2021 International Studies Degree Guide
Dive into the study of international politics, global economies and relations with a major in International Studies. This is an important field in an increasingly global society. Students will get the chance to explore the delicate structure of diplomacy and interactions with other countries.
Many students pick one are of the world to focus on, whether it's Europe, Asia, Africa or any other country that interest you. Your coursework will involve in-depth study on the history, culture, politics and economy of your chosen region.
Other classes you will take are: sociology, statistics, macroeconomics, economic development, political analysis, area studies, foreign language, diplomacy, and conceptual approaches to International Studies.
International Studies Degrees Shrinking in Popularity
International Studies was the 95th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 7,967 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.6% reduction in international studies degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -8,097.
Approximately 298 colleges in the U.S. offer a international studies degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for International Studies ranking compares 62 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of international studies programs later in this article.
International Studies Degree Requirements
This major is ideal for students who love to explore and learn about different cultures and countries. Students should have an open mind to different experiences and perspectives. Classes will involve a lot of critical reading, research and writing. Along with writing papers, you will also be expected to participate in class discussions and debates.
Students will use analytical skills and integrative thinking to combine perspectives from various disciplines. Many programs involve opportunities to study abroad. This will greatly enhance your educational experience as you get to know a foreign culture first-hand.
Getting Accepted Into an International Studies Program
New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic international studies program qualifications, to serve in some international studies careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.
International Studies Degree Types
There are many different international studies degree levels. International Studies programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest international studies degree you can get. Different international studies degrees vary in how long they take.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A doctor's degree (research / scholarship) is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to international studies, with approximately 73.3% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for international studies workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
This of course varies depending on which international studies career you choose.
Career Opportunities for A Degree In International Studies Graduate
Graduates of International Studies are prepared to work in international politics and relations, international economics, or international law. You may also decide to work as a journalist, political scientist, economist, or foreign exchange trader. Some graduates choose to continue their education with a Master's in International Relations or another related field.
Steady Demand Projected for International Studies Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your international studies degree? International Studies careers are expected to grow 2.7% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to international studies.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
How Much Money Do People With a International Studies Degree Make?
International Studies graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $33,355 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $18,200 to as high as $181,700. As you might expect, salaries for international studies graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
High Paying Careers for International Studies Majors
Salaries for international studies graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers international studies grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
Getting Your International Studies Degree
With over 601 different international studies degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased international studies school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for International Studies
Highest Paid Graduates
Most Popular Colleges
Best for Non-Traditional Students
Best for Veterans
International Studies Related Majors
One of 28 majors within the Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies area of study, International Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.
Majors Similar to International Studies
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||37,392|
|Biological & Physical Science||29,278|
Featured International Business Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Purdue University Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More >|