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International students take part in classes in Interntional Studies,

International Studies

The international studies degree provides students the background necessary for careers with an international dimension in government, commerce, the media, international organizations, research and teaching.

Producing Citizens of the World and Students of Humanity

The international studies program immerses students in today’s ever-changing and increasingly interconnected planet. It teaches them to think globally and understand issues across conventional divisions of culture, language and nation.

Most importantly, the international studies program trains students to master the research, analytical and presentation skills necessary for a variety of career paths from government service to non-profit organizations. As one of the University’s most interdisciplinary and flexible programs, the international studies major empowers students to follow their own interests, explore their unique passions and fulfill their personal goals.


The international studies program requires a total of 45 credit hours to satisfy the requirements for a major. The hours include a 15-credit-hour core consisting of GHY 331 - Cultural Systems in the Environment or GHY 341: Geography and World Political Affairs; HIS 424: The World in the 20th Century or HIS 473: U.S. Foreign Relations; PS 331: World Politics; HIS 300: Research Seminar; and IS 491: Senior Seminar in International Studies.

In addition, students take 12 credit hours of courses in a single geographical area of the student's choice (Africa, Asia, Europe or Latin America). Lastly, international studies students enroll in 21 credit hours of general courses related to international affairs; these courses will be selected by the director of the program in collaboration with the student and will be based on the student's particular interests.

At least 6 credit hours should be completed as part of a study-abroad program directed by the Center for International Education; with the program director's approval, exemptions to the study-abroad requirement may be allowed for foreign students and in other special cases.

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree available with this major.

More about this Major


The international studies program trains students to master the research, analytical and presentation skills necessary for a variety of career paths from government service to non-profit organizations.

Past students have gone on to prestigious graduate schools and professional programs in law and medicine. Others work around the globe in a variety of occupations, from a political consultant in Washington, D.C., to a lawyer for the U.S. military to a university administrator in New Zealand.

Southern Miss international studies students have gone on to graduate study at places such as the London School of Economics and the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Our students have pursued internship opportunities with the Department of Homeland Security, the World Trade Center of New Orleans, and the Voice of America’s Africa Division.

Courses You Might Take

GHY 341: Geography and World Political Affairs

The geographer’s approach to patterns of power, conflict and dispute resolution, including environmental affairs; development issues; strategic trading; and multinational, electoral and local affairs.

HIS 310: Survey of Latin American History

A mural of Latin Americans

A study of Latin American history from the conquest to the present with an emphasis on social, economic, and cultural developments.

HIS 424: The World in the 20th Century

A Starbucks restaurant in Asia

A study of the cultural, economic, political and social impact of globalization.

HIS 473: U.S. Foreign Relations

Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union, and Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president

A history of U.S. foreign relations with particular emphasis on Manifest Destiny, the New Imperialism, the diplomacy of World War I, the events leading to World War II, World War II, and the Cold War.

PS 331: World Politics

United Nations building in New York City

Theories of conflict and cooperation among states in the international system.

REL 350: Religion and Violence

Protesters marching

A study of the global phenomena of religiously motivated violence by tracing its history, assessing the current situation and considering prospects for the future.

Meet Some of Your Professors

Mark M. Miller

Professor of Geography

Favorite Course: GHY 341: Political Geography

Expertise: Economic Development, Rural and Low-Income Regions, the Caribbean

Joe Weinberg

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Favorite Course: PS 331: World Politics

Expertise: International Political Economy, Protectionism and Trade Policy, Europe

Dan Capper

Professor of Religion

Favorite Course: REL 324: Religion and Animals

Expertise: Tibetan Buddhism, Religion and Psychology, Religion and Anthropology

Heather Stur

Associate Professor of History

Favorite Course: HIS 473: U.S. Foreign Policy

Expertise: U.S. Foreign Relations, Gender and War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War

Bridget Hayden

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Favorite Course: ANT 317: Culture and Power in Latin America

Expertise: Cultural Anthropology, Globalization, Migration, Latin America

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Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.