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International Studies FAQs

Who will serve as my INST adviser?
The International Studies (INST) program is housed in the Political Science and Public Affairs Department.  Dr. Niall Michelsen (  serves as the Director of the Program.  He may serve as your International Studies advisor, or you will have one assigned to you from your second major. 

What language classes should I take?
The INST major requires that students take 231 and 232 in their chosen language, and then six additional hours in either that same language or another one offered by the Department of Modern Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Cherokee are all currently offered. Students can also satisfy the language requirement by studying at other universities, either in North Carolina, the US, or abroad.

How will my credits count if I place out of language courses?
Keep in mind that hours that are earned without grade points, i.e. hours earned by placing in an upper level class, cannot be used to satisfy the requirement of the six additional hours. For example, imagine that you take 231 and 232 in German, but decide not to continue with that particular language. If  you took Spanish in high school and placed into SPAN 231 at WCU, then you can get credit for SPAN 101-102 (six hours) on your transcript after earning a high enough grade in SPAN 231, but those hours will not satisfy the six-hour requirement of INST. You would still have to take SPAN 232 to satisfy the requirement.

Where can I Study Abroad and how can I integrate it into my International Studies major?
The world is literally full of options for studying abroad.  See the International Programs and Services website for more information.

Courses taken at a foreign university may be applied to the International Studies major when approved by the Director.  Some courses will be brought in as Major Electives and others, if they correspond directly with specific courses elsewhere in the major, will be counted as well.  Studying a foreign language overseas is a great option to consider.  There are two ways this can be done.  One is by studying at a foreign university; the other is by studying overseas with WCU faculty on faculty-led travel courses (typically offered only in summer).  In summer 2011 faculty will take WCU students to Germany, Japan, and Spain for intensive language coursework.

Study Abroad credits can also be applied to Liberal Studies and to your second major.  Always consult with the appropriate department. 

What kinds of careers are available to me upon graduation?

  1. Government
  2. Non-profit
  3. Business
  4. Education
  5. Graduate or Professional Degrees



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