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University Catalog

School of Politics, Public Affairs, and International Studies

International Studies

207-208 Arts and Sciences Building,
(307) 766‑6484
Web site:
Department Head: Stephanie Anderson


JEAN A. GARRISON, B.A. University of Wyoming 1990; M.A. University of South Carolina 1992; Ph.D. 1996; Professor of International Studies, Political Science 2010, 2001.

Associate Professors

NEVIN AIKEN, B.A. University of Western Ontario 2003; M.A. 2004; Ph.D. University of British Columbia 2010; Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies 2016, 2010.
B.S. National Taiwan University 1989; M.S. 1992; Ph.D. Rutgers University 2000; Associate Professor of International Studies and Geography 2015, 2010.
THOMAS R. SEITZ, B.S. University of the State of New York 1988; M.A. University of Kent at Canterbury 1989; Ph.D. University of Cambridge 1997; Associate Professor of International Studies 2015, 2009.

Assistant Professor

ZOE PEARSON, B.A. University of California Los Angeles 2005; M.A. Ohio State University 2010; Ph.D. 2015; Assistant Professor of International Studies 2016.

Associate Lecturer

ANNE ALEXANDER, B.B.A. New Mexico State University, 1991; M.S. 1993; Ph.D. University of Wyoming, 2001; Associate Lecturer, Associate VP, Academic Affairs of Undergraduate Education 2015, 2013.
RUTH BJÖRKENWALL, B.A. University of California at Berkeley, 1989; M.A. 2004; Associate Lecturer 2017, 2013.

Writer-in-Residence/Senior Fellow, Center for Global Studies

MARK JENKINS, B.A. University of Wyoming 1983; M.S. 1986; UW Writer-in-Residence, Contributing Writer for National Geographic Magazine, author of four books and hundreds of articles.

Professor Emeritus

Garth Massey

Advisory Committee

Stephanie Anderson, political science
Nevin Aiken, political science and international studies
Ruth Björkenwall, international studies
Yi-Ling Chen, international studies, geography
Susan Dewey, gender and women’s studies
Jean Garrison, international studies, political science
Zoe Pearson, international studies
Ali Raddaoui, religious studies, international studies
Thomas R. Seitz, international studies
Doug Wachob, environment and natural resources

Adjunct Faculty

(see department section following name for academic credentials)

Stephanie Anderson, political science
Tanja Börzel, political science, Freie Universitaet Berlin
Roger Coupal, agriculture and applied economics
Nicholas Crane, geography
Susan Dewey, gender and women’s studies
Andrew Garner, political science
Rodney Garnett, music
Michael Harkin, anthropology
Larry Hubbell, political science
Carolyne Larson, history
Shiri Noy, sociology
Mark Peterson, management and marketing
Thomas Risse, political science, Freie Universitaet Berlin
Amy Roberts, elementary and early childhood education
Chris Rothfuss, international studies
Mona Schatz, social work
Ed Sherline, philosophy
J.J. Shinker, geography
Lilia Soto, American studies and chicano studies
Sarah Strauss, anthropology
Jim Thurman, international studies, political science - Central Wyoming College
Gerald Webster, geography

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Goal 1. Students graduating with a BA in international studies will be able to recognize and appreciate the historical, political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of international processes and issues, integrating these into an interdisciplinary perspective.

Goal 2. Students graduating with a BA in international studies will have the capability to critically read, write about, discuss, and engage in scholarly inquiry related to international processes and issues.

Goal 3. Students graduating with a BA in international studies will have a minimal level of fluency in a second language and are expected to experience a foreign locale in which to use the second language skills.

Goal 4. Students will be made aware of career and post-graduate opportunities suitable for an international studies major.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

All students who graduate with a Master's degree in international studies will be able to:

  • Engage in independent empirical inquiry that makes an original contribution to the field of study;
  • Think critically and reason logically about a problem and the ways it can be answered;
  • Employ the best recognized methods appropriate to their research;
  • Effectively develop alternative explanations, use theories and concepts to guide the research project, and conduct the work in such a way that disproof is possible; and
  • Present their work intelligently, with both written and oral capability at a level of professional expectations.

They will have a broad understanding of:

  • International affairs;
  • The diversity of national cultures and social structures;
  • Political and economic systems;
  • Major global trends and problems.

Undergraduate International Studies Curriculum

Students graduating with a degree in international studies will be able to recognize and appreciate the historical, political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of international processes and issues, integrating these into an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to courses housed in the International Studies Program, the curriculum consists of numerous interdisciplinary courses across UW's seven colleges, primarily in political science, history, anthropology, geography, sociology, religious studies, gender and women's studies, African American and Diaspora studies, environment and natural resources, and economics.

