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International Studies Major

Program Overview

School: Seaver College
Location: Malibu

The international studies major at Seaver College encourages students to learn about and consider pressing international, political, economic, and cultural questions. Core faculty members specialize in topics ranging from international institutions and global economic development to post-civil war election theory, comparative politics, visual culture, literature, and film of the Middle East and North Africa--among other regions. Some students have opportunities to participate with faculty members in their research and co-author and publish with them as well.

International Studies Degree

International Studies is a multidisciplinary program that merges language skills with substantive training in international political economy and intercultural studies with an opportunity to gain regional expertise. The major is designed for students who may enter fields such as diplomacy, government service, multinational organizations, NGOs, and international religious and humanitarian service.

International Studies Specializations:

Regional Studies

This specialization draws on disciplines such as political science, history, geography, linguistics, literature and cultural studies. This specialization is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop deep knowledge of a particular region: Asia, Latin America, Europe, or the Middle East and North Africa. Students will choose one region in which to specialize and work with their major advisor to develop a plan for specializing in a particular region.

Global Politics

This specialization is designed for students who are interested in the study of government and governing procedures, whether these "governments" are sovereign states, international organizations, multinational corporations, or sub-units of political systems. Students who complete this specialization will be prepared for further graduate study in international studies or entry-level positions in the public or private sectors, such as the State Department, Foreign Service, or non-governmental organizations. The program is particularly suited for students with an interest in issues of global justice.

For questions about our International Studies program, please contact Professor George Carlsen, Divisional Dean of International Studies & Languages, Professor of Hispanic Studies.

Quick Facts

  • 1Semester Abroad
  • 1 yrWork Experience Suggested
  • 100%Of Students Learn a Second Language

Our Program

Why International Studies?

Technological developments over the past century have allowed scarcely imagined advances in communication, transportation, and production. Global warfare has brought to an end the age of empires, which had been a constant of the international scene since the dawn of history, but other factors such as religious beliefs, nationalism, and identity, far from disappearing as many predicted, have become increasingly influential worldwide. These events have resulted in the emergence of an international metropolis where many different groups of people inhabit a world where traditional barriers of time and distance have dramatically decreased. 

Consequently, Americans—indeed people from all countries—will need an ever-deeper understanding of the other residents of the global metropolis to maintain political stability, foster economic growth, and understand the views of those with markedly different attitudes, assumptions, and goals.

This understanding will occur in a century where change becomes a constant. In this volatile and interdependent world, students of international studies must possess a keen grasp of the relationship of political, economic, and cultural forces.

Our Mission

Seaver College offers a bachelor of arts degree in international studies, which is an interdisciplinary major comprised of a sequence of courses in international politics, economics, and communication. Students further specialize in either Regional Studies or Global Politics. 

The international studies major is designed for students who may enter such varied fields as diplomacy, government service, international mass media, multinational business, international religious service, and other fields requiring international understanding and expertise. It also provides a solid foundation for students wishing to pursue graduate degrees or to enter the job market for further experience and training in multicultural contexts.

The international studies program is overseen by the International Studies Council, which draws experts from across the various academic divisions at Seaver College. The primary aim of the international studies major is to:

  • Provide undergraduates with the technical skills and conceptual ability to understand, appreciate, and interact profitably with communities outside American society
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical implications of cross-cultural and global issues, including Christian perspectives
  • Prepare students for careers in international affairs with government, private sector, and not-for-profit organizations either upon graduation or through further study at graduate school

Advanced Foreign Language Requirement

International studies majors must establish competency in two languages through the 252 level, or complete two upper-division courses in one language.

Recommended International Study

The International Studies and Language Division strongly encourages students to study abroad through Pepperdine University's International Programs. These programs are an excellent way to gain overseas experience and make rapid progress in fulfilling the language requirement for the major.

Internship Opportunities

Students are encouraged to gain practical experience in some area of international studies through internships. The Pepperdine Career Center offers local internship opportunities, and International Programs' Washington, D.C. Program also offers study and internship opportunities in the nation's capital. In addition to the federal government, a number of international organizations are based, or have major branches, in the city.

Student Testimonials


Take the Next Step

Learn more about how you can join the Pepperdine community.

Contact Us

International Studies & Languages Division
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263

P: 310.506.7446

Office: PLC 101

George Carlsen
Divisional Dean

Helen Tangalos Livanos
Office Manager

Lawrence Levy
Administrative Assistant