Student Seeing the Sights While Studying Abroad

International Studies

Explore immersive opportunities, travel the world and gain diverse cultural experiences as an international studies major.

Why Study International Studies?

As an international studies major at USD, you will expand your understanding of the world through experiences in and beyond the classroom. Here you will find an abundance of opportunities for travel abroad and exchange programs that truly interest you. Whether you're studying on campus or across the ocean, our program will position you to gain a deeper understanding of the world's cultures, ideas, languages, politics, history, literature and more. You will learn from faculty with extensive international experience who are dedicated to your success. Explore the world now so that you are prepared for your future career as a foreign service officer, social worker, professor, lawyer, physician, pastor, government official, journalist or another profession. 

Embrace the expansive world and cultures around you as an international studies major.                                 

Degrees & Offerings

International Studies (B.A.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

A degree in international studies will prepare you for employment in education, business, government, journalism and a variety of other fields. With an emphasis on study abroad opportunities, this program will help you see and understand our global community.

International Studies

  Vermillion Main Campus

An international studies minor will help you become internationally literate and familiar with diverse cultures, ideas, languages, politics, history, literature and more. This program is a great complement to majors like political science, business and communication studies.

Program Details






Known For Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.
Student Group Studying Abroad
Many study abroad opportunities are available to explore.

Study abroad is a core component of this program; all international studies majors study abroad while at USD. Students have done everything from participating in a ten-day, faculty-led program to Turkey to spending an entire year in Uzbekistan. International studies majors who maintain a strong GPA qualify for financial assistance from the Department of Political Science Farber Fund for study abroad opportunities, internships and research. 

Learn More About Study Abroad

You can choose to take part in a number of student organizations, including Model United Nations, Mock Trial, Amnesty International, International Club and more, so you will have many opportunities to meet your peers, network across campus and learn outside the classroom.

Explore Student Organizations

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in political science.
Tom Brokaw Robert Legvold Aalfs Auditorium speaking event

Political Science

Whether you are interested in a career in government and politics, law, the criminal justice system, international relations or a related field, the real-world experiences and connections you find in the Department of Political Science will help you get there.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Political Science. Our faculty are experts in their fields, contributing research and scholarship in American government, criminology, victimology, international human rights, gender politics, race/ethnicity in politics, comparative political economy, international law and more. They bring practical experience in government, law and the private sector to the classroom.
Bio Image for Faculty Member David Earnest

David Earnest

Chair, Political Science/Director of the Farber Center/Professor


International Political Economy
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jenna Borseth

Jenna Borseth

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Card

Michael Card

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member April Carrillo

April Carrillo

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ilmira Dulyanova

Ilmira Dulyanova

Director of Online Graduate Programs & Coordination
Bio Image for Faculty Member Matthew Fairholm

Matthew Fairholm

Coordinator-Graduate Programs, Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Edwin Gerrish

Edwin Gerrish

Coordinator-MPA, Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Julia Hellwege

Julia Hellwege

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Joshua Houy

Joshua Houy

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Eric Jepsen

Eric Jepsen

Coordinator-Undergraduate Studies, Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sandy Mckeown

Sandy Mckeown

Coordinator-Criminal Justice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Thomas Mrozla

Thomas Mrozla

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Shane Nordyke

Shane Nordyke

Coordinator, Chieseman Center/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Schorn

Timothy Schorn

Coordinator-International Studies, Associate Professor
A student rock climbing in a foreign country.

See the World

You can be a part of the international studies program that has a record of success. Recently, USD produced two Boren Scholars who went on to study in Senegal and Kyrgyzstan. We have watched our students intern for the State Department in the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Morocco. You can follow in the footsteps of accomplished alumni, including a medical doctor in the United States Army, an Episcopal priest with a graduate degree from Yale, a legislative director on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and a school psychologist in Iowa, as well as lawyers, professors, social workers and more.
Students on Stage at Diwali Event

Get Involved in Your Global Community

Our program encourages you to study abroad, take a diverse set of courses and find a path that truly interests you. As an international studies major, you have the opportunity to specialize in a foreign language while also taking classes that inform your perspective of domestic and global events. For example, you may choose to specialize in Spanish while also taking classes about Latin American politics — which can then relate to your study abroad experience. This gives you a great background to be a candidate for jobs in government, nonprofit organizations or the private sector. 

You will be able to demonstrate the cultivation of knowledge, skills, values and motivation that will enable you to make a difference in the civic life of communities. Our graduates have helped promote the quality of life in communities and engage in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the global community. 

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

hear from an Alum

Success story Anna Adams smiling.
The support provided by the faculty was better than I ever could have imagined. They work to make sure you stay on track by taking courses you will utilize beyond graduation. This program prepared me for my internship with the Council of Europe and graduate school at Syracuse.

Anna Marie Andrews

B.A. International Studies, Political Science '21
Admissions Counselor, University of South Dakota

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