NOTE: Students who major in international studies with a GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible to write a thesis pursuing research topics in International Studies. The thesis (IS 4080 and 4082) may only count as three credit hours toward the requirements for the upper-level electives.


IS 1000 Introduction to International Studies

Addresses strategies for understanding international relations, human rights, sustainable development and environmental stewardship. these and other aspects of internationalization are studied in various social, cultural, economic, historical, and political contexts.

IS 2000 The Politics of Citizenship

This course is designed to introduce students to citizenship as a theoretical and applied concept. It will focus on the following themes: conceptions of citizenship; conditions for active citizenship; citizenship and religion; Canadian citizenship and Indigenous justice.

IS 3000 Sociology of Global Issues

Encourages students to make use of sociological perspectives in an effort to be critically aware of global issues and opportunities, particularly in reference to the developing world.


Students may have a choice between the French and German courses. Note: students who are bilingual in a modern language are exempt.

FR 1000/1050-Introduction to French

These introductory courses in French language and culture encourage the development of elementary proficiency in oral expression, listening comprehension, reading, and writing.  While aiming for an overall balance between these four core language skills, the course will place slightly greater emphasis on oral communication.  Classes will be communicative and interactive in nature, promoting progress in the ability to communicate with confidence in common and predictable situations, using high-frequency words, expressions, and phrases.  The course material will also promote cultural understanding and basic grammatical and lexical knowledge pertaining to the Francophone world.

FR 2/3122 French Language and Culture through Film

This course will use a variety of French films as a springboard for exploring French language and culture. The elementary level (FR 2122) will focus on developing greater French proficiency in all four language skills – oral, listening, reading and writing – along with increased vocabulary and grammatical competence. The intermediate/advanced level (FR 3122) will emphasize fluency in discussing films and the issues they raise, and confidence in reading or writing about them, while expanding lexical and grammatical knowledge. The two levels will sometimes have separate class times, and at others they will come together.

GER 1000/1050-Introduction to German

is an introductory German course for students with no prior knowledge of the language.  The course is designed to develop proficiency in oral and written communication skills while providing students with knowledge and understanding of cultures of German-speaking countries. Students develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through a variety of activities.  The course enables students to understand, speak, read, and write simple, idiomatic German by introducing them to the sounds, word forms, sentence structures and basic vocabulary of German.

IS 2050 Macro Economics: Development in an Independent World

The course will introduce students to the discipline of economics, with the primary focus being on macroeconomics. The course will cover some economic history but will primarily be focused on exploring the institutions and mechanisms that define contemporary capitalism.

IS 3090 Field Experience

This course is designed to give IS students an opportunity to participate in efforts directed at addressing issues that have international significance. Students will identify, contact and coordinate work co-op, internship or volunteer opportunities with organizations that are working to address issues that may be local and/or global in scope. The experience could be a full time position for an entire term, one day a week for a few months, or an intensive travel experience of a few weeks. Along with the instructor, the students will compile an appropriate reading list related to the chosen topic/issue, record reflections during their experience, and complete a final report and presentation on key areas of the experience.

IS 3124 Language, Culture and Identity

This course will explore the nature of and relationship between language(s) and culture(s), both in theory and through contemporary and historical case studies spanning a variety of cultures and languages, while tracing the impact this dynamic relationship has on identity formation at personal, collective and national levels. Through readings, discussions, assignments, and guest speaker visits, some of the topics covered will be language attitudes and policies, bilingualism, linguistic issues of globalization, language vitality and language death, and language acquisition. As we learn about global contexts ranging from Canada to Catalunya, we will also gain greater understanding of our own culture and language, and how these tie into our sense of identity.


IS 2113 Perspectives on Southeast Asia

This course is delivered in collaboration and partnership with Chiang Mai University (CMU) and Payap University in Thailand, and various NGOs in Southeast Asia. It includes a full program of lectures delivered by CMU as well as coordinated experiential learning with CMU, Payap and various NGOs This includes two weeks of homestays with Thai families, a visit to a northern hill tribe, contextual sustainable development education, and guided tours through historic sites (such as Sukhothai).

