International Studies majors have the opportunity to take several seminar-style courses over the course of their four years at U of I. These are offered at the freshman, sophomore and senior levels via IS 195, IS 321 and IS 495. This is the only academic major on campus which provides three seminar experiences to all of its majors.
Introduces students to the interdisciplinary approach to International Studies. The central objective of the seminar is to equip the students with enough background of disciplines ranging from international politics, history, geography, economy, to culture in order for them to fully understand the complexity and the connectivity of contemporary world events. The seminar is structured around student participation with individual and group projects during the course of the semester. The focus of the student work is based on contemporary and recent historical international issues and conflicts, so as to develop a deeper understanding of the problems facing various regions of the world.
Provides small group research opportunities in conjunction with the Model UN experience. Participants in IS 321 ask original questions and conduct original research about the work of a particular UN agency. The main product of the seminar is a professional research poster.
Encourages students to integrate and synthesize knowledge gained from previous classes, various disciplines and real-world experience with knowledge gained through research, discussion and problem-solving exercises in the seminar itself. At the end of this course, students are expected to demonstrate independent critical thinking skills, as well as be able to formulate, articulate and defend a position on an issue both orally and in writing. The course emphasizes discussion of common issue-emphasis based readings, exercises in which this knowledge is applied to regional contexts, and the writing of a white paper on a particular global issue.