKT 300 

History & Political Science Focus (6 courses, 18 credits)

  • HIS 106, HIS 112, HIS 240,HIS 309, HIS 316, HIS 323, HIS 348, HIS 366, HIS 370, HIS 379, HIS 425, HIS 430, POS 210, POS 312, POS 320, POS 322, POS 323, POS 325, POS 326, POS 336

Biology & Environment Focus (6 courses, 18 credits***)

  • BIO 327, BIO 337, BIO 400, BIO 414, BIO 433, BIO 435, BIO 441, BIO 445, BIO 478, BIO 488, ENS 399, ENS 425, ENS 440, ENS 475, ENS 480, ENS 495

***Also requires a minor in Biology 21 credits in BIO or ENS

  • Required: BIO 120, BIO 125, BIO 215 (12 credits)
  • Suggested additional courses: BIO 232, BIO 248, BIO 318, ENS 101

Geography Focus (6 courses, 18 credits)

  • GEO 100, GEO 150, GEO 205, GEO 217, GEO 220, GEO 325, GEO 352, GEO 426

Global Issues Focus (6 courses, 18 credits)

  • ACC 200, ANT 100, ANT 255, ANT 232, ANT 300, ART 316, ART 317, BIO 103, BIO 232, CHE 381, EAS 230, EAS 300, ECO 201, ECO 202, ENS 101, FIN 301, GEO 100, GEO 150, GEO 205, GEO 217, GEO 220, GEO 325, GEO 352, GEO 426, HIS 106, HIS 112, HIS 240,HIS 309, HIS 316, HIS 323, HIS 348, HIS 366, HIS 370, HIS 379, HIS 425, HIS 430, JUS 305, JUS 400, JUS 470, MAT 304, MGT 300, MGT 431, MKT 300, PHS 137, PHI 200, PHI 220, PHI 225, POS 210, POS 312, POS 320, POS 322, POS 323, POS 325, POS 326, POS 336, SOC 210, SOC 320, SOC 330, SOC 377, SOW 340

International Studies Faculty

Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson
Associate Professor

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Dr. Arcides Gonzalez
Assistant Professor

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Sean Madden
Professor and Director of International Studies

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Dr. Mary M. Randall
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Susan Ryan

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Dr. Mohamed Yamba
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