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International Studies Major

What is a Major in International Studies?

An international studies degree draws from subjects like history, politics, religion, geography, economics, as well as foreign languages. This gives you a comprehensive understanding of diverse nations, cultures, and the challenges they face. You'll become proficient in at least one foreign language.

Why Study International Studies at Virginia Tech?

We offer broad training in the liberal arts, emphasizing the study of foreign languages. You will develop specialized skills to prepare for roles in government, business, defense, international development, and non-governmental organizations. There are many opportunities for further education outside of the classroom available to students, such as study abroad and internships.

Languages to Study

Average Class Size

Programs to Study Away in D.C.

Careers and Further Study

What Can You Do with an International Studies Major?

Jobs Held by Our Graduates

  • Military officer
  • Consultant 
  • Political organizer
  • Teacher/Professor 
  • Journalist
  • Attorney
  • Foreign aid administrator
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Federal agency official
  • Foreign service officer
  • International business analyst
  • Public policy analyst
  • Politician
  • Nonprofit employee
  • Foreign affairs specialist
  • Human rights officer

Beyond the Classroom

Experiential Learning

Come With Us

Although studying abroad isn't required, it can often be a pivotal experience for you. Living in a different country is the best way to understand the differences and similarities between cultures. It allows you to develop personal expertise in a specific national or regional context.

Get Experience 

Internships and cooperative education programs give you an opportunity to receive academic credit for working in a professional setting. Our students complete internships with the U.S. government, international organizations, and national, state, or local administrative agencies. Talk to an advisor who can help you find and secure a meaningful internship opportunity.


Our faculty members are productive authors, scholars, and award-winning teachers who are always eager to mentor students on research projects in their field of interest. We have experts on Japan, the European Union, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom, and other nations, as well as specialists in topics like international security, citizenship, and human rights. If you'd like some guidance on an undergraduate research project, just ask!



We work with many students in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and ROTC, as well as veterans and students waiting to begin a government training program. Our major provides training to prepare you for a career with the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, or various intelligence agencies of the U.S. government.

Diplomacy Lab

The Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab program is a partnership with Virginia Tech to conduct research related to foreign policy. You will have the opportunity to research topics such as climate change, democracy and human rights, global health, and energy security. This program allows you to explore real-world challenges and work alongside faculty members who are authorities in their fields. 


Work closely with a faculty mentor to create and pursue your own project or join a professor's project.  The Diplomacy Lab program also offers several opportunities for students to pursue individual or collaborative research projects. 



Bachelor of Arts in International Studies Degree

International Studies Major Requirements

  • Global Development
  • International Communication
  • Nations and Nationalities
  • Global Security 
  • World Politics 
  • The Global Economy and World Politics

Minor and Elective Hours

Our program gives you the opportunity to build knowledge in another area by pursuing a minor, double major, or cognate.

120 hrs
B.A. International Studies

45 hrs
General Education

57 hrs
Major Requirements

36 hrs


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