International Studies Undergraduate Major (BA, HBA)
Also available at OSU-Cascades.
The International Degree is Oregon State University’s unique double-degree program. It allows any interested undergraduate student the opportunity to explore the international dimensions of any primary major. International Degree students complete Advanced Proficiency in a Second Language, Four additional Baccalaureate Core Courses in International Studies, an International Experience, and a Senior Thesis.
As an International Degree participant, you will earn two degrees. The first degree, the primary degree, will be your chosen major in any department on campus. The International Degree, or concurrent degree, will be in International Studies in your primary degree department.
For example, if your primary degree is a BS in Environmental Sciences, then the International Degree would be a BA in International Studies in Environmental Sciences.
For more information about this degree, contact:
Kerry Thomas, Academic Advisor, International Degree
International Degree and Education Abroad
1600 SW Western Blvd., Suite 130
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Admission Requirements to the International Degree Program
- A minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA after completing at least 32 credits of college-level courses and good standing within your department, college and the university. The dean of your college may give you special consideration if you fall below this minimum. See the International Degree office for more information about this process.
- Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to that attained by the end of a second-year language sequence at OSU1. This may be met in one of the following ways:
- Successful completion of four or more years of consecutive study of the same foreign language at the high school level preceding admission to Oregon State University;
- Completion of the AP College Board test in a foreign language with a score of 4 or 5;
- Completion of the third term of a second-year foreign language sequence at OSU or another accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or better. This course must constitute a minimum of 4 quarter or 3 semester credits.
- Completion of one term of a third-year foreign language course (i.e., any course designated 311, 312 or 313) at OSU or another accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or better. This course must constitute a minimum of 3 quarter or 2 semester credits.
- An international student whose native language is not English who wishes to use English to satisfy the foreign language entrance requirement will have satisfied the requirement upon admission to OSU.
- Meet any additional requirements established by your major department or college.
Special Notes about Admission
If you change majors after admission to the International Degree Program, you will have to reapply for admission to the International Degree Program in your new department.
If you are pursuing two degrees besides the International Degree, you only need to apply for the International Degree in one department. The choice of departments is up to you, but you should consult your advisors before determining where to apply.
General International Degree Requirements
- You must successfully complete all departmental, college, and institutional requirements for your primary degree.
- You must also complete a minimum of 32 credits in residence beyond the minimum 180 to 204 credits required for most primary degrees. Courses taken through an OSU-sponsored program abroad are considered in-residence credits. Depending on the level of previous foreign language study and experience abroad, you could take anywhere from a minimum of 32 additional credits to a maximum range of 70-plus additional credits to complete the degree.
- Additional International Degree requirements may be established for your primary degree, so check with your major advisor or the International Degree contact in your department to make sure that you know what they are and that you are able to complete them. When you meet with your advisor, have a transcript in hand.
- As is currently true for all degrees, your academic dean will verify that you have completed the International Degree requirements. The graduation audit will be done along with and in the same fashion as for your primary degree by your major department. Confirmation of the International Degree will be appropriately noted on your transcripts, and you will receive separate diplomas.
Specific International Degree Requirements
- You must demonstrate advanced level achievement or proficiency in a foreign language in one of the approved ways. Typically, this requirement is met by completing the third term of a fourth-year language sequence at OSU. Students must take language courses for letter grades and earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Exceptions may be considered only by petition (see International Degree office for details). To find out about additional ways to demonstrate advanced proficiency, contact the International Degree office.
- You must successfully complete a minimum of four courses selected from the baccalaureate core curriculum, with the approval of your departmental International Degree advisor. These courses are in addition to the university’s baccalaureate core requirements. The International Degree course requirements from the baccalaureate core are as follows:
- One course selected from the Western Culture category (3–4 credits);
- Two courses selected from the Cultural Diversity category (6–8 credits);
- One course selected from the Western Culture, Cultural Diversity, or Contemporary Global issues categories (3–4 credits). Note: Not all four courses may focus on the same culture or language. For example, you cannot take all four of the additional baccalaureate core courses focusing on Spanish speaking countries/peoples.
- To see the entire baccalaureate core list go to https://catalog.oregonstate.edu/earning-degrees/bcc/
- The third requirement of the degree is to spend a minimum of 10 weeks in a country where your International Degree language is spoken and be engaged in a study abroad program, an international internship or an international research project.
- The final requirement for the degree is to prepare a rigorous and integrative senior thesis, which demonstrates a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of global issues and of the international dimensions of your primary degree. Requirements for the senior thesis include successful completion of INTL 407 SEMINAR: INTERNATIONAL ISSUES: Introduction to Thesis for 1 credit, and 3 to 6 credits of 403 (Thesis) in your department.
Graduation Language Requirements
Students must demonstrate advanced level achievement or proficiency in a single foreign language in one of the following ways:
- Completion of a fourth-year foreign language sequence (designated 411, 412, 413) at OSU with a minimum 3.00 GPA cumulative in all foreign language courses. Courses must be taken for a letter grade and may not be graded S/U.
- Completion of a fourth-year foreign language sequence at another accredited university with a minimum 3.00 GPA, in a program in which the combined third-year and fourth-year language courses constitute a minimum of 18 quarter or 12 semester credits.
- Completion of a minimum of 9 quarter (6 semester) credits with a minimum 3.00 GPA, at Oregon State University or another accredited university, of any 400-level course work (in any discipline) taught in a foreign language, if approved by the student's primary degree department or school.
- Demonstration of end of fourth-year level proficiency in a foreign language by successful completion of an achievement test administered by the School of Language, Culture, and Society at OSU.
- Demonstration of fourth-year level proficiency in a foreign language as evidenced by an oral proficiency test administered by a certified foreign language proficiency tester that is approved by the OSU School of Language, Culture, and Society.