IS/Hist 2501 The Emergence of Southeast Asia

Provides a survey of the traditional societies and ancient empires of the region, including patterns of migration and trade. focuses on the impact of the colonial period, and Southeast Asia’s various paths to independence, modernization and resurgence in the decades following world war II.

IS/Phil 3050 19th and 20th Century Philosophy

This course focuses on how people perceive, learn, remember, and process information. Topics of study include, for example, cognitive neuroscience, perceptions, memory, language, and human and artificial intelligence.

IS 3091 Contemporary Europe

Considers various aspects of society and culture in relation to the myriad forces affecting contemporary Europe. encourages students to make connections between selected themes in European history, politics, religion and philosophy yesterday and today.

IS 3092 Field Experience II

This course is designed to give students academic credit for work with co-op, internship & extensive volunteer experiences.

IS 3093 Humanitarian Issues in Contemporary Europe

This course exposes International Studies students to selected issues currently present in the European Union and what measures are being taken to address them. the international context of this course will give students the opportunity to examine many topics first- hand. to accomplish this, students will engage with literature and organizations that are working to address current humanitarian issues. Students will also read about and intentionally engage in cultural activities to become more familiar with European culture today and gain further insight into the people affected by the issues Europe is facing today.

IS 3120 - Mass Media, Culture and Social Change

In this course we will reflect on the pervasive presence of mass media in our culture and beyond, including both traditional and new media. Students will be introduced to media and communication theory and provided with a framework for understanding how media messages are constructed, whose interests they serve and the growing influence of social media and citizen journalism.  We will then consider the relationship between mass media and international development, evaluating the extent to which mass media influences social discourse and drives social change.

IS 2/3121 Cross-cultural Sociology

This course introduces students to various aspects of cultural intelligence and sociology as they relate to cross-cultural travel generally and for the Asia study abroad term specifically.

IS 2/3131 Southeast Asian Culture through Film

Film is a powerful medium for engaging and exploring our response to different cultures. This course introduces film studies as a preparation (or follow-up) for travelling to Southeast Asia, comparing and contrasting insider and outsider views of Southeast Asia. Students will view and analyze Hollywood films about Asia as well as national films made by local directors leading to a greater appreciation for the tension between local and foreign perspectives and stereotypes and the role of media in contributing to national identity.

IS 3142 First Nations Voices and Themes

This course will be centred around a series of 6-8 evening lectures, presented by First Nations speakers and/or by individuals who have significant experience or expertise in First Nations issues. Additionally, students may travel to one or two First Nations communities to hear First Nations perspectives on relevant issues. Themes for the course will include: history, identity, spirituality, language, culture, art, political engagement and activism, health, education, the Truth and Reconciliation Process, etc.

IS 3191 Intercultural Learning Opportunity

This course is allocated for short term travel courses.

IS 3220 Sustainable Living

This seminar course will be a very practical course in one sense – helping you to reduce your carbon footprint and increase your social impact – but will also look at global implications of local actions.

IS 3320 Principles and Practices of Effective International Development

There is a great deal of humanitarian relief and development work being done by organizations and agencies from within civil society (that is, non government agencies). while many of these agencies have similar objectives in terms of the goal of their development efforts, they often adopt different methodologies to accomplish their goals. this course will begin with a literature review of models of development and will attempt to formulate fundamental principles that seem to be consistently important for effective development in the present global context.

IS 3324 NGO Project Management and Evaluation

This course serves to offer a practical understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) create, implement and evaluate projects, specifically in areas of sustainable development and disaster relief. We will study the fundamentals of Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) systems, discuss challenges and best practices, and focus on case studies to see these systems in action. The aim is learn more about NGO project management and provide students with an opportunity to develop skills to work in this field.

IS/ENG 3330 Global Short Fiction

Provides an overview of fictional short stories from various countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia; examines the current political, economic and cultural context of each country and how a piece of literature has influenced (and been influenced by) a particular period in world history. Through researching the current and historical situations of various countries, studying a sampling of the fictional literature created in these nations and discussing issues of gender, race, origin of birth, economic standing, etc., students will gain new insight into literature from around the globe.

IS 3490 Politics of Advocacy

This course will help students understand the various components of the process of effective advocacy and will give them an opportunity to get involved in an advocacy campaign. This is intended to be a companion course to The Politics of Citizenship but can be taken before or after that course, or independently. This course combines academic and experiential components to help students understand both the theory behind advocacy as well as the practical dynamics of political engagement for the purpose of effecting change within the Canadian (or global) context.

