International Studies

The International Studies Program at Fairfield University draws from a group of interdisciplinary faculty, practitioners and students from many parts of the world with a commitment to thinking critically about global challenges, promoting social justice, and engaging in service. Students have opportunities to pursue a major or minor in International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences or an innovative co-curricular program major in International Business. International Business students must earn a complementary major or minor in the Dolan School of Business. The core of the program is the same for both International Studies and International Business. The Program seeks to heighten global awareness in the ways we situate ourselves geographically, and encounter conflict, gender, race, class, nationality, the environment, and economic development.

Some of our most important student learning outcomes are:

  • Accurately summarize in writing the key points of a scholarly work.
  • Identify different "theories," analyses, or perspectives on social behavior.
  • Accurately juxtapose two different analyses of a situation or event.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between local phenomena and global processes.

INST 1050 People, Places, and Global Issues    3 Credits

Attributes: BUEL Business Elective, DEIE Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Elective, MSID Magis Core: Interdisciplinary, PJST Peace and Justice Studies, WDIV World Diversity

This course introduces students to some of the fundamental concepts of International Studies. Major world regions and selected countries within them are discussed with respect to the people, and their physical, demographic, cultural, political, and economic characteristics. Several concepts and global issues are explored, among which the physical environment, conflict, inequality, global interconnectedness, and the movement of goods and people across borders are central. This course will emphasize contemporary events, particularly as they relate to the fundamental themes covered. Previously IL 0050.

INST 1051 Introduction to International Relations    3 Credits

Attributes: HACA Humanitarian Action Minor Context Course, PJST Peace and Justice Studies, PMIR Politics Major: International Relations

This course introduces International Relations (IR) theories to students, providing concepts, frameworks and approaches that will help them make sense of global politics historically and today in a systematic and critical manner. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with these tools and to help them use them to understand and address challenges at a global scale, particularly different manifestations of violence, development and social injustice, including from war to economic, social, gendered, and political marginalization. Crosslisted with POLI 1104. Previously IL 0051.

INST 1052 Culture and Political Economy    3 Credits

Attributes: MWAC Magis Core: Writing Across Curriculum

This course examines the ways in which global political economic dynamics impact local cultures. Students will begin with classic texts in social theory, examine how this theory informs contemporary debates, and look to small-scale societies in the Global South for an intimate, ethnographic perspective of our global era. Crosslisted with ANTH 2010. Previously IL 0052.

INST 1053 Introduction to Economics    3 Credits

This course introduces the fundamentals of economic analysis from individual consumer behavior to the choices firms make, as well as framing the aggregate economy and indicators that measure global economic activity. It will cover the basics of both micro and macro economic study. Supply and demand, market structures, international trade, fiscal, and monetary policy are introduced. Students may petition for this course to also count toward a major or minor in economics. Previously IL 0053.

INST 2101 Introduction to International Business    3 Credits

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the core concepts, topics, and issues facing businesses operating in the global market today. Students will learn about the changing business environment, international institutions, issues related to international trade and trade agreements, international financial system and exchange rates, global production and supply chain management and global marketing. Through the study of these topics in international business, students will learn about how the global economy functions and the challenges and opportunities multinational corporations face in working with international organizations, local governments, businesses and consumers, and global competitors.

INST 2150 International Operations of Non-Profits    3 Credits

Attributes: BUEL Business Elective, HASM Humanitarian Action Minor Skills/Method Course, INEL International Studies / International Business Elective, WDIV World Diversity

This course introduces students to the environment of international not-for-profit organizations. The course examines the relationships between non-profits and the private and public sectors. Accountability is discussed in terms of short-term financial efficiencies and long-term program quality assessment. Course objectives include understanding internal and external environments in which non-profits operate; the relationship between non-profits with the public and private sectors; acquiring skills for accounting and financial information in the non-profit sector; understanding roles, performance and accountability issues of nongovernmental organizations in international development assistance; and developing case study analyses. Previously IL 0150.

