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IS 1004/PSCI 1004
Nations and Nationalities

Introduction to world and American ethnic and indigenous cultures and to social constructions of human and group identity, nationalism and extreme ethno-nationalism. History of the political, economic, and cultural transition from primordial communities to sovereign states. Introduction to the rise of racism, sexism, ethnicism, classism, nativism, and xenophobia in modern societies and episodes of mass political violence including ethnic cleansing and genocide. 

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 1034/PSCI 1034
Introduction to International Studies and Political Science

Introduces students to the fields of International Studies and Political Science and their respective subfields. Familiarizes students with the undergraduate programs in International Studies and Political Science and emphasizes student preparation for careers in the respective fields. Focuses on inquiry, problem-solving, integration of ideas and experiences with a focus on International Studies and Political Science. Familiarizes students with the basic principles of the research and writing process.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2024
Research and Writing in International Studies

Introduces the research and writing process in the field of international studies. Addresses topics such as selecting and planning a research project, conceptualizing a research design, gathering and analyzing data, interpreting the results, and writing a report. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2034/GEOG 2034/PSCI 2034
Geography of Global Conflict

Geographical dimensions of global conflicts, international 'management' of conflicts, conflicts of differences, historical, ideological, failed states and resources will be examined. Background to conflicts, current status of conflicts, different points of view in conflict. Topics in the course will change as the geography of global conflict changes.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2054/GEOG 2054/PSCI 2054
Introduction to World Politics

Introduction to the prevalent methods and theories in the study of world politics. Topics include: historical context of contemporary world politics, global actors and power relations, conflict and conflict resolution, international law, and contemporary global issues 

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2064/GEOG 2064/PSCI 2064
The Global Economy and World Politics

An introduction to the interaction of politics and economics power and wealth, within the world political economy. Topics include: the international financial system, the dynamics and principles of trade, and the role of transnational firms, as well as issues of environmental protections, sustainable development, and the distribution of wealth and power.

  • 3 Credit Hours
PSCI 2084/IS 2084
The International System

Examines the evolution of the international system and focuses on the political, economic, societal, and technological processes that shape the relations among states and people. Investigates topics such as the role of religion, culture, and civilizations in world affairs; the globalization of the European system and the question of human equality; the impact of colonialism and postcolonialism on the question of justice and rights; and the effects of imperialism, capitalism, and globalization on world order. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2134/GEOG 2134/PSCI 2134
Geography of the Global Economy

Geographical dimensions of the global economy since World War II. Globalization and the emergence of a new international division of labor. The relative decline of the United States and the growth of Japan, East Asia and the European Union. Changing geographies of foreign direct investment location. Places and regions in geo-economic discourse. Population and resources issues in the early twenty-first century.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2474/REL 2474
Religion and Violence

Investigation of the categories of religion and secularity as they apply to war and peace. Analysis of episodes from both past and present in which religion seems to have played a role. Introduction to research skills related to the study of religion and violence, building from theoretical and historical considerations. 


  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 2964
Field Study

Pass/Fail only.

  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 2974
Independent Study
  • Variable Credit Hours
  • Honors Option Available
IS 2984
Special Study
  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 3004/PSCI 3004
Professionalism and Careers in Political Science and International Studies

Designed to teach students how to synthesize skills and information learned in their political science and international studies classes. Exploration of various career options, graduate school options, and proper procedures for seeking and applying for employment and graduate school. Introduction to professionalism in the workplace and professional development in the area of political science and international studies. Junior Standing. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3034/GEOG 3034/PSCI 3034
The CIA: Its Capabilities in Today's Geopolitical World

Role of the discipline of geography in the origins, procedures, and history of CIA. Role of the CIA in providing national intelligence at both strategic and operational levels. Origins and changes to the CIA since WWII. Capabilities to support both policy-makers and national security entities. Case studies illustrating the CIA's operations in different regions of the world.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3104/PSCI 3104
Security Studies: Theories and Concepts

Introduces the various theoretical approaches to security. Examines key concepts in the field of security studies, such as uncertainty, polarity, war, coercion, terrorism, intelligence, genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic conflict, and human security. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3114/PSCI 3114
Global Security

Explores various theoretical approaches to security and discusses traditional and non-traditional security issues. Focuses on global, international and regional security challenges and examines alternative strategic and tactical solutions for addressing them. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3115, 3116/PSCI 3115, 3116
Selected World Problems

Selected world problems and how they affect various countries. Each semester, a topic will be chosen.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3125, 3126/PSCI 3125, 3126
Intelligence and National Security

Introduces students to the field of intelligence studies.  Focuses on the structure, role, and capabilities of the U.S. intelligence community and investigates the relationship between intelligence and national security strategy.  Addresses topics pertaining to data collection and intelligence analysis, covert operations and counterintelligence. 3125: Intelligence and National Security. 3126: The Intelligence Process. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 20154 for IS 3125; IS 3125 for IS 3126 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3134/PSCI 3134
Global Conflict and War

Focuses on the causes, legal and moral constraints, impacts, and consequences of conflict and war. Explores historical and contemporary cases of conflict and war and investigates the role of state and non-state actors in these conflicts. Examines the impact of technology, religion, culture, and identity on the present and future of war. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3135, 3136/PSCI 3135, 3136
Strategies of Modern Warfare

IS 3135: Analyzes the theory and practice of conventional warfare and investigates how strategic thought has influenced and shaped modern warfare.


