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Pepperdine | Seaver College

International Studies Major and Minor

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

Our International Studies major is one of the most viable ways to prepare for the ever-increasing international opportunities at the beginning of the 21st century. Students choose from eight specializations, offering flexibility to those interested in particular regions of the world and/or specific disciplines applicable to global challenges. Graduates of the program are now working in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as state side in business and non-profit, higher education, policy institutes, local government, officers' service, and numerous other fields. Other International Studies graduates are pursuing advanced degrees at some of the most competitive academic institutions in the United States and overseas.

International Studies Specializations (four regional and four functional):

  • Asian Studies
  • European Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle East & North Africa Studies
  • Economic Studies
  • International/Intercultural Communication Studies
  • International Management Studies
  • Political Studies

For questions about our International Studies program, please contact Professor Mike Sugimoto, Interim 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?

Every generation believes its own time to be of the greatest historical significance, but surely the last century has been one of the most influential in history. Technological developments allowed scarcely imagined advances in communication, transportation, and production. Medical research conquered ancient scourges and allowed millions to live whom otherwise would have succumbed to disease. As a result of all these developments, the world's population soared from one to six billion.

Global warfare brought to an end the age of empires, which had been a constant of the international scene since the dawn of history, and established the ideal of political and economic liberty. Religious beliefs, far from disappearing as many predicted, became 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. The United States, the leading power of this time, has but four percent of this new metropolis's population.

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 constant change becomes a constant. In this volatile and interdependent world, students of international affairs 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 may further specialize in one of seven functional or regional areas such as: political studies, international management studies, international/intercultural communication studies, Asian studies, European studies, or Latin American studies.

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


Contact Us

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

P: 310.506.7446

Office: PLC 101

Mike Sugimoto
Interim Divisional Dean

Helen Tangalos
Office Manager

Lawrence Levy
Administrative Assistant