The major in International Studies combines an advanced curriculum in Arabic, French, German or Spanish language and culture with structured training in a professional field.

The professional fields include:

  • Business and Management
  • Communication
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • History
  • International Affairs
  • Journalism and Screen Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Natural Sciences

A third component, Cognates, offers courses which reinforce the international context and enable students to integrate the two primary components.

Degree Requirements

The International Studies concentration consists of 42 semester hours of upper-division courses taken in three component areas.

Component I: Language and Culture

18 hours of upper-level courses in either French, German or Spanish.

Component II: Professional Studies

15 hours of upper level courses in one of the following disciplines:  Art Administration, Business and Management, Communications, Computer and Information Science, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences, or Political Science (International Affairs).

Component III: Cognates

9 hours of upper-level courses in fields such as Anthropology, Art History, Economics and Political Science including, if desired, a three-hour internship.

Read more information on CASL degree requirements.

Study Abroad, Internships, and Co-ops

International Studies concentrators are encouraged to participate in approved programs of study abroad sponsored by the University of Michigan or other institutions of higher learning.  The faculty view study abroad as a unique educational and enrichment experience which allows students to progress rapidly in language learning while acquiring firsthand knowledge of another culture.  Each year, a number of stipends are awarded, on the basis of scholastic achievement, to students planning to undertake coursework abroad.

Internships and Co-ops

Area businesses and government agencies offer International Studies concentrators a range of internship and co-op experiences.  Such on-the-job involvement enables students to supplement their course work with invaluable practical training and to prepare themselves better for future careers in the business world.

University internship and co-op coordinators assist students in finding appropriate placements and monitor the work they undertake in these off-campus assignments.

Program Activities

International Studies students are also encouraged to get involved in student organizations in Language, Culture and Communication, in CASL and across campus.

  • International business representatives

    The location of the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus in a western suburb of Detroit offers students the cultural and academic advantages of an urban setting.  It also affords them numerous contacts with American and foreign firms and government agencies, based in the metropolitan area, which conduct their business on an international level.

    Every semester, representatives from these firms and agencies are invited to campus to lecture in courses and meet program concentrators.  They also frequently participate in round-table discussions where they express their views on topics of concern in international business and relations.

Employment Opportunities

The International Studies program directly addresses the needs of employers in the Detroit area and elsewhere who are increasingly involved in international trade and who require employees with a knowledge of other cultures, languages, and economic systems in addition to a solid professional background.

Officers of multi-national corporations in Detroit who were consulted regarding the design of the International Studies curriculum indicate a strong employment potential for graduates of the program.  Listed below are a few of the occupational opportunities available to them.

  • Example opportunities


    • Business and Commerce
           Export/Import Representative
           International Purchasing Agent
           International Marketing Coordinator
           Executive and Managerial positions
    • Banking and Financial Personnel
           Financial Assistant
           International Representative
           International Banking Officer
    • Government Service (Local, State and Federal)
           Customs Inspector
           Immigration Officer
           Foreign Service Officer
    • Interpreting and Translating
          Government Agencies
           International Organizations and Conferences
           Trade Councils
    • Travel and Tourism
    • International Law
    • Teaching
    • Scientific and Engineering positions
    • Communications
Back to top of page