About Our Department

In the International and Area Studies (IAS) Program, you are encouraged cross the traditional borders of academic disciplines in order to develop a broader understanding of our world. Within five concentrations, you can take classes in anthropology, economics, history, languages and literatures, political science, among other disciplines to question global processes and explore the rich diversity of other cultures. As an IAS student, you have the opportunity to study abroad, conduct research and achieve proficiency in a foreign language. You learn from experts in the both the humanities and social sciences who will help you learn the theory and vocabulary you need to engage in key international issues across different world regions.

Study abroad, offered through the Office of Overseas Programs, is an integral part of the IAS undergraduate experience, which gives you the chance to gain cultural sensitivity, language, and practical skills necessary to participate in our global society. A summer, a semester, or a year abroad can enhance your career and even change your path. In addition, program faculty and staff work to put on conferences and events that allow you to dive into critical conversation and make connections with faculty and professionals in a variety of fields. By joining Sigma Iota Rho, the IAS honorary, you can play an important role in planning some of these events and helping to shape our community. If you’d like work with a faculty member on research or develop your own independent project, you can find guidance and support. In IAS, we hope to inspire you and equip you with tools that enable you to embark on a lifelong journey of international education.

"Studying IAS has proven to be highly beneficial for me as a Wash U student. The flexibility of the major has let me combine foreign language, culture, politics, and environmental studies courses to pursue my specific interests in Chinese development and foreign policy. This uniquely interdisciplinary academic experience is something I could not have achieved within any other major or department."

―Carl Hooks International & Area Studies major, '17
GCP Student Nick Massenburg-Abraham Wins Common Reading Program Contest

GCP Student Nick Massenburg-Abraham Wins Common Reading Program Contest