International and Area Studies FAQs

Please consult these FAQs before contacting your major advisor.


Are only those faculty listed on the International and Area Studies Program Faculty page available for advising?

Typically, although other faculty sharing common interests may agree to act as your advisor. Please consult them first.

Is there a plan I should follow to complete the IAS major?

There are as many paths to completing an IAS degree as there are individual students, so we encourage you to work closely with your major and four-year advisors to make sure that you pass all the milestones, both required and elective, prior to graduation.


Must I register under the IAS number (L97) to get credit toward my IAS major when a course is home-based in another department?

No, it's not required but it is recommended.

May I double-count courses counting toward my IAS major with another major or minor?

No. You must have at least 24 units of advanced coursework (for DEV, GCS, and IA) or 30 units of advanced coursework (for Eurasian Studies and European Studies) distinct to your IAS major. Language courses taken to fulfill your language requirement for IAS may count toward another major or minor unless they are being counted toward your IAS major requirement (see IAS Language Requirement for more details).

May I count a course towards my IAS major if it is not included on my concentration’s master list of approved courses?

There may be courses that are very appropriate to the IAS major which were overlooked in the cross-listing process. It is very important that you consult the IAS Academic Coordinator (Dr. Jeremy Caddel) as well as your major advisor before enrolling in such courses, since you must have approval to count the course toward your major. If you believe that a course is relevant to your IAS concentration, but the course does not appear on the master course list for the concentration, then you may petition to add the course (see next FAQ).

How do I petition to have a course count that is not on my concentration's master list of approved courses?

You should consult with your IAS major advisor prior to petitioning for the course, then follow the instructions on this FORM.

How many units can count toward the IAS major from outside of the WashU day school?

No more than 12 total units earned outside of the day school of Washington University may ever be applied to your IAS degree. This includes credits from study abroad (never more than 6 units from a single semester, 3 from a summer, or 12 from a year), University College, or summer school from other US universities, or a combination (400-level units must be earned on campus or in Washington University courses taught abroad).

Can a summer school course count toward the IAS major?

Yes, a course taken through Washington University’s Summer School may count, and may be at any level. As with regular semester Washington University day courses, these courses must be taken for a letter grade. No additional paperwork is necessary to count these courses toward the major.
A summer school course taken at another US university may count (maximum 3 units), but you must petition to have it count toward your IAS major. As with any other course taken for the IAS major, it must be taken for a letter grade.

Can a University College course count toward the IAS major?

Yes, but a University College course (not a Washington University summer school course) is considered to be “outside the day school” and therefore needs your advisor’s approval to count toward the IAS major.

If I have completed the Global Citizenship Program, what will this count for in the major?

GCP core courses may count toward the IAS major, for a total of 6 units at the lower level. Specifically,
L61 116 Geographies of Globalization and Development is an introductory course for the Development, Global Cultural Studies, and International Affairs concentrations
L61 117 Global Population on the Move: Refugees, Resettlement, Education, and Advocacy is an introductory course for the Development, Global Cultural Studies, and International Affairs concentrations
L97 103B International Public Affairs is an introductory course for the Development, Global Cultural Studies, and International Affairs concentrations
L97 140/L61 140 East Asia in the World is a world area course for the Development, Global Cultural Studies, and International Affairs concentrations

Independent Study

Does IAS offer independent study courses?

Yes, you may pursue individual interests outside the classroom format by enrolling under the direction of one or more faculty members in L97 IAS 400 (Independent Study) OR L97 IAS 4005 (Directed Research). With your advisor's approval, you may apply a maximum of three independent study or directed research credits toward the IAS major.

Study Abroad

What is the study abroad requirement?

While study abroad is not a requirement for the IAS major, we strongly encourage it. If you are unwilling or unable to study abroad for a semester, summer, or year for IAS credit, you must complete an additional 3 credit course at the 300 or 400 level to complete the IAS major.

Can courses taken abroad count toward the IAS major?

Yes, so long as the courses are relevant to your IAS concentration. Courses taken abroad may, where appropriate, fulfill world area and disciplinary requirements as well as advanced elective units. You may count up to 6 units toward your major requirements from a semester abroad, up to 3 units from a summer abroad, and up to 12 units from a year abroad. Please consult the Study Abroad Advisor for IAS, Dr. Rebecca Clouser as early as possible about study abroad plans.

Can one of my language courses be taken abroad?

If you take a foreign language course at another institution (whether in the US or abroad), you shall receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if you take a placement exam upon return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that you may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Does my study abroad location have to correspond with my concentration?

Majors in the Eurasian Studies and European Studies concentrations must study abroad in a country relevant to their concentration area. Otherwise, they will not meet the study abroad requirement and will need to complete an additional 300 or 400 level course on campus.

For all other concentrations, please consult the Study Abroad Advisor for IAS, Dr. Rebecca Clouser.

Can the study abroad requirement be fulfilled with a program abroad if the credits are not to be counted towards IAS?

No. The exception to this is if you are studying abroad on a Washington University approved language program; this can, in some cases, fulfill credits toward your language requirement and represent your study abroad experience. Please consult the Study Abroad Advisor for IAS, Dr. Rebecca Clouser about the language exception.

If I study abroad on a non-IAS approved program, do I need to take an extra course on campus?

Yes, and it must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Are there any grants available for study abroad or research?

Yes. Please consult Grants and Scholarships on the Overseas Programs page for study abroad programs and postgraduate research opportunities. For a longer list of potential funding sources, see the Global.wustl website.


Does IAS give credit for internships?

Although internships are encouraged, IAS does not offer academic credit for them toward the major. Instead, you should check with the Career Center about receiving credit toward your overall graduation credits.