INST 2471 United Nations Security Council Crisis Simulation    3 Credits

Attributes: HACA Humanitarian Action Minor Context Course, INEL International Studies / International Business Elective, WDIV World Diversity

This course provides students a hands-on learning experience by simulating a United Nations Security Council crisis in international peace and security. The objective is to introduce students to the challenges of global governance in light of the different perspectives they encounter representing different constituencies of the UN Security Council who come from diverse cultural, historical, and geopolitical regions of the world. A key goal of the course is to bring to light whether and how power disparities in the structure of the Council limit the effective representation of many countries and global South as a whole and the stakes in reform of the Security Council. Crosslisted with POLI 2471. Previously IL 0197.

INST 2481 International Human Rights    3 Credits

Attributes: HACA Humanitarian Action Minor Context Course, INEL International Studies / International Business Elective

This course is devoted to an examination of basic human rights philosophy, principles, instruments and institutions. It introduces students to the origins and development of international human rights; the need to apply and enforce legal obligations and establish accountability for human rights violators; and the procedures enforced by the international community for human rights violation. Students will engage in focused discussions and debates on contemporary issues of human rights, such as Environmental Rights, Women's Rights, Rights Against Trafficking, and Economic Rights. The final part of the course includes a special focus on U.S Foreign Policies on Human Rights, concluding with Guantánamo. As part of the research requirements of the course, students will focus on human rights for which they want to be advocates and/or in which they want to be engaged. Crosslisted with POLI 2481. Previously IL 0152.

INST 3980 Internship    0-3 Credits

Attributes: INEL International Studies / International Business Elective

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Students accept placements with local organizations, government agencies, or non-profit organizations in positions with an international component. Interns learn to apply knowledge acquired in their course of study to real-world situations. Completion of the internship requires regular meetings with the supervising faculty member, submission of journal entries, and one paper. Note: Students complete the internship in addition to the basic requirements for the major or minor. Arrangements for summer and international internships are also available. Students must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher. Previously IL 0298.

INST 3990 Independent Study    1-3 Credits

Attributes: INEL International Studies / International Business Elective

Students pursue an independent research project on international issues under the supervision of a faculty member. Open to juniors and seniors with the director's permission. Previously IL 0299.

INST 4303 Gender, War, and Peace    3 Credits

Attributes: PMIR Politics Major: International Relations, WDIV World Diversity, WSGF Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender Focused

This course examines the complexities and gendered impact of war on children, family and other social actors, drawing on a wide range of theories, concepts and case studies on violence, conflict escalation and peacebuilding. Part I examines the multifaceted forces of globalization, structural violence, and gender-based violence (GBV) that set up the gendered dynamics of war. Part II draws from this framework to understand the fluid contexts of gender and violence in war, including sexual violence. It looks at how people try to remain safe from armed conflict and marauding bands of rebels or soldiers, and the difficulties of sorting victim from perpetrator. Part III examines theories of social justice in the aftermath of war, and policies that can lead to improved security, safety, health, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Course requirements include exams and a research paper on the theory and policy implications of gender in war and its aftermath. Crosslisted with POLI 4303. Previously IL 0151.

INST 4999 Senior Capstone Seminar    3 Credits

Attributes: MWID Magis Core: Writing in the Discipline

Prerequisites: ECON 1011, ECON 1012, INST 1050, INST 1051, INST 1052.

This course requires students to theorize and analyze emerging trends in the political, socio-cultural, economic, and business dimensions of global affairs, and develop the implications in a particular context or setting. Students undertake a major research project as a central activity in this course drawing on the expertise and research methodologies they have developed in International Studies. This course is taken during the senior year, after students have completed all core courses in international studies. Previously IL 0300.


Crawford (Sociology and Anthropology)

Coordinating Committee

Babo (Sociology and Anthropology)
Bhattacharya (Management)
Franceschi (Economics)
Garcia Iommi (Politics)
Iddins (Communication)
Keefe (Politics)
Leatherman (Politics)
Martinez (Finance)
McFadden (History)
Micu (Marketing)
Strauss (Management)
Vasquez Mazariegos (Economics)
Zhang, Q. (Communication)


McAloon (Dolan School of Business)