Jul 24, 2024  
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog 
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog

International Affairs

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate:  120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate:  2.0

Minimum number of credits required to complete the major:  39

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major:  A “C” or better is required in all International Affairs courses counting towards the major, regardless of concentration.

Other GPA requirements to graduate:  Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in the courses in the major field that are credited toward the major

Required Course(s) for fulfilling the Capstone Experience:  Capstone course in major field of concentration on a topic in international affairs; or approved upper-level course in concentration modified to conform to capstone requirement; or directed research independent study in the major field of a concentration; or HON 498 /HON 499  on an appropriate topic.

Courses satisfying the writing intensive requirement within the major: Refer to the concentration listed below. 

Residency Requirement: 18 credits (15 credits in the concentration plus capstone experience).

Contact Information:  Kristin  Vekasi, Assoicate Professor,  Director, 207.581.1871, kristin.vekasi@maine.edu

The requirements listed on this page are specific to this particular major. Students are also responsible for meeting any graduation requirements set out by their college. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) should make sure to review those requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences  page of the catalog.

For more information about our undergraduate and graduate programs, program learning outcomes, internships, special resources and programs, and research and career opportunities, see our web site at https://umaine.edu/internationalaffairs/

Information about the International Affair major

Course overlap:  Students may only “double count” two courses (6 credits) to fulfill both IA and program requirements for a second major.

Capstone Requirement (3 credits)

IA majors may complete their capstone requirement in one of the following ways:

  • A capstone course whose topic falls within their thematic concentration.  For thematic concentrations with POS as the primary field, POS 499  may fulfill the capstone.  For thematic concentrations with HTY as the primary field, HTY 498  may fulfill the capstone.  For thematic concentrations with ANT as the primary field, ANT 493  or ANT 460  or ANT 497  may fulfill the capstone requirement.  For thematic concentrations with ECO as the primary field, ECO 489  may fulfill the capstone requirement.  For the concentration with MCL as the primary field, FRE 495  or SPA 495  may fulfill the capstone requirement. For Global Women’s, Gender, and Secuality Issues concentration, WGS 480 may fulfill the capstone. See immediately below for the Canadian Studies capstone.  Note:  International Affairs majors with a second major may fulfill the requirement with the capstone in that major if it has sufficient content from the thematic concentration’s primary field.  Students with questions in this area must consult with their academic adviser and the IA Director before they enroll for the course
  • In conjunction with an existing course in the student’s concentration, students may propose to conduct in-depth research and analysis with the faculty member teaching the course.  Students must have written approval of the course instructor and the IA Director.  Note: Students in the Canadian Studies concentration will meet their capstone requirement via this process through CAN 401  .  Any student of whatever concentration choosing this option must have senior standing and have declared the concentration in question.  Completion of the requirements of the existing course, standing alone, will not fulfill the capstone requirement.
  • A directed research project on an approved topic proposed by the student.  The project must meet the spirit and intent of the General Education capstone experience.  NOTE:  Students must have confirmation of a faculty member who will advise the project before they can register for an independent study course, and must have approval of the IA Director.
  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis on a topic clearly relevant to the major (approval of IA Director required)

Foreign Language Experience

  • Students must demonstrate their linguistic ability through a language exam, known as the Oral Proficiency Interview. A score of Intermediate (Low, Mid, or High) is required. For details on scheduling the OPI and its associated cost, contact the chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics and see the major web page.
  • Minimum preparation for the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) is assumed to be six (6) credits at the 300 level or above in French or Spanish.
  • Students who wish to select German or one of the other languages taught in the Critical Languages program must consult the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.  As students choosing one of these languages cannot be guaranteed sufficient class time to reach intermediate status, they must plan to participate in an intensive immersion experience in the United States or through study abroad. The Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics will notify a student’s academic advisor and the IA Director whenever a language other than French or Spanish is chosen.
  • International students are permitted to meet the language requirement with their TOEFL score, but are encouraged to undertake further foreign language study.
  • Students may not use their native language to meet the language requirement.

Thematic Concentration Requirements - 21-27 credit hours

Thematic concentrations are designed to provide students with substantial, in-depth, and focused study of an aspect of International Affairs.  Students must select one concentration from below and take a minimum of 7 courses up to a maximum of 9 courses from that concentration; at least 2 courses must be in a secondary field.  Other thematic concentrations may be created in the future.

B. History and Development of the Global System

 (HTY as primary field):

D. Culture, Conflict, and Globalization

Required Anthropology core class and capstone (C or better):

  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3
  • Alternatively,  with approval, students may fulfill the capstone requirement with ANT 460, ANT497 or the Honors thesis (HON 498/499).  Double majors:  If IA is your secondary major, the capstone from your primary major may fulfill your IA capstone requirement as long as there is an international affairs component to it (chair approval required).  However, the earned credits of your primary capstone experience/course will not count toward the minimum number of credits required for the IA major.

Electives 21 credits (C or better):

F. Language, Culture and the Humanities

(French or Spanish as primary field):

 21 credits at the 300 or 400 level in French or Spanish beyond the IA Language Experience Requirement (ACTFL OPI rating of “Intermediate”), and 6 credits in a single discipline outside Modern Languages and Classics listed below.

1 course in advanced-intermediate (300 level) or advanced (400 level) target language grammar or linguistics

1 course in the development of speaking skills

1 course in the literature of the target language

1 course in the target culture, civilization, or contemporary society

1 travel study course in immersions (waived for a semester, year or intensive summer study abroad in immersion)

2 electives taught in the target language


2 courses in any one of the disciplines listed below.  Courses from these disciplines should be selected in consultation with the academic advisor to insure their relevance to the concentration.  They may not be used to satisfy the IA Core Requirement


Art History




Peace Studies


G. Canadian Studies

The Canadian Studies program at the University of Maine is the only area studies program at a state university in New England that is recognized by the US Department of Education under its Title VI International Education program.

From the list below, IA majors with a Canadian Studies concentration must take CAN 101 and eight other listed courses. At least two of which must be in the same discipline. Students in the Canadian Studies concentration must meet the IA language requirement in French. 

H. Global Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Issues

Women’s Studies (now Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) has been part of the International Affairs major for a decade.  Its importance to the field of International Affairs is made clear by the recent explosion of scholarly works that combine gender with an international focus and by the increasing attention to the role that gender plays in politics, conflict, international aid, and sustainability.  It is impossible to turn on the network or internet news without seeing at least one article related to an international women’s and/or gender issue.  The Global Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Issues Concentration provides an important option for students who want to explore interdisciplinarity explicitly.

Core Courses and Non-WGS courses

 From the list below students must take 3 WGS core courses of their choice, and must select two non-WGS courses with the same designator (for example: ANT):

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