International Studies, Academics | Earlham College
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International Studies

Richly diverse perspectives

Overview   |   Outcomes   |   Meet an Earlhamite   |   Our Faculty   |   Plan of Study   |   Courses  


Earlham students pursue International Studies because what it means to be “international” is complex and raises profound challenges for policy and practice.

More than half of our majors are international students, a reality that enriches classroom conversations about issues of global import.

The International Studies program has recently developed a new set of major requirements that incorporate classes in Language, Politics, Economics and History as well as an integrated off-campus study program.

Students in the "Introduction to Diplomacy" course last fall prepared for, and participate in, a college-level Model United Nations competition. They also hosted a popular, regional Model UN for high school students in January 2016.


According to NerdScholar, Earlham’s International Studies program is one of the top five in the country. At Earlham International Studies is not only a popular major, it is also a way of life on campus.

International Studies majors have been frequent recipients of Davis Peace Prize Awards, grants of $10,000 each to fund summer projects related to peacemaking.

Earlham’s International Studies alumni get into their top choice graduate programs and serve in prestigious international civil service and diplomatic positions around the world.

Six Earlham graduates conducted research around the world with prestigious Fulbright grants during the 2014-2015 academic year.


Recent International Studies graduates have obtained prestigious Watson and Fulbright scholarships as well as Rotary Peace Fellowships to work and study abroad.

Some have served as officers and program assistants in the Asia Foundation, Japan Society and U.N.-specialized agencies. Still others have worked in the Peace Corps and as human rights monitors.

Majors also have pursued graduate studies in fields as diverse as law, city planning, public administration and public health at globally top-ranked programs such as Oxford, the Vienna Diplomatic Academy, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.


Meet An Earlhamite

Behar Xharra
Young Diplomat

Behar Xharra has recently co-authored a study on the public diplomacy of Kosovo. The work, translated into seven languages. dismantles the myths that the country is war-torn, gray, fanatic, and a place with no future.

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Munkhbat Munkjargal
An Opportunity to Build Upon

Munkhbat Munkjargal ’19 doesn't stand still for long. Outside of the classroom, he fills his time with student organizations and activities that engage people, as he puts it, in meaningful ways.

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Charlotte-Anne Malischewski
The Fiddler

Charlotte-Anne Malischewski '11 had a busy three years at Earlham — a time full of engagement on campus and beyond. She was involved in various campus organizations, musical groups, and a study abroad program.

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Our Faculty

Eric Cunningham
Associate Professor of Japanese Studies

Dyron Dabney
Jackson Bailey Memorial Endowed Chair for Japan Study/Institute for Education on Japan; Director of Japan Study and Associate Professor of Politics and Japanese Studies

Rodolfo Guzmán
Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies

Thor Hogan
Associate Professor of Politics and Environmental Sustainability

Ahmed Khanani
Plowshares Assistant Professor of Politics; Co-Director of the Center of Social Justice

Rajaram Krishnan
Professor of Economics

Elana Passman
Associate Professor of History

Jennifer Seely
Associate Professor of Politics

Peng Yu
Assistant Professor of Politics

Plan of Study

The Major

The new major (adopted in Fall 2017) requires 12 to 14 courses and has a range of 36 to 42 credits, in addition to a study abroad semester.  Note: courses in italics represent planned courses to be approved by the Curricular Planning Committee.

  • Introductory Courses (all three of the following)

    • POLS 111 Introduction to Comparative Politics and International Relations
    • ECON 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics
    • ECON 103 Introduction to Microeconomics
  • Research Methods Courses (one of the following)

    • ECON 204 Statistics for Economics
    • POLS 329 Social Science Research Methods
    • POLS 339 Approaching Political Puzzles
  • Theory Course (the following course)

    • POLS 371 Theories of International Relations
  • Capstone Course (the following course)

    • POLS 488 Senior Capstone Experience
  • Language Instruction

    • Four semesters of language (If a student already speaks a second language fluently with demonstrated competence, they can opt to take two linguistic or cultural competency courses taught by Earlham Languages and Cultures faculty in consultation with their academic adviser.)
  • Off-Campus Learning Opportunity

    • Completion of an off-campus semester program (A student also may fulfill this requirement with completion of another approved program in consultation with their academic adviser.)
  • On-Campus Elective Courses

