International Studies

The problems and events in today's world are "far too complex to only assess them through a narrow lens," as one of our students said. That's why we developed this program—for people who want a global understanding of the world, and value a broad, interdisciplinary approach. If you love learning about different cultures and foreign languages—and you want the flexibility to explore different topics within international studies—then keep reading.

What will I learn?

This major is a unique mix of social science and humanities classes in a variety of subjects, with an emphasis on history, political science, economics and geography. You'll study key topics such as international law, global economic theories and different types of political systems. You’ll also learn how to speak and write in at least one foreign language, and take a series of courses focused on a specific part of the world to get in-depth, useful knowledge about that region, including its people and culture.

What can I do outside of class?

Especially in a major that deals with international studies, we want you to broaden your horizons and get real-world experience.

  • Study abroad. Whether you want to go away for a week, a summer, a semester or even longer, we strongly encourage students in this program to spend time living and learning in another country.
  • Internships. Our students have interned at the International Institute of Buffalo, Journey's End Refugee Services, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and other organizations to get hands-on experience and build their professional network.
  • Clubs and events. UB has hundreds of student groups where you can make new friends and explore your interests.
Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a international studies degree?

Where in the world are our graduates? Everywhere! With this degree, you can have a career in the U.S. or abroad, working for an international business, foreign government, non-governmental organization, or a group that advocates for immigrants and resettled refugees.

Our alumni have held key positions in organizations around the globe, including:

  • Army National Guard.
  • Berlitz World Languages Institute.
  • City of Rochester.
  • École Internationale de New York.
  • Embassy of Spain/Government of Madrid.
  • International Rescue Committee.
  • SUNY Cortland Study Abroad Program.
  • Via Evaluation.

Many students also choose to go to law school, or to grad school for an advanced degree in political science, international relations, geography or a related field.

Who will I learn from?

Study the history of the Middle East with an expert in the region. Discuss foreign elections with renowned political scientists. Learn about international relations and trade from award-winning economists, geographers and linguists.

In this program, you'll get to take courses with faculty throughout the university—just one benefit of being in an interdisciplinary major. Of course, your instructors may also include working professionals from various fields and industries who come to UB so they can share their experience (and connections!) with the next generation.

With such a wide range of teachers and mentors, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet the people who can guide you on your career path, every step of the way.