Eight questions about declaring an I.S. major, asked and answered:

Who should I speak with about majoring in I.S.?
When should I declare my I.S. major?
What about double majors, minors, and concentrations?
Specifically, how do I declare?
What about I.S. requirements beyond the list of courses?
What about an advisor?
Will study abroad count on my major plan?

Who should I speak with about majoring in I.S.?
The International Studies professor you know best – or the department chair, currently Nadya Nedelsky.

When should I declare my I.S. major?
Mac students have to declare a major by the course-registration period in the spring of their sophomore year. Still, many majors get it done a lot earlier. In fact, about 10% of our eventual majors declare in the spring of their first year at Mac. Declare as soon as you know you want to be an I.S. major. This stitches you into our department network, giving you news of I.S. socials and events, I.S.-focused internships, summer and post-graduation opportunities, and more.

What about double majors, minors, and concentrations?
The majority of I.S. majors double-major in another discipline, with some clustering in the social sciences but including across every sector of the College, from Physics to Theater. The structure of our I.S. major plan makes this quite do-able. You can declare your two majors in any order.

Many I.S. majors declare a minor in one or more fields. Equally, many declare concentrations (thematic or regional in nature) to accent or provide additional focus for their Mac work. Don’t do this just to credential-chase, of course – but we encourage you to explore the rich range of possibilities. If you are burning to squeeze in multiple designations, the simple second page of our worksheet can help.

Typically students declare a major first, and then one or more minors or concentrations, but they can be declared in any order. Only a major is required by the College, however.

Specifically, how do I declare?
To get an idea of how the I.S. major looks, review the I.S. Advisory Planning Sheet  . Then, schedule an appointment with the department chair to declare the major and your disciplinary focus. 

Below are a few notes on each section:

Any of INTL 110 to 114

Mid-level INTL:
Any I.S. listed course after the Intros and before the senior seminars. This includes both the courses we teach within the department, and the courses taught in ten additional departments that are expressly cross-listed as INTL.

Up to one internship, one independent, and one transnationally themed course from abroad can be placed in this category.

Disciplinary Focus:
Five courses, international in character, from one discipline. Typically a “discipline” is the same as a department at Mac: Polisci, Econ, History, Religion, and so forth. Some disciplines exist across many departments and can be assembled from them – literary studies and media studies are good examples.

The idea here is to get deep in one intellectual tradition or approach. For this reason, your disciplinary focus can’t be an interdisciplinary area studies (African Studies, etc.), nor can it be an interdisciplinary theme (human rights, health, development, etc.) To achieve depth, you can include one culture-neutral methods course among your five. Courses from abroad can certainly count. The disciplinary focus frequently serves as the basis for a minor or double-major for I.S. majors.

Two Additional Courses:
1. Complementary elective. Allows exploration of one or more interests on the major plan from another angle. The course is chosen from List 1 under acceptable courses. The course must be international, outside the disciplinary focus department, and cannot include International Studies courses without chair approval.

2. Methods and skills elective. One course chosen from List 2 under acceptable courses (courses with fewer than 4 credits may be combined to meet this requirement).

Senior Seminar:
Any INTL course numbered 480-499.

A note on overlaps:
Often a midlevel INTL course will count in your disciplinary focus too. In these overlap cases, list that double-counting course only once on your major plan, and then simply increase the number of “additional” courses by one to ensure your major plan stays at 14 courses. The overlap can be as large as two courses.

What about I.S. requirements beyond the list of courses?
We have two additional requirements, which we monitor ourselves, rather than through the Registrar:

a. high competence in a second language, equivalent to six semesters of college study, and
b. a semester or more of study abroad

You can discuss specific questions about these with your I.S. advisor.

What about an advisor?
Mac students typically shift from their first-year course advisor to a departmental advisor when declaring their major. But you can shift before or after that, if you wish.

Ask the professor you feel most comfortable with or know best, to be your advisor.

If you double-major, you can choose your advisor from either department. Mac students have only one official advisor. If your official advisor is in your other major department, work with the I.S. prof you know best to structure your I.S. major plan. And, whether your official advisor is in I.S. or elsewhere, all faculty in I.S. are available for advice!

Will study away count on my major plan?
I.S. majors typically repatriate two, three, and sometimes four courses from abroad into their I.S. major plan, in all categories except Intro and Senior Seminar. A maximum of one Study Away course can count toward the five INTL mid-level courses.