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November 23, 2005

Pitt to offer 1st undergrad international studies degree

The University Honors College and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) have created the Bachelor of Philosophy in International and Area Studies (B.Phil. IAS) degree, a new research-based undergraduate degree that will help students meet the global demands of today’s workplace.

The B.Phil. IAS degree will be awarded by the Honors College and is the first undergraduate degree in international studies at Pitt.

The goal of the B.Phil. 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 issues raised, the capacity for effective communication across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and personal adaptability to diverse cultures.

The global studies track is the first of the tracks available to students pursuing the IAS major this fall. (Future IAS tracks from other Pitt area studies programs may emerge from faculty initiatives.)

Developed with global studies program at UCIS, the IAS degree allows students to focus on such global issues as sustainable development; global economy and governance; changing identities in a global world; communication, technology and society; conflict and conflict resolution, and global health. The new B.Phil. IAS degree builds on certificate programs in African studies, Asian studies, European Union studies, global studies, Latin American studies, Russian and East European studies and West European studies in UCIS and the Honors College’s B.Phil. thesis degree.

Students seeking the B.Phil. IAS degree must have a minimum QPA of 3.25/4.0; complete an approved program of study involving coursework, foreign language and study abroad, and write and publicly defend their research thesis before a faculty examining board that includes a faculty member from outside Pitt. Unlike free-standing departmental degrees, the B.Phil IAS requires a second disciplinary major and a research thesis on an international topic done in close collaboration with a faculty adviser.

For more information, contact David Hornyak, University Honors College, at 412/624-6884 or, or Lisa Alfredson, global studies, at 412/648-2113 or

Filed under: Feature,Volume 38 Issue 7

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