Letter from the Director

Dear Returning or Prospective Students,

Welcome to the International Studies Program at SMU!

The Office of Undergraduate Admission informed me that you are interested in pursuing a degree in international studies at SMU and that you are a student with the academic potential to be very successful in this area. You are definitely on the right path when it comes to selecting a college major—international studies is a popular and interesting major that allows you to design an interdisciplinary program to fit your intellectual and professional goals. The emphasis is on training students for international careers. A description of the program, requirements and available courses are found on the website: smu.edu/internationalstudies. This information will assist you in choosing international studies as a major or minor. You may also follow International Studies at our Facebook account, facebook.com/internationalcountries. On our Facebook account you will find pictures from students’ trips abroad, updated information about classes and events, and information about internships relevant to International Studies.

If you are interested in Study Abroad, International Studies is the perfect major for you. A student may fulfill up to one-half of degree requirements through Study Abroad, including language and regional specialization courses. International studies is a popular double major, easily lending itself to being combined with a major in social sciences, language and humanities, economics or business. The international studies major provides students with broad coursework in world cultures, international politics, international economics and global perspectives. In addition, a student chooses a regional specialization from among Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. You also have the option of developing an area studies minor or double minor if you have an interest in more than one region. A particularly popular course is the senior seminar, taught by the director of the program. Finally, there are internship opportunities in Washington and elsewhere, as well as directed studies—one on one with a professor—to expand your educational experience.

As you can see, international studies is an exciting and popular major at SMU. But students (and parents) often ask: “What can a person do with an international studies major?” The answer, of course, very much depends upon your interests, ambitions and career choices. The international studies program combines area and language training, thereby enriching your academic experience and providing a firm base to further your education, or to enter the public or private sectors. In the age of globalization, job candidates desiring an international career, or seeking to add an international dimension in their career, need to have international training and experience. Mr. Ray Rafidi, the program advisor, and I are available to help you develop a program that meets your intellectual needs and will facilitate your professional goals once you graduate from SMU.

 If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to contact me at intlstudies@smu.edu.

We look forward to helping you make the most of your International Studies experience!

Luigi Manzetti, Director
International and Area Studies Program