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Before we seek to change the world, we work to understand it.

Drawing students from all over the world, American University's top-ranked School of International Service (SIS) has the largest faculty and most comprehensive curriculum of any school of international affairs in the United States. With our Washington, DC, location and a multidisciplinary approach that combines theory and practice, there is no better place to build your global career of service.

Prime Location

The BA in International Studies requires 120 credit hours of coursework with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better, completion of the college writing requirement, and completion of the university mathematics requirement. Admission is based on evidence of excellent personal and academic qualifications. To be considered for freshman admission, an applicant should have earned at least a B average in secondary school. Other factors taken into account are cultural background, leadership qualities, character, and personal interest. The BA in International Studies prepares students for internationally-focused careers in government, non-profits, and the private sectors. The curriculum is firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, inherently interdisciplinary, and aimed at helping students to think critically and clearly about the most pressing global challenges.

Program details
Degree and admission requirements

SIS has more than 120 full-time faculty from across the social sciences including anthropology, economics, geography, law, political science, and sociology. Our faculty research and write on a variety of geographic and intellectual areas; many have extensive experience in the public and private sectors, both in the United States and internationally.

Meet the undergraduate faculty leads

Strategically located in Washington, DC, SIS brings the nation’s capital into the classroom. Our students receive training in international studies that is both multidisciplinary and policy-relevant and that prepares them for successful careers in academia, government, and non-government organizations around the globe.

Global Character, Global Impact

Find out how an undergraduate degree from SIS can start your career of global impact.

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We Know Success

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

Advocating for People Displaced by Climate Change

Kayly Ober, SIS/BA '08

It was very important to dedicate my career to something that was impactful.

Because of the location of SIS in Washington, DC, I was afforded the opportunity to have internships at different organizations that helped shape my career. My advice is to make use of SIS’s connections and location to be able to work for organizations that mean something to you and that inspire you. Learn more about Ober's career and work at Refugees International.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you should apply to the program depends on whether you are transferring from another college or university, whether you are a domestic or international student, and in what semester you want to start taking classes.

Application deadlines for undergraduates

Fall Semester

May 1
All transfer students
November 15
Freshman early decision
January 15
Freshman early decision 2
Freshman regular decision

Spring Semester

October 1
Freshman regular decision
International transfer students
November 1
US transfer students

Summer Semester

April 1
US transfer students

The BA in International Studies provides students with a curriculum that is firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, inherently interdisciplinary, and aimed at helping students to think critically and clearly about the most pressing global challenges. Our graduates find positions in national, state, and local governments; they enter the private sector; and they join nonprofit organizations and NGOs. Some have started their own international development nonprofits; some work with countries undergoing post-conflict transition; and some work in government agencies doing everything from policy analysis to resources requirements and finance. They have two things in common: they are all extraordinary, and they all started their careers with a BA in International Studies from SIS.

Looking for more information or help? SIS has a dedicated career development center to assist current students and alumni. 

American University’s Financial Aid office is a comprehensive resource for students considering undergraduate studies at SIS. Grants, scholarships, loans, veterans benefits—information is available about each of them.

Financial aid information for prospective students

Learn more about the cost of attendance

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