- For languages not offered at OSU, the requirement may also be completed by a minimum of nine-month residency (study, research, work), after fulfilling the foreign language entrance requirement, in a country in which the language is spoken.
- Completion of a minimum of one term international internship using the target language after completion of a third-year language sequence (311, 312, 313) at OSU with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
Students must spend a minimum of 10 weeks in another country where the language used to meet the International Degree requirement is spoken and be engaged in one of the following:
- A study abroad program offered by OSU, another university, or a program designed by the student. Programs administered by other universities or those designed by students must be approved by the International Degree Program and the student's primary department. Currently OSU has university-sponsored programs in over 70 countries.
- An international internship or work program that receives academic credit, such as the IE3 Global Internship Program offered by OSU.
- A pre-approved research project abroad.
- Previous international experience, such as the Peace Corps, approved by the primary academic department and the International Degree Program.
The final requirement for the degree is to prepare a rigorous and integrative senior thesis that demonstrates a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of global issues and of the international dimensions of your primary degree. This thesis places your academic discipline in an international context, often in a comparative fashion. Because it fulfills the writing intensive course requirement for the International Degree, it will involve multiple drafts and revisions. The final product will represent polished, formal writing, in a format appropriate to your academic field.
Dual Thesis Requirements
You may write one thesis to meet the International Degree requirement and the thesis requirement in your department. If you will complete a senior thesis to meet another academic requirement in your primary degree, it is important to consult with academic advisors in your major as well as in the International Degree office.
- Example: If you are in the University Honors College, you will work with both the Honors College and the International Degree office to ensure that you fulfill both sets of requirements.
Thesis proposal: A copy of the thesis proposal form will be on file in the International Degree Program office. The topic will evolve as you work, and may change substantially, but identifying an appropriate advisor and developing a proposal form are crucial steps in your progress toward completion of the thesis requirement of the International Degree. If your thesis ideas change significantly, it is important to file a revised proposal with the International Degree Program office.
Thesis credit: Before graduating, you will spend two to three terms working on the thesis and will receive credits through your major department. You will register for a minimum of 3 thesis credits under the department prefix appropriate to your major (403), with your thesis advisor as the professor of record. These credits may be distributed over multiple terms, and you may receive an incomplete for the credits taken during the earlier term(s) until you have finished your thesis work. You will register for these credits during the year you plan to complete your thesis work, as incomplete grades should be removed within 12 months. Please note that credits for which you receive an incomplete do not count toward credits satisfactorily completed during that term. If you receive financial aid, you should plan ahead to ensure that this does not affect your aid eligibility.
- Example: If you are a sociology major, you would register for a minimum of 3 credits of SOC 403 THESIS. If you are a mathematics major, you would register for MTH 403 THESIS. Some departments already have a thesis course listed in the schedule of classes, but other departments may ask the registration schedule desk to set up a CRN for that course number during the term(s) for which you wish to register for thesis credit.
These credits may be graded or pass/no pass. If you and your advisor agree that the scope of your thesis warrants additional credit, and your college and department's policies allow it, you may register for additional credits. The suggested maximum is 6 credits.
Colleges, departments, or advisors may elect to set different requirements for thesis credits that meet the needs of their programs. In this case, the requirements or preferences of the college/department take precedence over general International Degree requirements.
Requirements for the Senior Thesis
Thesis class: As a part of your program, you will enroll in the 1-credit class INTL 407 SEMINAR: INTERNATIONAL ISSUES, Seminar: International Issues: Introduction to Thesis, offered on a pass/no pass grading basis. The course is offered twice a year during fall and winter terms. It is designed to help you define and focus your areas of interest, get an overview of research methods, develop your thesis ideas, identify a suitable advisor in your major department who will assist you throughout the process, complete a thesis proposal form, and develop a realistic and effective timetable for completion. During this course, you will receive a copy of the guide, Preparing a Senior Thesis. Note: If you are also a student in the University Honors College, you may enroll in either the UHC thesis class or the International Degree Program’s thesis class.
Final thesis: This represents polished, formal writing. Theses average 30 to 50 pages, but to ensure fulfillment of the WIC requirement, even a thesis with a nonverbal component such as art, music, or photography must include a minimum of 8 to 10 pages of formal writing and place the thesis in the appropriate historical/cultural context by incorporating and documenting outside sources.
- Example: A graphic arts student who interned in Russia compared contemporary posters in the U.S. and Russia, and displayed examples. He also wrote an analysis of his findings.
Presentation: When your thesis is complete, you will make a public presentation of your work. The format may vary depending on your topic and your own preferences, but you will present your thesis to a group including your advisor, other interested faculty in your department, representatives of the International Degree program, and other guests whom you may want to invite.
Final copies of the log and thesis must be turned in to your major department and the International Degree office two weeks prior to the date that grades are due for graduating seniors for the term you plan to graduate. This is usually a week before finals week.
Additional College and Departmental Requirements
Foreign Language Majors
To earn the International Degree you must complete the second foreign language required of a language major through the fourth-year level. You must also spend two 10-week periods abroad, one in each of the countries where the two languages you are studying are spoken. For example, if you are a German major and have decided to take Russian as your second foreign language, you must complete the 400-level Russian course and study abroad in both Germany and Russia.
Additionally, you may not complete major/minor requirements without taking upper-division courses in the OSU School of Language, Culture, and Society even if you complete the hour requirements abroad.
College of Forestry Majors
In support of the overseas learning experience, the International Degree Program has funds available to assist students traveling abroad and to assist with costs associated with research for your thesis. These are awarded on a competitive basis. Please talk to the International Degree office for more information.
Major Code: 910