International Studies Program

Do you enjoy languages and other cultures? Do you see yourself working overseas or in Washington D.C. tackling issues of national security, human rights or natural disasters?


International Studies is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for graduate school or eventual international careers in diplomacy, economic development, international security or business.


You might be a country or issue specialist working for a government agency like the Department of Defense or the C.I.A. You could be a political risk analyst working for a consulting group, a development bank or multinational company. You could be using your business skills to manage exciting economic development projects in Latin America, Asia or Africa. The job possibilities are limitless for students from the University of Tennessee at Martin who have the right analytical and language skills and who are effective working in other cultures.


Students take a general core program of political science, economics, geography and history to get a world view. Then they select a concentration, with the assistance of their advisors, that combines technical skills with functional knowledge of either Strategic Studies or Business and Economic Development. They spend time going on exciting study trips to foreign countries, or they might choose to spend a summer, semester or year abroad refining their language skills with one of UTM’s “sister” universities. Internships and service projects are strongly encouraged. The student must complete the following requirements:


Core Courses (18 hours from selected courses)

* denotes required courses

  • *International Studies 200 Introduction to International Studies
  • *International Studies 485 The Changing World Order (senior capstone course)
  • At least three upper level courses from these suggested courses in Political Science and Economics (9 hours)
    • International Relations
    • American Foreign Policy
    • Survey of Comparative Politics
    • International Organizations and Law
    • International Economics
    • Economic Development
  • At least one course from either Geography or History (3 hours):
    • Geography: Political Geography, Economic Geography
    • History: U.S. Foreign Relations or a regional history approved by the Coordinator of International Studies.

Area Concentration (18-21 hours)

Though other concentrations with a distinguishable international focus may also be considered, these two concentrations are suggested.

  1. Business and Economic Development Concentration. (18-21 hours)This concentration prepares students for eventual careers or further study in emerging markets or developing countries in international business, government aid programs, economic development, country risk analysis, humanitarian and disaster relief.
    The student takes courses in:
    • Analysis and Business Skills (9 hours) Though other courses will be considered, suggested courses include: Economic Development, Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Financial Markets, Globalism, Statistics, Research Scope and Methods.
    • Sector Specialization (9 hours) Students choose courses from either one sector or a combination of sectors to include: Sociology, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Geography (including Geographic Information Systems) and Health.
  2. Strategic Studies Concentration (18-21 hours) This concentration prepares students to be analysts with government agencies, the military, think tanks, private contractors or international organizations. Students choose 9 hours or more from selected international courses in Political Science. In addition they may take selected courses in Geography that might include GIS or climatology.

Foreign Language Minor (12 upper-division hours)

Students must minor in French, German, Japanese or Spanish. International students and resident aliens for whom it is determined that English is a second language may minor in English. A minor consists of at least 12 hours numbered 300 or above, plus any prerequisite courses.

Travel-Study (6 hours minimum-12 hours maximum)

Majors must participate in at least one (3 hours) travel study program in a foreign country. The remaining 3 hours may be satisfied by a program with international content such as the Washington travel study which must be approved by the Coordinator of International Studies. The travel study portion enables students to extend subject matter competence, develop language proficiency, refine career interests and develop sensitivity to other cultures. Although students may participate in any approved study-abroad program, it is strongly recommended that students take advantage of the many foreign-study opportunities available at UT Martin which involve a summer, one semester, or a year.

International Studies Student Outcomes:

Students will demonstrate ability to examine an issue from multiple perspectives, to draw connections and patterns among issues and to predict changes as innovation occurs, be able to explain the interaction among international actors, public and private, and demonstrate problem-solving skills in inter-agency simulations, attain technical, analytical, research, writing and presentation skills that reflect a broad theoretical and practical background to be competitive in career and internship markets, and gain a growing appreciation and sensitivity to different cultures through active engagement in travel study, service and study abroad programs.

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