Liberal Arts: International Studies, AA

Room: B-Building, B-234

Phone: (718) 482-5640


Welcome to the International Studies Program! Students enrolled in the program examine the complex global forces shaping our world today. They explore language barriers, cultural complexities, and identity issues from interdisciplinary angles, developing the intercultural, collaborative and critical thinking skills that are in high demand in today’s job market. Students learn about distinct regions of the world and take two cycles of foreign language. The International Studies program is housed within the Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities major and students who successfully complete the program are awarded an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.

Prospective students can view the required coursework in the degree map.

Are You Interested In...

  • Learning about different cultures or languages?
  • Traveling overseas or living abroad?
  • Interdisciplinary studies composed of art, sociology, literature, history, global studies, anthropology and/or gender studies?
  • Learning about global relations and globalization?
  • Careers related to public service?

Our curriculum is designed for students who envision a career in the international arena and intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree at another college or university after graduation. Our students often go on to pursue majors in international studies/relations, area studies, political science and/or global studies, and subsequently aim to work in sectors that may include government, international organizations, trade, communications or other related fields.

Skills You Will Learn

  • Cross-Cultural Competence: Students develop an increased awareness of cultural norms and behavior protocols in the US and abroad.
  • Language Proficiency: Students take two semesters of foreign language and can choose from American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese-Mandarin, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.
  • Global Awareness: Students gain an understanding about global challenges and cultural complexities through project-based learning, including work focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Critical Thinking: Students examine complex issues from different stakeholder perspectives.
  • Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Students explore topics through the lenses of language and culture studies, social science and the humanities.
  • Research and Analysis: Students delve deeply into a topic, check sources of information and make connections across data points.

What makes this major unique?

Housed within the Liberal Arts major, International Studies stands out for its interdisciplinary approach, global focus, and emphasis on cultural competence. Our students gain practical skills through a variety of experiential learning opportunities which have included collaborating with local and global humanitarian organizations, participating in private career briefings at the United Nations headquarters and engaging in international virtual exchanges with partner universities worldwide. With a language requirement and a focus on global challenges that has included themes like human rights, environmental sustainability, and artificial intelligence, students develop strong cross-cultural communication skills and global awareness. These experiences not only prepare our students for a wide range of careers, but also look to instill a sense of global responsibility and leadership.

Career Possibilities

Students who choose International Studies have a range of career interests depending on their area of international focus. These interests may include working in diplomacy, the United Nations, court interpreting, humanitarian agencies, immigration services or paralegal/law careers. Many of our students continue their studies at The City College of New York through a transfer agreement to complete a BA degree in just two more years. Other students choose to pursue a different major elsewhere when they graduate. Wherever you envision yourself, choosing International Studies will equip you with knowledge about global issues, cultural awareness and foreign language skills. The International Studies Program can complement future study in tracks that focus on:

  • International Studies/Relations
  • Pre-Law
  • Human Rights and Citizenship
  • Diplomacy
  • Global Security and Terrorism
  • Language and Literature
  • Journalism
  • Public Affairs

Transfer Possibilities

The courses offered in the International Studies major are designed to be transferable to other colleges and universities. Our students have successfully transferred to a wide range of BA programs that have included majors in:

  • Asian Studies
  • Global Studies
  • International Studies/Relations
  • Liberal Arts
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science
  • Public Affairs

In recent years our students have transferred to CCNY-CUNY, Baruch-CUNY, Hunter-CUNY, Queens-CUNY, Columbia University, Florida International University, Portland State University, Syracuse University, Temple University, and William & Mary College.

Transfer Agreement with The City College of New York

The International Studies program at LaGuardia has a transfer agreement with the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York. This agreement provides easy transfer to the following tracks in the school’s Anthropology, Gender Studies and International Studies Department: (1) Culture and Communication (2) Development (3) International Public Policy and (4) International Relations.

International Studies students at LaGuardia who have earned their Associate of Arts degree and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher can seamlessly transfer to any of these tracks at City College to complete a BA degree. Students transferring to City College can follow the regular program outlined in the handbook but should select from the following 100 and 200 level social science courses:

  • Social Sciences 100 Level: Students planning to transfer to CCNY should select SSA101 Cultural Anthropology.
  • Social Sciences 200 Level: Students planning to transfer to CCNY should select from the following courses: SSP200 Global Politics/Latin America AND/OR SSP250 Political Ideas & Ideology AND/OR SSI210 Women in Society.
  • Students planning to transfer to CCNY should also ensure that the two classes they take in modern language are in the same language.

Any questions about LaGuardia’s transfer agreement with the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York should be directed to Professor Savva. Please also note that while many students often choose to take advantage of our transfer agreement with CCNY, students are free to apply anywhere they like.

