The University Honors College (UHC) and University Center for International Studies (UCIS) have created the Bachelor of Philosophy in International and Area Studies (BPhil IAS), a research-based undergraduate major that will help students meet the demands of today’s world. The BPhil IAS degree is awarded jointly by the student’s home school and the University Honors College and is the first undergraduate degree in international studies at Pitt.
The goal of the BPhil IAS degree is to enable students to think critically about their global world and to gain “global competence,” which involves working effectively in different international settings, an awareness of the major currents of global change and the resulting issues raised, the capacity for effective communication across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and personal adaptability to diverse cultures.
Students seeking the BPhil IAS degree must have a minimum GPA of 3.50/4.00; complete an approved program of study involving coursework, second language, and study abroad; and write and publicly defend their research thesis before a faculty examining board that includes a visiting faculty member from outside the University. The BPhil IAS is not a freestanding major, as it requires the student to combine the BPhil IAS with a major in the student’s home school of admission (A&S, CBA, Engineering, etc.); students must combine the BPhil IAS requirements with all curriculum requirements for a degree in their home school of admission.
Students seeking the BPhil in IAS must:
- have a minimum grade point average of 3.50/4.00; and
- complete eight approved courses (24 credits); and
- complete one methods course specific to their second major or to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
- complete one directed study course related to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
- complete three years of college-level language study or equivalent proficiency in a language relevant to their BPhil thesis research topic; and
- write and publicly defend their research thesis (the BPhil thesis) before a faculty examining board that includes a visiting faculty member from outside the University; and
- complete a second major in another academic discipline (note that only two courses from this major can overlap with the approved courses for the IAS major).
Students interested in the BPhil in IAS may complete one of the following tracks in UCIS: Asian Studies, European Union Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Studies, or Russian and East European Studies