Acceptable Courses for the I.S. Major

(List revised December 2014)book

Read this whole note first, before turning to departmental listings!

Macalester's curriculum constantly evolves. With over thirty departments, it is impossible for one department to know all the others. Thus this list offers a general rather than specific framework for identifying courses acceptable for listing on I.S. major plans.

First, understand where on your I.S. major plan these courses might go. There are five possible spots in our 14-course major:

  1. Introduction to I.S. Only INTL 110-114 can count.
  2. The five INTL mid-level courses. Only INTL-listed courses numbered 200 and above can count. These include both our "own" courses, and cross-listed courses taught by faculty in other departments. In this INTL midlevel segment, you can include one INTL internship, one INTL independent or tutorial, and one qualified course from abroad – see below for details.
  3. The five disciplinary courses. Five courses representing a single discipline, and international in content. One culture-neutral methods course in your discipline may be listed here. INTL mid-levels may be used here when they are in your discipline, with a maximum overlap of two courses between the disciplinary and INTL midlevel segments of your plan.
  4. The two additional courses. Any of a vast range of courses from across the College, international in content. These are used to shape, focus, or accent your overall major plan. Additional INTL midlevels are welcomed here too.
  5. The senior seminar. Only INTL 480-499 can count.

Second, understand, for the five disciplinary and two "additional" courses, what counts as "international." Here "international" means courses, in any of a vast range of departments, which treat in depth a geographic area outside the U.S., or a broad international phenomenon or theme. Such courses range from the Hebrew Bible, Shakespeare, and Japanese society, to international trade, development anthropology, and global governance.

With these two basics in mind, the following three notes provide important clarification:

1. Non-US Students majoring in I.S.
What counts as "international" depends on where you are from. If you are not from the United States, rigorous courses focusing on the U.S. can count in your I.S. major plan. Indeed, we urge you to take some even beyond your required U.S. multiculturalism course. By the same principle, if you are, for example, Japanese-born and Japanese-educated, we would not count History 176, "History of Traditional Japan," on your I.S. major plan.

2. Courses While On Study Abroad.
I.S. majors typically repatriate two and sometimes three or four courses from study abroad into their major plans. Typically these go in the "disciplinary focus" or "additional" sections of the plan. One course from abroad can count as INTL midlevel only if it is a.) trans-national, and b.) multidisciplinary. For example, a course abroad on Bolivian culture or Senegalese music would not slot as INTL. In contrast, a course titled "Andean regional politics in global perspective," or an independent study on Senegal and world music might count as INTL. These will be judged on a case-by-case basis: save all relevant documentation!

3. Language Courses.
The courses taken to fulfill the I.S. major's language-competence requirement typically do not appear on the 14-course major plan. An exception is made when the student’s disciplinary focus is a language department. In those cases, only one advanced language course can appear in the disciplinary-focus section. Students pursuing a third or fourth language may place those courses in the "additional" section of their I.S. major plan.

Note that Macalester offers coursework in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and classical Greek and Latin.

Specific Departmental Notes:  PDF format of Acceptable Courses

African Studies: this program offers no courses of its own. Most African Studies offerings in other departments will count.

American Studies: 305, 315. Some courses focusing on U.S., acceptable for non-US students.

Anthropology: 101, 111, 239, 241, 243, 246, 248, 253, 255, 256, 258, 259, 285, 358, 360, 362, 363, 364, 380. When taught with global focus, 280, 365, 368, 381.

Art and Art History: 160, 161, 170, 171, 252, 257, 259, 265, 270, 278, 328, courses which focus on traditions outside the U.S.; Studio Art courses do not count.

Asian Languages and Cultures: 109, 111, 140, 149, 150, 170, 171, 211, 255, 256, 257, 274, 275, 276, 277, 378. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Biology: 116, 270, 285, 357, 473, 476, 482, 487. Those interested in making Biology the five-course disciplinary focus in their major plan should read Biology and Geology.

Chinese: 149, 255. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Classics: 121, 122, 123, 127, 129, 135, 145, 160, 200. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Economics: 180, 221, 225, 227, 269, 323, 325, 333, 422, 424, 426. Also 231, 242, 442, 444, and one 600-level course if your papers focus on international or cross-border issues, with instructor confirmation supplied to I.S. For those with an economics disciplinary focus in their I.S. major, the culture-neutral methods course may include 361, 371, or 381.

Educational Studies: 370.

English: 115, 200, 220, 230, 240, 242, 278, 304, 310, 313, 315, 321, 325, 331, 341, 366, 367, 369, 384. When taught with global focus, 210, 265, 308, 350, 351, 362,382, 410. British and/or "World" literatures, but not U.S.-focused or creative writing courses. English courses on “neutral” or thematic subjects (such as love or justice) are evaluated case by case.

Environmental Studies: 221, 252, 333, 368. When taught with global focus, 140, 150, 335.

French: 307, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Geography: 111, 116, 243,245, 247, 248, 249, 254, 256, 261, 263, 488. When taught with global focus, 232, 258, 375.

Geology: 120, 160, 165, 260, 303. Those interested in making Geology the five-course disciplinary focus in their major plan should read Biology and Geology.

German Studies: 255, 305, 308, 337, 360, 363, 364, 365, 366. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Hispanic Studies: 151, 171, 305, 307, 414, 415, 416, 417, 419, 420, 421, 422, 425, 426, 427, 442, 443, 446. Language courses – see note #3, above.

History: 109, 110, 114, 115, 140, 213, 256, 257, 258, 260, 261, 281, 283, 352, 364, 366, 379, 381. When taught with global focus, 112, 350, 376.

Interdisciplinary Courses: 411.

International Studies: all courses.

Japanese: 150, 235, 250, 251, 255, 288, 488.

Latin American Studies: 141, 151, 171, 181, 245, 246, 249, 255, 269, 281, 282, 283, 323, 341, 381, 415, 416, 446.

Linguistics: 150, 201, 206, 225, 235, 280, 309, 335, 400, 435, 436, 488. When taught with global focus, 175.

Media and Cultural Studies: 110, 202, 249, 256. When taught with global focus, 128, 247, 248, 315, 334, 376.

Music: 72 & 73 (when 4 credits accumulated), 111, 131, 342, 343. Independents and tutorials as appropriate.

Philosophy: 200, 201, 211, 212, 221.

Political Science: 120, 141, 160, 220, 221, 222, 241, 242, 243, 245, 246, 250, 260, 320, 321, 322, 323, 340, 341, 363. When taught with global focus, 140, 170, 205, 215, 261, 265, 271.

Psychology: 379.

Religious Studies: 100, 102, 111, 120, 121, 123, 124, 127, 135, 141, 180, 200, 201, 202, 212, 222, 223, 233, 234, 235, 236, 238, 254, 300, 311, 336, 346, 348, 359. When taught with global focus, 125.

Russian Studies: 151, 251, 252, 255, 256, 257, 261, 265, 270, 272, 363, 364, 366, 367. Language courses – see note #3, above.

Sociology: 175, 240, 275, 280, 290, 370. Independents and tutorials as appropriate.

Theater and Dance: 21, 115, 264, 266, 268. Independents, tutorials, and topics courses as appropriate.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: 105, 210, 220, 300, 305

These three units offer some courses, focusing on the United States, acceptable on I.S. major plans of non-US students:
American Studies
Psychology
Urban Studies

These departments typically do not offer courses that count on I.S. major plans:
Chemistry
Mathematics and Computer Science
Neuroscience
Physical Education
Physics and Astronomy