A learning abroad experience is a required part of the BGSU international studies major.
  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available
  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available

Bachelor of Arts in

International Studies

The BGSU international studies program is a multidisciplinary program that seeks to provide students with the training needed to understand and analyze international and global connections.

Available as a minor or major, the curriculum offers a critical international lens that can be focused on issues of a student’s choosing, such as environmental justice, democracy around the globe, conflict resolution through cultural studies, international development or social justice, to name a few.

Students in the international studies program take courses that allow them to develop a strong proficiency and cultural competencies in a second or third language such as Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition to world language classes, the program includes courses in history, geography, economics, political science and communication. There is also a study abroad requirement.

Career options include diplomatic representation, international business and trade, law or economic development. An international studies degree can also lead to careers in public administration, NGOs and foreign service.

Finding your place in the global society

Examine the connections between regions, countries and blocs. Learn to analyze global affairs on political, economic and diplomatic levels and understand how cultures spread, relate and function in today’s world.

Consider the history, language, religion and culture of a focus region or country, or examine a single, global issue while broadening your understanding of international development.

International studies students graduate with in-demand skills that employers are seeking including strong writing and research skills, cultural sensitivity, and creative problem-solving.

Careers in international business, diplomacy, development, or global advocacy are common paths.

STAND OUT in courses like

  • Theories and Methods in International Studies
  • National and Global Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity
  • Communicating in Global Contexts
  • Global Migration
  • Business in the Global Arena
  • Global Media Systems and Policy
  • Global Popular Culture
  • World Geography

The International Studies major provides a multidisciplinary approach to international and global connections.


The student's individual experience in the international studies program may be tailored toward a specific focus area such as a world region, a single country, a particular issue or discipline, or toward a future career goal such as government, business, or foreign service.

The major acquaints students with approaches from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. This multidisciplinary approach is supported by faculty from across the University who have connections around the world and diverse viewpoints to help students expand their knowledge and experience.

The curriculum helps students identify their implicit bias in gathering data about others and emphasizes the strengths of case studies, qualitative and quantitative data, and the uses of comparative frameworks for analyzing international issues. 

The curriculum culminates in a choice of academic or community-based research for the international studies capstone seminar. 

All BGSU international studies majors continue world language courses at least through the third-year college level. Education abroad experience is also required.

Peace Corps Prep Program

BGSU offers a Peace Corps Prep program whose requirements can be fulfilled through major and BGP courses. The Peace Corps Prep certificate can lead to work with the Peace Corps and many other international outreach organizations in the areas of global health, international education, international business, and environmental science and policy.


In today’s global society, an undergraduate degree in international studies opens the door to a wide variety of career options. Earning an international studies degree may lead to a career abroad or prepare students for a domestic career that benefits from a global perspective.

Many international studies majors find work in federal and state government, international business or law, branches of the armed forces, non-profit organizations, and universities.

Knowledge of the language, customs, history, and business practices of another nation will help significantly in assimilating to and working in that country.

Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies have an average starting salary of $41,249.

Internships and co-ops

Each year international studies majors participate in internships and cooperative education programs. Experiential learning does not have to be in a foreign country to gain exposure to global issues and people with different cultural experiences than your own.

BGSU partners with organizations like The Washington Center to provide internships that inspire students to become well-informed, public-spirited, and more socially engaged in their communities.

Organizations like Women at Risk, International (WAR, Int'l), a U.S.-based, nonprofit creates safe havens and healing for at-risk women and children in over 31 countries, including the United States. WAR, Int'l has offered internships at two of their Michigan locations in recent years.

Similarly, US Together, with locations across Ohio, is contracted to provide welcome and assimilation services to refugees from across the globe. As a result, BGSU international studies students have gained valuable experience through internships and expanded their worldview, helping people with very different life experiences find their feet in the United States. 

GO FAR in your career

  • Foreign Affairs Agent
  • Nonprofit Program Coordinator
  • International Business Executive
  • Translator
  • Lobbyist
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Political Analyst
  • Journalist
  • International lawyer

Take your place in the international community.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The International Studies program is a part of the College of Arts and Sciences.   

BG Alternative Breaks

BG Alternative Breaks (bGAB) is a student-led program within the Center for Public Impact that prepares groups of students to collaborate with communities experiencing social injustices by learning about, providing direct service for, and reflecting on a specific social issue. 

bGAB provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture of service and allows students to create positive change on trips during fall and spring breaks. Since 2013, when bGAB was founded by Maddi Georgoff '15, the program has sent out 502 students on 41 trips, dedicating 12,569 hours of direct service to community partners.

The Global Village Learning Community

This internationally-minded learning community consists of international and American students from all majors who have a sincere interest in meeting and learning about people from other countries and cultures. 

Residents are paired with students of different cultural backgrounds and share a living space. This unique and dynamic community is fueled by cross-cultural conversation, fun times, friendship and moments of discovery.

The International Relations Organization

The International Relations Organization (IRO) is a student group whose goal is to inform, facilitate and support awareness of international affairs. The group holds debates and discussions, sponsors presentations, organizes field trips, and promotes all things international.  

Each year, members of IRO participate on the BGSU Model United Nations Team. The BGSU Model UN team has competed in the American Model UN Conference since 2001.

BGSU World Student Association

The BGSU World Student Association promotes intercultural understanding and friendship among students from different cultures and backgrounds through cultural, educational, and social activities. Students from all majors are welcome.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in International Studies are expected to:

  • Understand the connections between countries;
  • Describe the impact of international events or arrangements at the regional, national, and local levels in at least one major area of the world;
  • Articulate how historical processes, such as colonialism, post-colonialism and globalization, have led to our current situation in general and to specific conditions in at least one area of the world;
  • Analyze and describe global issues both qualitatively and quantitatively, using approaches from both the humanities and the social sciences;
  • Demonstrate a basic command of at least two appropriate disciplinary approaches, such as economics, sociology (demographics), political science, history, literature, popular culture, environmental studies, cultural studies, or regional studies;
  • Apply interdisciplinary approaches, including world language skills and international experience, to research and present specific global issues.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The international studies program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.

More information on accreditation

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The international studies program does not lead to professional licensure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact assessment@bgsu.edu.

Updated: 09/21/2022 01:11PM