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International Law Major

The B.A. Major in International Law and Institutions will prepare students to:

  1. understand the origins of international law as well as the history and current relevance of international institutions
  2. identify the actors in international law making, interpretation, and execution, including states, international organizations, NGOs, and civil society actors
  3. understand the role of international agreements by focusing on how and when they are negotiated, interpreted, implemented, and enforced
  4. explore the strengths and weaknesses of international law as a mechanism for managing international relations and addressing international and global challenges
  5. evaluate how states’ actions and social movements influence international law
  6. interpret how international law shapes civil society and influences social change
  7. understand the intersection between international law and the operation of international institutions in international affairs

At the core of this major is the relationship between international law and global governance through supranational institutions. Students in this major will study a variety of topics, including the efforts to regulate the conduct of war, develop human rights doctrines, respond to migration, define and protect the global commons, and regulate international investments, trade, and development. An in-depth understanding of international law and institutions will help students appreciate the dynamic nature of international relationships, which are adjusting as notions of state sovereignty evolve and as non-state actors play significant roles. Students will develop practical and intellectual skills to prepare them for careers in international fields. In particular, they will sharpen their analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills in relation to the study of international law; they will also develop the cultural and regional expertise that is the hallmark of graduates from the Department of International Studies.

Overall Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours including the following:

1. Introductory courses. Complete a-c below (4 courses):

  1. POLS Y-211 Introduction to Law
  2. INTL-L 250 International Law and Institutions
  3. Any two (2) of the following courses:
    • INTL-I 100 Introduction to International Studies
    • INTL-I 101 The World in Crisis
    • INTL-I 202 Global Health and Environment
    • INTL-I 203 Global Development
    • INTL-I 204 Human Rights and International Law
    • INTL-I 205 Culture and Politics
    • INTL-I 206 Peace and Conflict
    • INTL-I 210 Diplomacy, Security, Governance
    • INTL-I 212 Negotiating Global Challenges

2. Core courses. Complete a-d below (6 courses):

  1. INTL-I 315 Research Design in International Studies
  2. At least two (2) of the following courses (this list will be added to in Fall 2018):
    • INTL L-350 Origins and Evolution of International Law
    • INTL L-353 Laws and Institutions in International Investment
    • INTL L-356 Intervention and Sovereignty
  3. At least two (2) additional courses from the following:
    • INTL-I 300 Topics in International Studies
    • INTL-I 302 Advanced Topics in Global Health and Environment
    • INTL-I 303 Advanced Topics in Global Development
    • INTL-I 304 Advanced Topics in Human Rights and International Law
    • INTL-I 305 Advanced Topics in International Communication and Arts
    • INTL-I 306 Advanced Topics in Identity and Conflict
    • INTL-I 310 Advanced Topics in Diplomacy, Security, Governance
    • INTL-X 370 Topics with Service Learning in International Studies
    • INTL-X 390 Individual Readings in International Studies
    • INTL-I 420 Environment: Global Perspectives
    • INTL-I 421 Human Rights and the Arts
    • INTL-I 422 Contested Territories/Conflicted Identities
    • INTL-I 423 Postcolonial/Postcommunist Discourses
    • INTL-I 424 War and Peace
    • INTL-I 425 Gender: International Perspectives
    • INTL-I 426 Advanced Topics in International Studies
    • INTL-I 427 Issues in Global Development and Political Economy
    • INTL-I 428 Social Justice and the Environment
    • INTL-I 429 Global Health Politics
    • INTL-I 499 Seminar in Conflict Studies
  4. At least one course taken to fulfill 2b or 2c must be at the 400 level or higher
  5. With department and faculty approval, students may count a regular Maurer course as a third course taken under 2b.
  6. Students may also substitute a law-related course, from a list of approved courses, from another College department in 2b. Courses include:
    • CJUS P-407, Terrorism
    • EALC E-350, Law and Society in Contemporary China
    • POLS Y-364, International Organization
    • POLS Y-367, International Law
    • SOC S-326, Law and Society (with international component)

3. Foreign Language. Complete one (1) of the following (a, b or c):

  1. Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the third year of college-level coursework (6 semesters)
  2. Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level coursework and another foreign language through the second semester of the first year (4 + 2 semesters)
  3. Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level coursework (4 semesters), the first semester of a second foreign language and the first semester of a third foreign language (4 + 1 + 1 semesters)

Note: Non-native speakers of English may petition the Department of International Studies for exemption from third-year language study.

4. International Experience. Overseas study of at least 6 weeks duration, approved in advance by International Studies. Credits taken during an international experience do not count towards the major.

5. Internship. Internship of at least six weeks focused on international law or Practicum with enrollment in the following course:

  1. INTL-X 473 Internship in International Studies

6. Capstone. Complete one (1) of the following:

  • INTL-I 400 International Studies Capstone Seminar
  • INTL-I 406 Honors International Studies Capstone Seminar

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

New Courses for Fall 2018

  • INTL L-250 Introduction to International Law and Institutions. Introduces the central instruments and methodological tools of international law through study of international law cases, major treaties, and key institutions such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.
  • INTL L-350 Origins and Evolution of International Law. Explores the history, central figures, and key arguments in the development of international law; concepts to be discussed include ‘natural law’, ‘reason of state’, ‘positivism’, ‘embedded liberalism’, ‘crimes against humanity’, and ‘Responsibility to Protect’.
  • INTL L-356 Intervention and Sovereignty. Discusses the origins and evolution of international laws on genocide, atrocity, and crimes against humanity, and explores the philosophical and legal bases for international laws on conflict.