IS 3136: Examines the theory and practice of irregular warfare and focuses on the theory and practice of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 for IS 3135: IS 3135 for IS 3136. 




  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3144/PSCI 3144
Global Governance and Public Policy

Examines the norms, institutions, practices, and processes developed by the international community to address global problems such as poverty, pandemics, global warming, displaced persons, and transnational crime. Utilizes theories of decision-making and policy-making and investigates the role of states, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, coalitions and corporations in global public policy-making. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 and IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3154/PSCI 3154
Topics in in Global Public Policies

Examines in depth selected global public policies pertaining to health, energy, environment, development, education, refugees, or labor. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of nine (9) credits. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 and IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3165, 3166/PSCI 3165, 3166
Global Economic Governance and Policy

IS 3165: International Trade – Focuses on the operations of global and regional international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and examines their policies and regulations. Pre: IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064. 

IS 3166: International Finance – Focuses on the operations of global and regional international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and examines their policies and regulations. Pre: IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064. 




  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3175, 3176/PSCI 3175, 3176
Global Development

IS 3175: The Politics of Development - Examines issues and politics of the developing world and investigates the forces that promote or cut off economic development in low-income countries. Discusses development issues in various world regions. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 and IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064 


IS 3176: Economic Development - Emphasizes economic development and focuses on domestic and international policies aiming at addressing poverty in the developing world. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 and IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064 




  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3184/PSCI 3184
Human Security

Introduces the field of human security and examines the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues surrounding it. Identifies the relevant human security actors, explores the tools of human security, and discusses the application of human security. Investigates the implications of human security and discusses its future. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054.



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3194/PSCI 3194
Nuclear Strategy and Politics

Examines the fundamentals of nuclear strategy and investigates the politics associated with the acquisition and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Focuses on nuclear doctrines and policies and explores international efforts associated with nuclear arms control and disarmament. Analyzes the nuclear postures of various nuclear states. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054. 

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3615, 3616/PSCI 3615, 3616
International Relations

Structure and development of the modern international system, theories of international policies, international law; international organizations. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 or PSCI 2064 or IS 2064 or GEOG 2064 for 3615; PSCI 2054 or IS 2054 or GEOG 2054 or PSCI 2064 or IS 2064 or GEOG 2064 for 3616.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3624/PSCI 3624
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Focuses on actors, issues, and processes pertaining to foreign policy formulation and implementation. Examines theoretical and historical perspectives on foreign policy analysis. Investigates the national security, foreign policy, and diplomacy nexus. Discusses type of diplomacy and diplomatic methods. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3625, 3626/PSCI 3625/3626
US-Russia Foreign Policies

3625: Formulation of American foreign policy; roles of the President; Congress; press; public; and bureaucracy; central themes, issues, and problems of American diplomacy; 3626: Development and operational practices of Russian foreign policy decision-making in the international environment; pary and state political institutions; Marxist-Lenninist ideology. Pre: PSCI 1024 or PSCI 1024H.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3635/PSCI 3634
Human Rights: Global Issues

Identification, articulation and clarification of the relationship between human rights and other contemporary international phenomena, issues, events, and processes that affect human rights. Detailed consideration of the diverse traditions and cultural interpretations of human rights. Pre: PSCI 1024 or PSCI 2054 or IS 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3704/PSCI 3704
National Security Strategy

Focuses on the causes of war and the conditions of peace. Examines the logic, levels, and outcomes of strategy and investigates the impact of international law and politics on the use of force. Explores contemporary strategic theory and discusses current issues in grand strategy. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3734/PSCI 3734
National Security

Post-1945 strategic problems, policies, and security commitments of major participants in international politics, especially the United States and Russia; effects of security policies on international and domestic political economies. Pre: PSCI 2054 or IS 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3735, 3736/PSCI 3735, 3736
National Security Policies

Investigates the purposes, contexts, and processes of national security policymaking both in the United States and in other states around the world. 3735: Focuses on Homeland Security.

IS 3736: Focuses on Defense Policy. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GOEG 2054; IS 3735 for IS 3736. 




