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International Studies

Students in international studies develop an understanding of the complex interactions of politics, culture, history, and economics that shape global relations.


Students learn to think across traditional disciplinary boundaries as an approach to addressing the world’s most complex global challenges such as migration, war, health, and the environment.  They gain insight into the processes and institutions that shape global activities and develop the tools necessary to study ongoing events in this complex and rapidly changing world. This major allows students to develop an emphasis in a particular regional or functional area, but within the larger context of international relations. For example, you might concentrate in African studies or developmental studies, or work with faculty on a research project.

Your Major Took You Where?

International Studies majors have gone on to a variety of graduate programs and careers.


  • Americorps Career Building Academy
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • Teaching Assistant Program in France
  • USA Today
  • U.S. Senate

Postgraduate Study

  • George Washing University (M.A., European & Eurasian studies)
  • Johns Hopkins University (M.A., China studies)
  • Kent State University
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (M.S., accounting)
  • University of Texas (M.A., Middle Eastern/global policy studies)


To understand and address these challenges, the major combines core interdisciplinary courses with four distinct disciplinary tracks. Core courses develop a common body of knowledge through a mix of introductory and specialized courses that span the globe both geographically and thematically: from Canada to India, from trade to human rights, from Google to the W.H.O. The disciplinary tracks – politics, economics, history, and religion – allow students the flexibility to choose an area that best corresponds to their intellectual and professional goals within the broader framework of international studies. We strongly encourage students to study abroad as an essential element of their experience.

Major Requirements

Minor Requirements

Experiential Learning

Students engage in hands-on learning experiences and reflection to develop skills and increase knowledge retention.

Centre has semester programs in China (Shanghai), England (London and Reading), France (Strasbourg), Japan (Yamaguchi), and Mexico (Merida), which includes trips to Costa Rica or Cuba. There are also exchange programs in Japan and Northern Ireland. Other opportunities include short-term trips to such places as Cameroon, Ecuador, India, Turkey, and Vietnam. Individual students have also attended programs in Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Hungary, Moscow, and Spain.


We're committed to helping students find quality internship experiences in the career area of their choice.

Centre students have had internships at local, state, and federal levels of the government. Many have interned in such places as Washington, D.C. (Supreme Court, foreign embassies, Congress offices, U.S. Department of State, and the Office of Naval Intelligence), or locally, at the Lexington-Fayette Human Rights Commission. Others have secured internships with international organizations such as Amnesty International, Save the Children, and the International Committee for the Red Cross.


Our extraordinary liberal arts and sciences education prepares students for meaningful lives and careers.

The international studies program’s commitment to a liberal arts education provides an excellent foundation for students interested in pursing careers in business, journalism, politics, or law in the international arena. The major also assists students in meeting the requirements of leading graduate programs in diplomacy, international relations, business, politics, and public policy.

International Studies

Lady with shoulder length brown hair wearing glasses and patterned black and maroon shirt standing in front of black background

Chelsea Cutright

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies and Anthropology
Man with dark hair and beard wearing navy sweater and plaid scarf

Jonathon L. Earle

  • Marlene and David Grissom Associate Professor of Social Studies
  • Co-Chair of Uganda Studies Group (African Studies Association)
  • Senior Editor of Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History
Man with dark hair wearing sports coat with blue button up dress shirt

Ravi Radhakrishnan

  • Associate Professor of Economics and Business
  • Economics and Business Program Chair
Robert Schalkoff headshot - man wearing glasses and wearing dark sports jacket with light blue shirt and maroon tie

Robert Schalkoff

  • Director of the Lincoln Scholars Program • Director of Office of Fellowships • Assistant Professor of International Studies

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