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Letter from Chair

William Rasch, ChairThe Department of International Studies is an excellent choice for students who are interested in meeting the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century, challenges which require greater understanding of social, political and economic global issues, as well as knowledge of the languages and cultures of the world.

Founded in 2003, the undergraduate Program has graduated over 650 students and currently enrolls hundreds of majors. The growth and international reputation of the Program owes an enormous debt to its original director, Professor Dan Knudsen of the Department of Geography. He and the staff he hired developed a model undergraduate degree that attracts students from across the country and gives them access to careers that take them around the world. Most importantly, the International Studies major matches academic rigor with commitment to community service.

Our students are not just trained to hone their practical, managerial, and compassionately human skills; they are also educated to engage intellectually with the philosophical, theological, legal, social, historical, and political roots of contemporary ideologies. In our courses we examine the economic, moral, and legal aspects of globalization; communal identities within and across state boundaries; human rights advocacy and their political critique; cross-cultural communicative understanding and misunderstanding; the extent of global environmental and health challenges; the challenges to international governance and the rewards of diplomatic cooperation; and the role the arts — popular and elite — play in sustaining cultural cohesion or promoting cross-cultural collaboration.

The Department is part of the School of Global and International Studies. Our new, expanded curriculum builds on the strength of the previous Program to better equip majors with the intellectual and practical skills that prepare them for rewarding careers in the public and private sectors. Our faculty members have a wide range of expertise and teaching experience and they are dedicated to student learning. We will be adding a Master of Arts and Master of Sciences degrees in the next two years to continue on the tradition of excellence in international learning that Indiana University offers.

We invite you to join us. Bring with you your intellectual curiosity, your love of world languages and cultures, and your commitment to civic service.

William Rasch, Chair