Core Courses - Students take 9 hours of core coursework. INST 2350 (Introduction to Global Studies) and  INST 2310 (Introduction to International Relations) provide the theoretical framework for the global and regional tracks. INST 4950 (Capstone) provides the culminating experience for students completing the B.A. degree in international studies and fulfills the WC/COM3 writing requirement for the University Studies Program.

Area of Focus - Students will complete a minimum of 18 hours of coursework in two specific areas of focus, choosing a global and regional track. Students must complete a minimum of 9 hours in each track. Global and regional tracks have suggested Gateway courses. Most Gateway courses fulfill University Studies requirements.

Global Tracks - Culture and Social Issues; Economic Systems; Governance and Conflict Resolution; and Sustainable Development and the Environment

Regional Tracks - Africa and the Middle East; Asia and the Pacific Rim; Europe and the Former Soviet Union; and Latin America.

Foreign Language - Students must complete 18 hours in a single foreign language with one course at the 3000/4000-level, or show an equivalent level of proficiency. Language courses must be conversational language courses. American Sign Language is not considered a foreign language.

Electives - Students must take 9 hours of elective courses from the international studies curriculum, six of which must be upper division. One of the following Gateway courses can count for the elective requirement:  ANTH 1200, ECON 1000, GEOG 1000, POLS 1200, INST 1330.

All required courses for the major must be passed with a grade of C or better. There are numerous special topics courses offered during the academic year and these courses can fulfill the international studies requirements with approval from your advisor. Students are encouraged to satisfy the USP QB (quantitative reasoning) requirement by taking  STAT 2070, Introductory Statistics for Social Sciences.

International Studies majors are encouraged to study abroad or do an internationally-focused internship.

Undergraduate Minors

Students can minor in 3 areas by fulfilling one of the following sets of requirements:

  1. International Studies Minor-Twenty-seven hours of coursework including at least 12 hours in a foreign language, 15 hours of international studies curriculum, with a minimum of 9 hours at the 3000-level or above.
  2. Asian Studies Minor-a minimum of 27 credit hours, which includes 12 hours in an Asian language and 9 hours of upper-division coursework. For detailed requirements, see
  3. European Studies Minor-a minimum of 30 credit hours, which includes 12 hours in a single modern European language other than English, and 9 hours of upper division coursework. For detailed requirements, see

Graduate Study

Students take the Plan A (thesis). Students must have a minimum of 26 hours of graded non-thesis coursework and 4 hours of thesis.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Admission is open to all students with a bachelor's degree who meet the university minimum requirements.

For information about application requirements, please see the International Studies Program website:


Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master's Program

Students must meet three requirements: 1) Each student must take INST 5400. 2) Each student must take INST 5200. 3) Each student must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, accomplished in the course of the program or from previous experience or coursework. Foreign language hours do not count toward the M.A. degree.

The program also offers a joint International Studies/Environment and Natural Resources degree. See for specific degree requirements.

Plan A (thesis)

Students are encouraged to construct, with the adviser's approval, a program that focuses their own intellectual interests and career plans. To promote that end, students should be prepared to file a plan of study with the graduate adviser during the second semester of coursework.

No later than the second semester in residence, each student shall select a graduate committee to oversee his or her academic work. The committee will be chaired by the student's major professor and must have at least one member from a discipline other than that of the major professor. Students will also prepare a thesis proposal and give a presentation of their preliminary project before the International Studies faculty and complete a thesis prospectus defense with their graduate committee by the end of their second semester.

Students must pass an oral examination at the completion of their program. Normally, examination will center on the thesis, but may also encompass coursework of the candidate.

Required Coursework

Advanced Theory Course: INST 5200 Graduate Proseminar in International Studies

Research Methods Course: INST 5400 International Social Science Research Methods

Graduate Minor in International Studies

A graduate minor in international studies provides students in graduate programs other than international studies with the opportunity to acquire a basic graduate-level familiarity with international relations, global processes and cultural diversity around the world. Students acquire a foundation in inter-governmental relations and research methodology. Beyond this, students work closely with a graduate director to fashion a program of study appropriate for their interests and post-graduate plans. The minor complements several other graduate degree programs.

Prerequisites for Admission

Declaration of an international studies minor is contingent on admission to a master's or doctoral degree program. Application is in the form of a letter of interest to the director of the program, including the background, anticipated course of study, and reason for seeking the minor. An interview with the director is also required. All prerequisites for entering the graduate program in international studies as a major apply to the minor with the exception of proficiency in a second language. Students must be prepared for coursework in international studies at the graduate level and be willing to take prerequisite courses if necessary.

Course and Committee Requirements

Graduate students minoring in international studies must satisfy the requirements of their graduate major and take twelve credits of guided graduate coursework in international studies. With the approval of the department of the graduate major, these twelve hours may also count toward the major. Students are required to take at least one advanced theory course (INST 5200) and one advanced research methods course. All courses will be determined in consultation with the program director.

International Studies (INST) Courses

Arabic (ARBC) Courses

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