A Rigorous Transnational Education

The International Studies Department and its associated major draw ideas from across the spectrum: social sciences, humanities, sciences, and fine arts -- with our own dedicated courses and a rich ranges of offerings beyond. It is Macalester’s core academic home for transnational studies.

Combining a demanding and overarching global perspective with language training, study abroad, and thematic, regional, and disciplinary options, International Studies is useful preparation for virtually any endeavor.

Our alumni go on to the strongest graduate and professional schools in the U.S. and abroad; international-organizations and government work; and directly into business, international development, global health, and many other fields. The opportunities are broad; the boundaries all but nonexistent.

 Core Beliefs:

  1. all things are connected; no place, person, phenomenon, text or tale exists alone.
  2. borders (national, regional, continental, physical, legal and more) fix and separate, just as they are regularly crossed and redrawn.
  3. categories (racial, ethnic, class, sexual, cultural, religious and more) matter, are inevitably produced, often conflict, and regularly overlap.
  4. history and ideologies flow forward, are retrospectively revised, and are eternally contested.
  5. humans and their institutions emerge from the earth, but now exercise troubled dominion over it.
  6. despite human power, too many people are poor and lack autonomy and rights, subject to powerful institutions and discourses only marginally under their control.

In this context, and in the context of Macalester’s internationalist commitments, we aim to educate cosmopolitan young people, across geographies and fields, strongly equipped and powerfully inclined to understand the world and seek positive change.