International Area Studies
The International Area Studies (IAS) program at Drexel University offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor.
About the B.A. Degree
The B.A. in International Area Studies is an interdisciplinary, intercultural and interactive major that links language study with other academic disciplines such as politics, history, economics, sociology, anthropology, literature and philosophy. Students develop intercultural awareness and the critical knowledge and skills necessary to understand current global political, social and economic trends. The major prepares students to become responsible citizens who are aware of larger world issues and local concerns, and who are able to draw on both the arts and sciences when considering these trends. The curriculum allows students the opportunity to study abroad—multiple times, if desired—in places like France, Costa Rica, China, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Madrid, and many more! Drexel also offers combined study abroad/internship programs in Belgium and Germany that allow students to simultaneously take courses and complete internships with the European Parliament, international law firms, nongovernmental service agencies and multinational corporations.
The major’s four thematic concentrations provide the specialized knowledge and language skills to prepare students for a range of study and co-op abroad opportunities during college, and for life after graduation.
International Area Studies Concentrations
International Business and Economics
This concentration is for students interested in careers linked to the global economy, where regional knowledge, intercultural competency, and writing and language skills are highly valued. Students gain the social, political and historical knowledge needed to better understand international business trends, as well as grounding in basic business and economics. The concentration also introduces students to the challenges of transitional economies and third world development programs, and calls attention to the ethical and cultural issues facing international agencies. Unlike traditional business school programs, this concentration offers a liberal arts focus for careers in multinational companies, development agencies, government and international organizations. It encourages students to take advanced language courses specifically designed for international business and to study abroad in the language of their specialty area.
Recommended Plan of Study »
Justice and Human Rights
The Justice and Human Rights concentration connects students with important new global issues, such as the growth of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international peacekeeping, and international legal bodies. These new bodies require specialists who have studied international law, human rights and related fields such as health, social welfare and security, and who are also fluent in different languages and culturally knowledgeable. International aid workers, human rights advocates, experts in non-violent conflict resolution and others in the field of global welfare need a strong foundation in social sciences and humanities as well as heightened awareness of cultural commonalities and differences. Language skills and regional specialization are also essential. This concentration is designed to meet these needs and prepare students for graduate study, internships and careers in the above-mentioned fields. It also links technology and science issues to human rights and social justice, directing students to examine such problems as access to medicine and clean water. Students can continue working on these issues in their co-operative education or study abroad. Our Costa Rica program, for example, offers exciting options that dovetail well with this IAS concentration.
Recommended Plan of Study: Please contact your advisor
Global Science, Technology, and Society
This concentration provides a social science and humanities framework with a focus on science, technology and society (STS). Language courses and an emphasis on intercultural understanding give this International Area Studies concentration a unique global approach to the STS field. Interdisciplinary and language based, it provides a solid foundation for international work with technology and related development issues, and for careers in international public policy dealing with such matters as health, water safety, irrigation, environmental protection and technology transfers. Drexel offers a Costa Rican Study Abroad program and European internships, which complement this concentration.
This is an ideal concentration for students interested in careers in international law, government, public policy, development and advocacy with a focus on global science and technology-related affairs.
Recommended Plan of Study: Please contact your Advisor.
Literature, Culture and Arts
The Literature, Culture and the Arts concentration allows students to develop a major around their language studies, putting greater emphasis on the cultural life associated with the language and its regions. This concentration provides a broader understanding of the ways in which language intersects with so-called “high culture,” as well as expressions of everyday life in creative and symbolically significant ways. It helps build well-rounded, culturally literate and deep-thinking students with a broad appreciation of social and artistic trends. As with all IAS majors, such diverse fields as comparative literature, art history and the humanities combine with language study to create a customized course of study.
Students following this concentration will be prepared for graduate studies in comparative literature and modern languages, as well as careers as interpreters and translators, or work in international organizations, international education or cultural institutions.
Recommended Plan of Study
Director of International Area Studies:
Joel Oestreich, Ph.D.
Phone: (215) 895-6794 | Office: 2024 MacAlister Hall