Additional Resources

Additional information for students majoring in International Studies can be found in the program handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to transfer to City College of New York?
No. Students are free to apply to the baccalaureate programs of their choice. While many of our students choose to take advantage of the transfer agreement with City College of New York, many students have also successfully transferred to universities all over the United States.

Are there study abroad opportunities for students?
Students interested in study abroad opportunities are invited to enroll in EIS216: International Schooling in Global Contexts which is a three-credit course that counts towards the Flexible Core requirements (World Cultures and Global Issues and/or Additional Flexible Core) or the ENG/ELA/Humanities requirement. Students who enroll in the course will learn about CUNY study abroad programs that are available to them and will receive support preparing and writing study abroad scholarship applications to help fund their travels. The course is open to all majors. Students do not have to be enrolled in International Studies to enroll in EIS216.

What co-curricular activities are available?
Many of our students enjoy participating in the Model United Nations, led by Professor Kattekola, and the LaGuardia Humanitarian Initiative, led by Professor Chatterji. Information about student clubs and programs can be found on the Campus Life webpage.

What if I am undecided about what I want to study?
The first few years of college are often exploratory in nature. The International Studies Program is ideal because it is offered within a larger Liberal Arts major. This means that although students will be sampling from a selection of international studies courses, the diploma they receive will be a broad-based Liberal Arts degree, giving students added flexibility after graduation.

Where can I get more information?
Students should carefully review the courses they will be required to take before committing to any program. Review the International Studies Handbook for more comprehensive information. Students may also reach out to the Program Director, Professor Savva.

Degree Requirements

A. REQUIRED CORE: 12 Credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101 English Composition I* – 3 credits (or ENA101 depending on placement)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature – 3 credits

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits

  • Select one of the following courses – 3 credits:
  • MAT107 Mathematics and the Modern World
  • MAT123 Modern Problem Solving (Depending on placement)
  • MAT115 College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • MAT117 Algebra and Trigonometry (depending on placement)
  • MAT119 Statistics with Elementary Algebra (depending on placement)
  • MAT120 Elementary Statistics

Life & Physical Sciences: 3 Credits

  • Select one of the following courses – 3 credits:
  • SCB101 Topics in Biological Sciences
  • SCB206 Introduction to Neuroscience
  • SCC101 Topics in Chemistry
  • SCC102 Chemistry of Photography
  • SCP101 Topics in Physics
  • SCP105 Life in the Universe
  • SCP140 Topics in Astronomy

B. FLEXIBLE CORE: 18 credits

Select one course from each of the five flexible core categories AND one additional course from any flexible core category.
Note: Students can select only two courses from any one discipline.

  • World Cultures and Global Issues
  • US Experience in its Diversity
  • Creative Expression
  • Individual and Society
  • Scientific World


To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select courses from the recommended course selections listed in the program handbook.

Courses Credits
Liberal Arts: 6 credits
LIF101 First Year Seminar for Liberal Arts Social Science and Humanities 3
LIB200 Humanism, Science and Technology 3
English: 3 Credits
ENG 103 Preparing and Writing the Research Paper 3
ENG/ELA/Humanities: 3 credits
Select one of the following courses:
EIS216 International Schooling in Global Contexts
ENG295 World Literatures Written in English
ELF250 Modern French Literature in Translation
ELS250 Contemporary Latin American Fiction in Translation
ELA250 Modern Arabic Literature in Translation
ELC 250 Chinese Literature in English Translation
ELH250 Contemporary Hebrew Lit in Translation
ELI250 Italian Literature in Translation
ELJ250 Japanese Literature in Translation
ELK250 Modern Korean Literature in Translation
ELR250 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation
ELA260 Arab Cinema: Cultural Insights through Film
HUM107 Music of Latin America
HUM109 World Music
HUA167 Introduction to African Art
HUA191 Art of Eastern Asia
Education and Language Acquisition: 9 credits
EIS215 Language Issues in a Global World 3
Modern Language 6
Social Science: 9 credits
Select one of the following courses:
SSA106 Anthropology of Latin America
SSA120 Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
SSH113 Modern Chinese History
SSH114 Modern Japanese History
SSH153 History of the United States and World Affairs
SSH110 East Asia Civilization and Societies
SSA100 Introduction to Anthropology
SSA101 Cultural Anthropology
SSE105 International Economics
SSE125 World Geography
SSH103 Western Civilization from Ancient Times to the Renaissance
SSH104 Western Civilization from the Renaissance to Modern Times
SSH105 World History from Ancient Times to 1500
SSH106 World History from 1500 to the Present
SSS100 Introduction to Sociology
Select two of the following courses:
SSH232 Survey of Latin American and Caribbean History
SSP220 Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean
SSP200 Global Politics
SSP250 Political Ideas and Ideologies
SSI210 Women in Society

Graduate in Two Years!

Review your Degree Map to stay on track.