    • Four courses at the 200-400 level selected from the following list, including at least one Economics, one Politics, and one History course.
    • Courses must include one Politics “A”rgument (WI) and one Politics “R”esearch (RCH) course.
      • Economics
        • ECON 342 Economic Development
        • ECON 343 Economics of the Environment
        • ECON 348 International Trade
        • ECON 350 Political Economy in China and India
      • Politics
        • POLS 301 Genealogies of Nationalism in the Muslim Middle East and North Africa
        • POLS 303 Human Rights in the Muslim World
        • POLS 333 Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Middle East and North Africa
        • POLS 348 American Empire: Are We Rome?
        • POLS 349 National Security Policy Via Film
        • POLS 351 Democracy and Democratization
        • POLS 352 Africa & The World: Development, Conflict and Cooperation
        • POLS 355 Politics of the Developing World
        • POLS 358 Contemporary Chinese Politics
        • POLS 359 African Democracy and Dictatorship
        • POLS 363 Israel and the Middle East
        • POLS 369 Politics of Authoritarianism
        • POLS 371 Theories of International Relations
        • POLS 372 International Law: Sovereignty, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
        • POLS 373 International Law: Environment and Development
        • POLS 377 Politics of Global Inequality
        • POLS 378 International Political Economy Methods
      • History
        • Middle East
          • HIST 373 America’s Middle East
        • Asia
          • HIST 218 World War II in East Asia
          • HIST 228 Modern East Asia
          • HIST 266 Contemporary China and the World
          • HIST 374 Modern Japan
          • HIST 382 History of Science, Medicine, and Technology in East Asia
          • HIST 472 Modern China
          • HIST 374 Modern Japan
        • Africa
          • HIST 232 African History since 1880
          • HIST 376 History of West Africa
          • HIST 377 East Africa
          • HIST 378 History of South Africa
        • Latin America
          • HIST 290 Cuban History
          • HIST 354 Latin America since 1825
        • Europe
          • HIST 344 Diplomatic History: The Cold War
          • HIST 347 Europe and the World Wars
        • U.S.
          • HIST 344 Diplomatic History: The Cold War
          • HIST 373 America’s Middle East


* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

Most International Studies courses are listed by their individual departments alone. This is because the determination as to whether or not a course counts for the major depends on the shape of the student’s individual focus. Exceptions include required introductory courses and the capstone.

(3 credits)
This course is designed to offer students a broad introduction to international studies. It addresses major actors of international system including state and non-state actors and also covers a variety of issues and topics (poverty, climate change, international terrorism, refugee, war, etc.) that are widely concerned across the world. The course focuses on these themes from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives to allow students to examine the world in an interdisciplinary way. Appropriate for first-year students.

An experiential course that examines political, economic and social issues in world politics by simulating the work of states in U.N. committees and organizations. Students serve as delegates to a regional Model U.N. Scholarly readings on the practice of diplomacy. Also listed as PAGS 270 and POLS 270. (D-I)

Through a combination of theoretical frameworks and real world applications, attempts to develop a broad understanding of micro and macro issues in the area of international economics. Deals with issues related to the logic and critique of free trade, tariffs and quotas, exchange rate determination, balance of payments, open economy macro policy, stabilization policy and the role of international institutions in international trade. Prerequisites: ECON 100. Also listed as MGMT 348 and ECON 348. (AY)

This course will focus on two aspects of the political economy of China and India. First, it will undertake a comparative examination of the economic performance of these countries since the 1940s, taking into account important historical and political factors. Second, it will look into what the future may hold for these two countries. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or consent of instructor. Also listed as CHIN 350 and ECON 350.

This course provides students with a broad introduction to China's politics in the modern period. The focus will be on top leaders, political institutions and policies under Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule. The course covers the main stages in the history of CCP rule: the Mao Zedong period,1949-1976; the Deng Xiaoping period, 1977-1994; and the rule of the so-called third- and fourth-generation leaders, Jiang Zemin, 1995-2003, and Hu Jintao, 2003-1012. A.R.T.S. designation: R. Prerequisite: Politics 111 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as POLS 358 and CHIN 358. (D-I, WI)

This course analyzes international markets and risks from the perspective of investors, managers, regulators and other stakeholders. Key topics include exchange rates, capital flows, risk analysis and management, valuation, and private-public partnerships. Topics are studied in real-world contexts through case studies, current events, and collaborative research projects. Prerequisite: either MGMT 141, MGMT 200, MGMT 240 or PSYCH 245. Also listed as MGMT 362.

This course surveys the classical texts and themes of political theory. Students will read selections of both the Western and Eastern canonical works in order to investigate a wide range of issues related to politics — power, state, citizen, justice, community, identity, rights, liberty, etc. Prerequisite: POLS 111. Also listed as PAGS 364 and POLS 364.

Examines classics, trends and innovations in empirical and normative theories of international relations, from Thucydides and Machiavelli to Galtung and beyond. Reading and writing intensive. Provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical perspectives to problems and issues of particular salience to them (e.g. questions raised by off-campus study). Designed for juniors and seniors. A.R.T.S. Designation: A, R or T, depending on semester. Prerequisite: POLS 111 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as PAGS 371 and POLS 371. (D-I) (AY)

Seniors participate in a colloquium with faculty members representing Politics, Economics, History, Language and Literature in cross-disciplinary conversation about a common theme such as migration, nationalism, or globalization. Students write an interdisciplinary literature review and comparative analysis of the assigned problem and make a public presentation.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.