International and Area Studies Major

American students face increasing pressure to become internationalized -- to attain an education that will enable them to respond intelligently to a world undergoing rapid globalization and to compete in a global economy.

What Is the International and Area Studies (IAS) Major?

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Honors College (UHC) and University Center for International Studies (UCIS) have created the International and Area Studies (IAS) major -- a research-based undergraduate major that will help students meet the demands of today’s world.

The goal of the IAS major is to enable students to think critically and to gain “global competence,” which involves working effectively in different international settings, an awareness of the major currents of global change and the resulting issues raised, the capacity for effective communication across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and personal adaptability to diverse cultures.

Specific Requirements

Students seeking the IAS major must:

  • have a minimum grade point average of 3.50/4.00; and
  • complete eight approved courses (24 credits); and
  • complete one methods course specific to their second major or to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
  • complete one directed study course related to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
  • complete three years of college-level language study or equivalent proficiency in a language relevant to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
  • complete a study abroad/international learning experience; and
  • write and publicly defend their research thesis (the BPhil thesis) before a faculty examining board that includes a visiting faculty member from outside the University; and
  • complete a second major in another academic discipline -- the IAS major is a dual major; it must be combined with a second major (note that only two courses from this major can overlap with the approved courses for the IAS major).

Students interested in the IAS major may complete one of the following tracks in UCIS: Asian Studies, European Union Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Studies, or Russian and East European Studies.

For more information, contact:

Asian Studies Track
Asian Studies Program
BPhil Advisor: Katherine Carlitz
Tel: 412-648-7371

European Union Studies Track
European Studies Center
BPhil Advisor: Stephen Lund
Tel: 412-648-7405

Global Studies Track
BPhil Advisor: Elaine Linn
Tel: 412-648-2113

Latin American Studies Track
BPhil Advisor: Julian Asenjo
Tel: 412-648-7392

Russian and East European Studies Track
BPhil Advisor: Susan Hicks
Tel: 412-648-7407