International Studies Undergraduate Major (BA, HBA)
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 demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a second language, knowledge in international affairs and global issues, international and/or domestic intercultural experience, and ability to conduct research through a thesis or capstone project.
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 more information about this degree, contact:
Bradley Boovy, Director, International Degree
World Languages and Cultures
210 Kidder Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Major Code: 910
- Communicate skillfully and interact competently across cultures, engaging with and successfully participating in diverse cultural and linguistic contexts.
- Acquire and apply knowledge of global cultures, economies, political systems, and international relations as they relate to their primary field of study, analyzing and synthesizing information from multiple sources across disciplines.
- Demonstrate active awareness of their own identity as it relates to others – including people outside the political borders of the United States, as well as ethnic minorities and peoples of Indigenous, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Latino ancestry living within the United States – in a context framed by issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
- Demonstrate commitment to global and social and apply their knowledge and abilities to solve global problems in ethical and humane ways.
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.
- 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 advisor to make sure that you know what they are and that you are able to complete them.
- 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 intermediate-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 third-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 director or advisor for details). To find out about additional ways to demonstrate advanced proficiency, contact the International Degree director or advisor.
- You must successfully complete a minimum of 16 credits selected from the list of approved electives for the International Degree. In the case where approved electives are baccalaureate core courses, you may only count a maximum of 8 credits towards the International Degree and the university baccalaureate core. The International Degree course requirements from the baccalaureate core are as follows:
- Students may not take all four courses in the same language or area of geographic or cultural focus.
- The SLCS Global Learning website has a list of approved courses.
- The third requirement of the degree is to spend a cumulative minimum of 10 weeks completing high-impact international and/or intercultural experiences. This may include a study-abroad program through the OSU office of Global Opportunities or another approved program, but you might also choose to spend several weeks in an approved domestic intercultural experience. You must have your international/intercultural experience approved by the International Degree director and advisor before you depart.
- 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 and 3 to 6 credits of 403 (Thesis) in your department and participation in the Global Learning Symposium in spring term of the year you graduate.
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 third-year world language sequence (designated 311, 312, 313) at OSU with a minimum 3.00 GPA cumulative in all world language courses. Courses must be taken for a letter grade and may not be graded S/U.
- Completion of a third-year foreign language sequence at another accredited university with a minimum 3.00 GPA.
- 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 300-level or 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 third-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 third-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 second-year language sequence (211, 212, 213) at OSU with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
Students must spend a cumulative minimum of 10 weeks engaged in high-impact, international or intercultural experiences. At least 4 of the 10 weeks must be spent in a location where the language is spoken that the student is using to fulfill International Degree requirements. Such experiences include, but are not limited to:
- 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 World Languages and Cultures 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. If you are a mathematics major, you would register for MTH 403. 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
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
World Language Majors
To earn the International Degree you must complete the second foreign language required of a language major through the third-year level.
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