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FAQs for International Studies Majors

How do I declare an International Studies major?

Upon entering UF as a freshman, students are encouraged to declare a major during their Preview sessions that they feel they are most likely to pursue during their time at UF. Students who are unsure of what major they would like to pursue can declare one of three exploratory categories (humanities and letters, social and behavioral sciences, or science and engineering) for their first three fall/spring terms, and can use this time to explore courses in potential majors to narrow down which major they intend to pursue.

Once they have decided to pursue a major, they can go to the Academic Advising Center for their major (in the case of International Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this is located in Farrior Hall – Farrior also advises exploratory students) and speak with an advisor who will make the change on their Degree Audit.

Upon declaring an International Studies major each student must choose one region of the world on which they will focus their studies (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East). Courses related to this regional track will count as their Category A courses. Courses related to any other regional track, or courses related to global themes, will count as their Category B courses. (A list of pre-approved courses for each region can be found here.)

When deciding which track to declare, students are encouraged to pick a region of the world they find particularly interesting, as this is the region on which most of their studies will focus. Additionally, students are required to take a foreign language relating to their region of study (e.g. French for a Europe track major, Arabic for a Middle East track major).

Is it possible to change my track? 

Although it is possible to change your regional track later, students must decide to make this change with enough time to complete the requirements for the new track they choose. Any student considering changing their regional track must first meet with the Undergraduate Coordinator to ensure that they will have enough time to meet the requirements, and then they must go to the Academic Advising Center in Farrior Hall to have advisors change their major track in their Degree Audit.

How do I declare a double major?

There are four requirements for declaring a double major:

You must have a 3.0 GPA in your current major, to ensure that you are making progress in one major before taking on another.

You must have above 45 credit hours completed, but be below 96 credit hours. This is to ensure that you can complete both majors in an acceptable amount of time and can avoid Excess Hour Surcharges.

IB and AP credit, as well as Dual Enrollment or any other credits you bring in to UF, can help you surpass the 45 credit minimum, but they will not be held against you when considering the 96 credit hour maximum.

You must have met the Critical Tracking through Semester 5 for both your current major, and the one you plan on adding. Critical tracking for the majors can either be found on the website of the major, or on the Degree Audit for that major

Current Major Critical Tracking: student.ufl.edu à Degree Audit à Tracking Audit à View Critical Tracking Audit

Major You Plan on Adding: student.ufl.edu à Degree Audit à Degree Shopping à Shop By Major

When a student is double majoring (or minoring, or pursing a certificate) they must have 15 credits that are specific to each major that do not count toward any other major (or minor, or certificate). Any other credits (not including those 15 credits specific for each major) may overlap.

Additionally, a double major is different from a dual degree and there are different forms to fill out for each (double major form, dual degree form). A student is pursuing a double major if both majors they wish to pursue are in the same college (i.e. CLAS). A student is pursuing a dual degree if the majors they wish to pursue are offered by two different colleges.

Students are encouraged to speak with their advisors or Undergraduate Coordinators when considering pursuing a double major or dual degree

What is the impact of adding a minor or certificate to my degree? How do I do this?

Minors and Certificates are both ways that students can enhance their academic focus and complement their international studies degree by specializing in a course of study outside of their major.

UF offers over 100 minors at UF, many of which have an international, intercultural, and/or language focus. To apply for a minor, complete this form. Please note, students must have 6 credits specific to the minor that do not overlap with any other major, minor, or certificate, to complete the minor.

To see a list of certificate programs, and learn about the requirements necessary to apply for a certificate, please click here. Students pursing a certificate must have 9 credits specific to the certificate that do not overlap with any other major, minor, or certificate.

What does the designation ‘Category A/Category B’ mean for courses? How many do I need of each?

Upon declaring an International Studies major each student must choose one region of the world on which they will focus their studies (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East). Courses related to this regional track will count as their Category A courses. Courses related to any other regional track, or courses related to global themes, will count as their Category B courses.

Each student is required to have:

  • 15 credits from “Category A” (courses specific to their region)*
    • *12 of these credits must be at the 3000/4000 level
  • 15 credits from “Category B” (courses that are international in nature, or specific to a region outside of the chosen regional focus)
    • 9 of these credits must be at the 3000/4000 level

My course is not listed under Category A/Category B but I feel that it meets the requirements. Can it count?

The International Studies Program major at UF is an interdisciplinary major – this means that we accept courses from over 30 departments/units at UF. While our website lists a number of these courses, it is not a comprehensive list as new courses are introduced each semester.