  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3794/PSCI 3794
Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Examines approaches to the categorization and causes of terrorism and discusses national and regional understandings of terrorism. Explores official and popular understandings of terrorism over time and across regions and investigates how social actors legitimate their use of violence. Focuses on the development of useful counterterrorism policies and utilizes case studies in terrorism and counterterrorism to emphasize the link between theory and practice. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 3944
International Enrollment

Participation in an approved study abroad program without direct supervision of the Va Tech faculty but with required enrollment in an approved program of study in a foreign university.

  • 0 Credit Hours
IS 3944
International Enrollment Special

Participation in an approved Study Abroad program without direct supervision of the Virginia Tech faculty but with required enrollment in an approved program of study in an international university. Course represents three billable hours and no academic credit. 

  • 0 Credit Hours
Study Abroad
  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 4004
Seminar in International Studies

Interdepartmental seminar to synthesize and articulate basic assumptions, theories, and methods of international studies. Senior standing in IS and instructor consent required.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4014
Seminar in Grassroots Development

Utilizes development, gender, and social theory to examine the impact of aid programs on communities in the Third World. Analyzes such issues as the impact of development projects in agriculture, natural resources, and employment on the local people, the impact of aid on women; and the policies and administrative structures that direct the world of international development.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4024/PSCI 4024
Seminar in Diplomacy and Security

Examines in-depth selected topics in diplomacy, strategy, and national security including issues pertaining to international conflict and cooperation; dimensions of national power; objectives of national policy and implementation of national strategy; diplomatic negotiations; and conflict resolution. Senior Standing. Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054. 


  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4034/PSCI 4034
Topics in Diplomacy Lab

Examines the fundamentals of policy analysis and formulation and emphasizes research and writing on topics pertaining to diplomacy, security, and foreign policy. Focuses on policy analysis and evaluation and concentrates on policy design. Emphasizes preparation and presentation of policy reports. May be taken three times for credit with different policy topics. Pre: Junior standing. 

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4044/COMM 4044
International Communication

Comparative perspectives on global communication systems; problems with the flow of information; roles of international organizations; mass communication and national development; implications for conflict resolution; selected case studies. Senior standing required or instructor consent required.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4054/PSCI 4054
Seminar in Global Political Economy

Examines theoretical and historical approaches to global political economy and discusses their practical implications. Focuses on issue areas such as production, trade, money, finance, and investment and analyzes their implications for the global economic and political order. Investigates issues pertaining to economies of development and in transition. Senior Standing. Pre: 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064. 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4064/PSCI 4064
Seminar in Global Development

Examines how economic and political forces interact in the developing world, discusses the history of these interactions from the pre-colonial period to the present, and explores how colonialism shaped the developing world’s economic and political trajectories. Utilizes case studies, historical analysis, and development economics to better understand the economic and political condition of countries in the developing world. Senior Standing. Pre: IS 2064 or PSCI 2064 or GEOG 2064 



  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4614/PSCI 4614
Senior Seminar in International Relations

Selected topics in international relations, including objectives of national policy; dimensions and components of national power; comparative diplomacy; international conflict and cooperation; instruments of conflict resolution. Topics vary from semester to semester as announced. Must have senior standing and any two of the prerequisites. Pre: PSCI 3615 or PSCI 3616 or PSCI 3625 or PSCI 3626 or PSCI 3734.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4734/PSCI 4734
Theories and Practices of International Conflict Management

Examines alternative perspectives on peace, security, and international intervention and their implications for policy. Focuses on the role of international organizations and other actors in conflict resolution and peace-building and explores issues pertaining to humanitarian intervention, human security, and state-building. Utilizes case studies in peacekeeping and peace building to highlight the link between theory and practice. Pre: PSCI 3616.

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4735, 4736/PSCI 4735, 4736
Multilateral Diplomacy Workshop

Investigates the purpose, context, and process of multilateral diplomacy and focuses on the strategies and tactics associated with it. Examines format and products of multilateral conferences, decision-making process, negotiations, mediation, delegation management, and conference management.  Utilizes case studies and simulations.

IS 4735: focuses on multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations

IS 4736: focuses on multilateral diplomacy in the framework of regional international organizations

Pre: IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 for IS 4735; IS 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054 for IS 4736 





  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4744/PSCI 4744
Intelligence Analysis Workshop

Examines the impact of historical experience and bureaucratic structures on intelligence analysis. Discusses the contents of the intelligence agenda and explores issues pertaining to intelligence analysis. Focuses on the intelligence process and offers a target-centric approach to intelligence analysis. Emphasizes and evaluates the use of structured analytic techniques in intelligence analysis. Pre: 2054 or PSCI 2054 or GEOG 2054. 

  • 3 Credit Hours
IS 4754
  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 4964
Field Study

Pass/Fail only

  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 4974
Independent Study
  • Variable Credit Hours
  • Honors Option Available
IS 4984
Special Study
  • Variable Credit Hours
IS 4994
Undergraduate Research
  • Variable Credit Hours
  • Honors Option Available