Loyola University Chicago

Global and International Studies


This is the most common question asked by new Global and International Studies majors. The answer is simple: there is no limit on double-counting of major and Core courses.

As many as three courses may be simultaneously counted toward the Global and International Studies major and another major in the College of Arts and Sciences. If a student has completed more than three such courses, he or she may choose the three that work best.

As is common in the field, the Global and International Studies Program requires a level of proficiency in a modern language rather than a particular number of courses. The reason for this is that many students enter college having taken language instruction courses in high school that are similar to those offered at the college level. For Global and International Studies majors, proficiency is required through the 104 level (i.e., four courses for a student with no background in the language). If a student enters Loyola with, say, two years of high school Spanish, he or she will be asked to complete a placement examination administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The rule of thumb is that one year of high school instruction is the equivalent of one semester of college-level instruction, but high school language courses vary and some students may place higher or lower than this.

Loyola's placement examination is available in French, German and Spanish. Students who have studied another modern language will be assessed on an individual basis by an expert in the field. In most cases, this expert is a member Loyola's faculty. If this is not possible, the Director of the Global and International Studies Program will arrange for an assessment with an appropriate person outside Loyola.

Many Loyola students are native speakers of languages other than English. These students are assessed in the same way as students who have learned a language through classroom instruction. It is important to note that, for purposes of the Global and International Studies Program, proficiency requires an ability not only to speak but also to read and write a language.

Language proficiency assessment of Global and International Studies minors is similar to that of majors, except that minors must demonstrate proficiency only through the 103 level.

Tagged courses are courses that are scheduled and taught by a traditional academic department but that also offer credit to Global and International Studies majors and minors. Permanently tagged courses are listed in both the Global and International Studies section of the catalog and the section of the primary listing department, but detailed descriptions are provided only in the section of the primary listing department. Each semester a number of open-ended "topics" courses offered by various departments are included among the Global and International Studies offerings. If the department and the Program agree that a particular topics course is appropriate for tagging, and the Dean concurs, the course will be approved for Global and International Studies credit for that semester and will be designated as such in the course schedule. Topics courses are generally one-time offerings and thus do not appear in printed material describing the Program's offerings.

The Program does support an internship, International Studies 370. This course may be taken for either 3 or 6 credit hours, but only 3 credits total may be applied to the International Studies major. When the internship is taken for 3 credit hours, students are expected to work 8–10 hours per week in their placements; when it is taken for 6 credit hours, students are expected to work 16–20 hours in their placements. The internship is open to juniors and seniors with grade point averages of 2.50 or above. International Studies interns are placed in a wide variety of agencies, including government offices, non-profit organizations, private businesses and foreign consulates. Grades are based on a research paper and a written evaluation from a student's host agency.

A number of career paths draw especially heavily on a background in International Studies. One is employment with international governmental or non-governmental organizations, ranging from the United Nations to one of the more than 40 specialized agencies that deal with everything from development aid to health care.  A valuable opportunity for Loyola students interested in careers with international organizations is the Model United Nations, which each year sends a group of students to UN headquarters in New York to participate in a week-long simulation of the General Assembly. Diplomacy is a second important career path for international studies majors. The most prestigious diplomatic career for US citizens is that of Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State, which has recently substantially increased its hiring. More than a dozen Loyola graduates are currently serving as Foreign Service Officers.  Finally, private companies are the largest source of employment opportunities for students with training in international studies. A growing number of firms are interested in hiring students with a background in international relations or knowledge of other languages and cultures. The Chicago metropolitan area, whose economy is highly internationalized, is an especially good location for finding a job with an international company.

For many International Studies students, the most appropriate graduate training is a Masters Degree in International Studies. Interdisciplinary international studies programs at the graduate level specialize in training students for careers in international organizations, government service or private companies. They combine a curriculum in international economics, politics, or culture, with specialized training in a particular country or region. Other international studies students, who are interested in pursuing careers in international law or business, receive advanced degrees in those fields.

If a student entered Loyola as an International Studies major, he or she need not formally declare.

Utilize LOCUS to declare a major or minor. It is also encouraged that you meet with the International Studies program assistant, director, or assistant director during the first semester at Loyola to fill out basic paperwork and discuss program requirements, career goals, and internship options. If a student entered Loyola as "undeclared" or wishes to change majors, he or she must formally declare the International Studies major. All minors must also formally declare. The declaration process itself can be completed online through LOCUS.