 

Courses that meet the following criteria generally can be counted as Category A/Category B courses:

  • The majority of the course content covers material that is post-1800.
  • The majority of the content is global in nature.

That being said, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the Undergraduate Coordinator whether or not a course is appropriate to meet Category A/Category B requirements, and they may ask to see a syllabus of the course to determine whether or not it is. Additionally, they are the ones who will be able to substitute the course, if they feel it meets the criteria, into your Degree Audit.

I am taking a course for another major/minor that may also count for International Studies. Can it count for both?

Potentially! When a student is double majoring or minoring they must have 15 credits that are specific to each major that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate. Any other credits (not including those 15 credits specific for each major) may overlap. If the course is already on the pre-approved Category A/Category B lists then yes, the course may be counted for International Studies as well as the other major. If the course is not on the pre-approved Category A/Category B lists but you feel that it meets the requirements, see question #8.

Additionally, each minor must have 6 credits specific to the minor that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate.

Each certificate must have 9 credits specific to the certificate that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate.

Does it matter when I take INS3004/INS4930?

INS3004 is required to complete Critical Tracking/Term 5 Tracking (see #3b) for the International Studies Program major, and it is recommended that students take the course during their sophomore year.

INS4930 is a senior seminar class, and is generally taken during a student’s senior year as it requires a “capstone” research project/paper.

What qualifies as a ‘Senior Research Experience’?

Each International Studies student is required to complete either INS4930: International Studies Senior Research Seminar, OR to complete a Senior Research Experience.

  • INS4930: International Studies Senior Research Seminar: This offers students the opportunity to conduct research on international topics of their choice relating to their regional track and studies.

 

  • Senior Research Experience: Instead of taking INS4930, students may pursue other options to meet this final course requirement. This will require additional steps and approval from the undergraduate coordinator. All options must be attached to 3 credits and completion of a final research paper graded by a common rubric. Options should include one of the following:
    • Study Abroad with a research paper
    • Internship or work experience abroad with a research paper
    • Independent study course with research paper.

My Degree Audit isn’t registering some of my courses, even though they have been approved. How can this be fixed?

Because International Studies draws from courses from over 30 departments/units at UF, sometimes courses that can count toward the major may not be drawn into the Degree Audit automatically. This is often the case with courses that have 3930/4930 course code designations, as these are Rotating/Special Topics courses that may not have permanent course codes.

How do I declare an International Studies major?

Upon entering UF as a freshman, students are encouraged to declare a major during their Preview sessions that they feel they are most likely to pursue during their time at UF. Students who are unsure of what major they would like to pursue can declare one of three exploratory categories (humanities and letters, social and behavioral sciences, or science and engineering) for their first three fall/spring terms, and can use this time to explore courses in potential majors to narrow down which major they intend to pursue.

Once they have decided to pursue a major, they can go to the Academic Advising Center for their major (in the case of International Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this is located in Farrior Hall – Farrior also advises exploratory students) and speak with an advisor who will make the change on their Degree Audit.

Upon declaring an International Studies major each student must choose one region of the world on which they will focus their studies (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East). Courses related to this regional track will count as their Category A courses. Courses related to any other regional track, or courses related to global themes, will count as their Category B courses. (A list of pre-approved courses for each region can be found here.)

When deciding which track to declare, students are encouraged to pick a region of the world they find particularly interesting, as this is the region on which most of their studies will focus. Additionally, students are required to take a foreign language relating to their region of study (e.g. French for a Europe track major, Arabic for a Middle East track major).

Is it possible to change my track?

Although it is possible to change your regional track later, students must decide to make this change with enough time to complete the requirements for the new track they choose. Any student considering changing their regional track must first meet with the Undergraduate Coordinator to ensure that they will have enough time to meet the requirements, and then they must go to the Academic Advising Center in Farrior Hall to have advisors change their major track in their Degree Audit.

What is the impact of adding a minor or certificate to my degree? How do I do this?

Minors and Certificates are both ways that students can enhance their academic focus and complement their international studies degree by specializing in a course of study outside of their major.

UF offers over 100 minors at UF, many of which have an international, intercultural, and/or language focus. To apply for a minor, complete this form. Please note, students must have 6 credits specific to the minor that do not overlap with any other major, minor, or certificate, to complete the minor.

To see a list of certificate programs, and learn about the requirements necessary to apply for a certificate, please click here. Students pursing a certificate must have 9 credits specific to the certificate that do not overlap with any other major, minor, or certificate.

What does the designation ‘Category A/Category B’ mean for courses? How many do I need of each?

