Honors & Awards

Recognition for excellence in International and Area Studies

Sigma Iota Rho

The IAS program recognizes graduating Seniors who have either been officially inducted into the National Sigma Iota Rho Honorary, or who have actively participated in the local chapter of Sigma Iota Rho at Wash U. Students will be given gold cords to wear at graduation. A maroon/gold cord is given to students who serve the local chapter at the executive level.

In order to be inducted into the National SIR Honorary, students must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA and major in International and Area Studies, any other World Area Studies (i.e. Latin American Studies or East Asian Studies), or Political Science in either the Comparative Politics or International Politics track. They must also pay a one time $45 fee.

Latin Honors

Per Arts & Sciences requirements, to receive Latin Honors (suma cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude) in IAS, students must be prime majors in Arts & Sciences, write an IAS honors thesis, and achieve an overall GPA of 3.65 or higher at the end of eight semesters. Note: in order to be eligible to write an honors thesis in IAS, students must have maintained an overall 3.65 GPA through the sixth semester.

The Madeleine Albright Scholarship 

This award is given to an outstanding junior majoring in International and Area Studies in recognition of special scholarly achievement. Nominations are solicited from IAS faculty each spring and the award is announced in late April. It carries a cash prize.

Past recipients: Nicci Mowszowski (2020); Jacob Finke (2019); Veronica Winters (2018); Mattie Gottbrath and Joanna LeFebvre (2017); Shaun Ee (2016); Ryan Mikkelsen (2015), Seiko Shastri (2014), Nay'Chelle Harris (2013), Erin Humphries (2012), Shweta Joshi (2011), Toby Shepard (2010), Grace Van Voorhis (2009), Claire Bangser (2008), Lauren Grady (2006), Rachel Simon (2005)

Research Scholar in International and Area Studies

To receive this designation at graduation, IAS students must accomplish at least one of the following:

  1. Write a senior honors thesis
  2. Complete Directed Research in IAS (L97 4005)
  3. Conduct supervised research based on their work while abroad

If a student completes one of the above options, they may be nominated by the supervising IAS faculty to receive the Research Scholar distinction. Nominated students will be recognized at the IAS graduation reception.

Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis

The IAS faculty choose these awards, which carry a small cash prize. These awards (if given) are announced at the IAS graduation reception, and appear on a student's final transcript.

Past winners:

  • 2020 - Hanna Khalil "Black September: Sovereignty, Dispossession, and the Politics of National Memory"
  • 2020 - Daria Locher "The Assimilation of Russian Literary Phrases into Russian Oral History as Winged Words"
  • 2019 - Sophia Goodman "Contra tu Madre: Sol Diaz's Comics and Chilean Gender Norms"
  • 2018 - Kelly Barr "An Irish Exit: Modeling the European Union Referendum in Northern Ireland"
  • 2017 - Shaun Ee "The Voice of Kenya: Competing Visions of Nationhood in a Post-Colonial State"
  • 2016 - Jenna Epstein "France in Focus: Exploring the Relationship between Proximity to Ethnic Enclaves and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment"
  • 2015 - Janice Cantieri "Losing Paradise: The Role of the Maneaba in Adaptation to Climate Change in the Republic of Kiribati"
  • 2014 - Monica Meeks "Liberté, Égalité, Santé: The Intersection of Immigration and Health Care in France and Toulouse’s Medico-Social Solution"
  • 2014 - Sam Taffer "Demystifying the Dragon: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the United States" (East Asian Studies)
  • 2013 - Diana Jack "Identity Crisis: the Fundamental Question of European Sentiment in Defining, Legitimizing and Perpetuating the European Union" (European Studies)
  • 2013 - Sadie Smeck "Evolutions in Class Visibility, Morality and Representation in Chilean Teleseries: From Military Regime to Current Moment" (International Studies)
  • 2012 - Lian States "L'excision est un crime':  Understanding French Feminism Through the Lens of FGM" (European Studies)
  • 2012 - Rachel Zemke "Weaving a National Narrative: the AKP project in Turkey" (International Studies)
  • 2011 - Colleen Brady "Public Space in Paris and its Periphery" (European Studies)
  • 2011 - Rachel Meyer "Pricing Nature: the Politics of Global Climate Change" (International Studies)
  • 2010 - Michael Goodwin "The Souls of Nations: Repatriation, National Museums, and Cultural Identity in Southern Europe" (European Studies)
  • 2010 - Annie Seibert "There is an Incredible Malaise: Youth Exclusion in Morocco as a Consequence of    Contemporary Globalization" (International Studies)
  • 2009 - Meghan Luecke "'A Slap in the Face':  How the Media's Use of National Narratives Fuels International Conflicts" (International Studies)
  • 2008 - Emily Schlickman "The Evolving Vernacular Landscape:  An Examination of Homeless Architecture in Japan" (International Studies)

Funding Opportunities

In addition to giving out programmatic honors and awards each year, the IAS office works with Overseas Programs to coordinate the campus-wide application process for three national scholarships for postgraduate overseas research and study (Fulbright, Boren, and DAAD) as well as two internal scholarships for summer study abroad programs.  Please see Grants and Scholarships for more information about these funding opportunities.

Grants & Scholarships