International and Global Studies

  • People cross a river in Senegal

    Crossing a river in Senegal

  • In order to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, International and Global Studies (IGS) majors take one additional language course (beyond the university requirement) and complete either a study abroad program or an international internship.  A study abroad experience will allow students to understand, from an international perspective, the complex processes of globalization that today so profoundly affect politics, economics, culture, society, and the environment.

    Sample of Approved Programs with IGS Coursework

    Visit the Brandeis Approved Programs List to review a comprehensive list of programs that offer IGS coursework. Click on "Advanced Search" to filter options or search for unique program traits like internships or research. Additional programs might have acceptable coursework, but this list shows the primary locations where IGS courses may be available.

    IGS Study Abroad Liaison

    To assist students with their academic choices abroad and to help answer any questions about receiving major/ minor credit while abroad, each academic department and program has assigned a faculty member to serve as the Study Abroad Liaison. IGS majors/minors who plan to study abroad should speak with the study abroad liaison before they go abroad, and again once they have returned from study abroad.

    The liaison for IGS is Prof. Lucy Goodhart.

    Receiving Credit in IGS

    Students wishing to receive IGS credit for work done off campus during the academic year should discuss their desired coursework with their study abroad liaison for IGS. After returning from abroad and complete the Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement form.


    Can I receive IGS credit for courses taken overseas?

    Yes, provided that the courses offered by your chosen study abroad program are closely related to IGS requirements.

    The class for which you are seeking IGS credit does not need to be identical to one being offered on campus: after all, you are going abroad to learn things you can’t learn here.  The classes should, however, resemble IGS classes.  Ask yourself: will this class teach me something critical to understanding the country or region to which I am traveling?  Will it illuminate some aspect of its politics, economics, and/or culture?

    How many classes from my time abroad can I count toward the IGS major?

    You may count two classes per semester toward the major.  If you are abroad for a year, you may count four classes toward the major. In the summer one course can count toward the major unless you do either the Brandeis in Copenhagen or Brandeis in The Hague program.

    Can I count a class toward IGS and some other major?

    Yes -- if the other major will accept the class.

    How can I be sure that classes I am planning to take abroad will count as IGS electives?

    You can't. The IGS Study Abroad Liaison can review the classes that you are interested in -- both at the time you apply for study abroad and sometimes by e-mail while you are enrolling in classes. But we can only confirm IGS credit once you have taken the class and returned to campus. For more information on receiving credit after you've returned to campus, review the: Receiving Credit in IGS section.

    Classes taken abroad for IGS credit need to show some involvement of the location in which you're studying in their topics and focus. A generic course that can be taken anywhere will not be considered for IGS credit.

    Is it possible to take one of the "core" IGS courses (the equivalent of IGS 10a, ANTH 1a, ECON 28b, POL 15a) abroad?

    No. Students should take their core courses at Brandeis. In particular, for those contemplating study abroad, it is strongly recommended that they take their core courses before going abroad. In the summer of 2019, ECON28b will be offered on the Brandeis in Copenhagen program taught by Prof. Scott Redenius. This course will count for one of your IGS core requirements.

    Do I need to do an international internship AND study abroad?

    No. IGS is looking for you to have a substantive international experience. This can be accomplished by either studying abroad or completing an international internship.

    I am an international student and my native language is not English. Do I have to study abroad and learn a third language?

    No on both counts. By being at Brandeis you are already fulfilling our requirement to have an "international experience." If you speak another language at home, English can count as your foreign language.

    The Registrar should automatically give all international students credit for an international experience. If you do not see this credit on your Undergraduate Degree Audit, please write to Mangok Bol, IGS program administrator.
    Can a summer study abroad program count for the IGS "International Experience" requirement?

    Sometimes. In order for a summer study abroad program to count for the IGS international experience requirement, it must be at least six weeks long and involve substantive academic work about the culture and society one is exploring overseas. Programs need to focus on immersion into the culture and society; preferably including a homestay. We do not count programs that are solely for language study. Please meet with the IGS Study Abroad Liaison to review the specifics of a given program.

    The Brandeis in The Hague program does count for the "International Experience" requirement based on its in-depth engagement with the various international organizations located in The Hague, but Brandeis in Copenhagen does not meet the requirement.