College of Letters & Sciences

Advising Tips

Advising Tips

By: Anne Hamilton  

Making the most of your electives.

  Electives account for 9-12 credits of the 54-credit International Studies major. With planning, students might group their electives into various "mini-emphases" or pursue foreign language instruction beyond the 16-credit requirement. For example, if you are pursuing a Public Diplomacy, Economics, or Business emphasis, you could take all of your electives on a single region-Latin America, Europe, Africa, or Asia. A student with a foreign language and area studies emphasis could take 12 credits of a second foreign language, 12 credits of international economics courses, or some other grouping. In any one of the emphases, students could pursue a mini- emphasis on environmental issues, with courses offered in Sociology, Economics, and Geography. Given the more than 100 courses on the list of courses approved for the major, there are many possible course groupings that can add depth to your curriculum.  

A note regarding prerequisites.

 Microeconomics (Econ 201) and COMM 110 are the only prerequisites for the 21 credits of courses required of all International Studies majors. Since COMM 110 is required of all UWW students, this prerequisite does not add extra credits to your course of study. Microeconomics (Econ 201)  can count as one of your Gen Ed distributional requirements, but it does not fit elsewhere in the major, unless you have a business or economics emphasis.   There may, of course, be prerequisites for the upper-level courses included on the list of courses approved for the International Studies major. In many cases you will have these prereqs after taking the 21 credits of required courses. Please check the catalog regarding prerequisites.  

The Diversity Requirement.  

One of the required courses in the major is Cross-Cultural Communication (Comm 424). This course also satisfies the university diversity requirement; this is one of the situations in which one course satisfies two re- quirements. Therefore, you do not need to take a separate course to fulfill the diversity requirement.  

The Capstone Seminar.  

When planning your course of study, majors and minors should bear in mind that the capstone seminar (INTRNAR 488) is only offered in the spring semester. This is a course for which there is no good substitute. Not only is it multi-disciplinary and writing-intensive, course requirements include a portfolio of the student's work, which might be useful in employment or graduate school applications. Although the ideal time to take the capstone seminar is during your last semester at UWW, you should take it earlier if you anticipate studying abroad during your final spring semester at UWW or if you plan to graduate in December.   Adding a minor.   A minor is not required in the major, but many students decide to complete one. Foreign language minors are popular and may add only 6 additional credits to graduate. Here's how. Every IS major has to have 16 credits of foreign language study (or the equivalent). The requirements for a foreign language minor are 12 credits beyond these 16 credits-the equivalent of 4 courses. If you are a BA student, you can "double-count" the 12 credits and fulfill the BA requirement (6 credits) while pursuing the foreign language minor.