Upon declaring an International Studies major each student must choose one region of the world on which they will focus their studies (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East). Courses related to this regional track will count as their Category A courses. Courses related to any other regional track, or courses related to global themes, will count as their Category B courses.

Each student is required to have:

  • 15 credits from “Category A” (courses specific to their region)
    • 12 of these credits must be at the 3000/4000 level
  • 15 credits from “Category B” (courses that are international in nature, or specific to a region outside of the chosen regional focus)
    • 9 of these credits must be at the 3000/4000 level

My course is not listed under Category A/Category B but I feel that it meets the requirements. Can it count?

The International Studies Program major at UF is an interdisciplinary major – this means that we accept courses from over 30 departments/units at UF. While our website lists a number of these courses, it is not a comprehensive list as new courses are introduced each semester.

Courses that meet the following criteria generally can be counted as Category A/Category B courses:

  • The majority of the course content covers material that is post-1800.
  • The majority of the content is global in nature.

That being said, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the Undergraduate Coordinator whether or not a course is appropriate to meet Category A/Category B requirements, and they may ask to see a syllabus of the course to determine whether or not it is. Additionally, they are the ones who will be able to substitute the course, if they feel it meets the criteria, into your Degree Audit.

I am taking a course for another major/minor that may also count for International Studies. Can it count for both?

Potentially! When a student is double majoring or minoring they must have 15 credits that are specific to each major that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate. Any other credits (not including those 15 credits specific for each major) may overlap. If the course is already on the pre-approved Category A/Category B lists then yes, the course may be counted for International Studies as well as the other major. If the course is not on the pre-approved Category A/Category B lists but you feel that it meets the requirements, see the next question.

Additionally, each minor must have 6 credits specific to the minor that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate.

Each certificate must have 9 credits specific to the certificate that do not count toward any other major, minor, or certificate.

Does it matter when I take INS3004/INS4930?

INS3004 is required to complete Critical Tracking/Term 5 Tracking (see #3b) for the International Studies Program major, and it is recommended that students take the course during their sophomore year.

INS4930 is a senior seminar class, and is generally taken during a student’s senior year as it requires a “capstone” research project/paper.

 

What qualifies as a ‘Senior Research Experience’?

Each International Studies student is required to complete either INS4930: International Studies Senior Research Seminar, OR to complete a Senior Research Experience.

  • INS4930: International Studies Senior Research Seminar: This offers students the opportunity to conduct research on international topics of their choice relating to their regional track and studies.
  • Senior Research Experience: Instead of taking INS4930, students may pursue other options to meet this final course requirement. This will require additional steps and approval from the undergraduate coordinator. All options must be attached to 3 credits and completion of a final research paper graded by a common rubric. Options should include one of the following:
    • Study Abroad with a research paper
    • Internship or work experience abroad with a research paper
    • Independent study course with research paper.

My Degree Audit isn’t registering some of my courses, even though they have been approved. How can this be fixed?

Because International Studies draws from courses from over 30 departments/units at UF, sometimes courses that can count toward the major may not be drawn into the Degree Audit automatically. This is often the case with courses that have 3930/4930 course code designations, as these are Rotating/Special Topics courses that may not have permanent course codes.

If a course has been approved as either Category A/Category B for your regional track (either because it is on this pre-approved course list, or because it meets the requirements listed above in #8), and is not registering on your Degree Audit, please come see the Undergraduate Coordinator, who can manually make a course substitution in the Degree Audit.

My Degree Audit isn’t registering some of my foreign language courses, even though they have been completed. How can this be fixed?

Occasionally, when a student tests out of a foreign language or brings in AP/IB credits that allow them to start with the intermediate level of the language rather than the beginners level, the Degree Audit does not register these “skipped” courses, and labels them red to indicate that the student has not completed the requirement. Students who are experiencing this issue may come to the Undergraduate Coordinator, who will be able to manually make the change in the Degree Audit, if appropriate for the situation.

ved as either Category A/Category B for your regional track (either because it is on this pre-approved course list, or because it meets the requirements listed above in #8), and is not registering on your Degree Audit, please come see the Undergraduate Coordinator, who can manually make a course substitution in the Degree Audit.

My Degree Audit isn’t registering some of my foreign language courses, even though they have been completed. How can this be fixed?

Occasionally, when a student tests out of a foreign language or brings in AP/IB credits that allow them to start with the intermediate level of the language rather than the beginners level, the Degree Audit does not register these “skipped” courses, and labels them red to indicate that the student has not completed the requirement. Students who are experiencing this issue may come to the Undergraduate Coordinator, who will be able to manually make the change in the Degree Audit, if appropriate for the situation.