IS/Hist 3491 Introduction to the European Union

Introduces the European Union, its history, present circumstances, significance, and future directions. Investigates similarities and differences between the political structure of individual nations that make up the EU and explores the perceptions of Europeans regarding their political institutions.

IS/RS 3511 Encountering World Religions

As part of the Asia Study Abroad term, this course prepares students for visits to sites related to Southeast Asian religions. It facilitates interpretation and reflection on the experiential learning encounters with Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Asian expressions of Christianity.

IS 3583 Practical Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

This course introduces students to the field of peace and conflict studies by exploring the prevention, analysis, and resolution of conflict and the many innovative and creative ways to build peace in fragmented societies. The course focuses on the components, theoretical paradigms, and methods of peacebuilding “from the ground up,” although attention will also be given to official high-level peace processes and negotiations, with an emphasis on how ground-level and high-level activities complement or otherwise impact each other.

IS 2/3612 Community Development

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of community development through the lenses of grass-roots/activist community development, organizational/ngo led community development, and land-use planning as it relates to community development.

IS/Phil 3620 Business Ethics

Examines ethical issues arising in the business environment, including drug testing, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing and corporate social responsibility.

IS 3801 Cross-cultural Preparation (SEA) through Literature and Film

Introduces the specific ways in which film or literature studies can help prepare students for a cross cultural experience. There is a particular emphasis on the difference between artistic interpretations of culture by insiders vs. outsiders.

IS/Hist 3810 Intentional Community in North America

Examines the rich history of intentional community in North America and explores the religious, economic, cultural and utopian roots involved in the development of these communities. The course will examine modern trends in the development of intentional community that centre around such issues as sustainability, justice, co-operation and spirituality.

IS/ENG 3820 Writing and Place: Literature and the Environment

This course is designed to expose students to writing that explores the following
questions: Where is here? How can a person/a people truly inhabit a place? In the face of the current environmental predicament students will read literature that focuses on the more-than-human life and our place in relation to it. In the face of increased global travel and mobility students will read literature by people whose life has been grounded in a specific place, who understand place as being “story-soaked.” Finally this course considers possible links between literary appreciation & social action.

IS/ENG 3836 At Home in Stories: Countering Exile in Contemporary Canadian Literature

This course will explore the following questions: how do members of a displaced or exiled community and/or culture remember their story and continue their history in the face of all that estranges and threatens to erase them as a people?  How do stories contribute to a person or a people’s search for home?  How do those displaced through a dominant empire story write their stories in contrast to that story, in order to develop their own particular identity?  With these questions in mind, we will read how contemporary Canadian immigrant and First Nations literary writers, through their poetry, stories, memoirs, and drama, imagine and represent what it means to become at-home.

IS/ENG 3840 Literature of Southeast Asia

This course will provide an introduction to some of S.E. Asia’s contemporary authors and literature, most largely unknown to a North American audience due to the author’s origin, gender, language or race.   In each class we will discuss a few details that shape the current political, economic and cultural context of each country.

IS 3872 Resilience and Resistance (Women's Studies) Cross-listed with HIST 3872

This an upper level interdisciplinary seminar course that will explore women’s realities through a general framework of resilience and resistance. This course will weave together insights and perspectives from history, literature, international studies, sociology and psychology (at least). We will identify and explore themes that emerge as we gather together, listening to thoughts, feelings, experiences, and research of the facilitators and other participants. Expect to be inspired, challenged and perhaps confounded.

IS/RS 3882 Religion, Peace, and Conflict

By drawing on sacred texts and experiences of the major world religions and the available studies on religious violence and peace, this course examines how religion can intersect with other political, economic, social and cultural forces to justify violent conflict and explores the many ways in which interfaith peacebuilders may appeal to religious values, teachings, rituals, and myths as resources for interreligious peacebuilding. This course also explores components and strategies of peacebuilding that are best suited to transforming sectarian conflict.

IS 4020 Directed Reading

This course is an independent study in selected topics.

IS 4080 Thesis Reading and Research

the research portion of the baccalaureate thesis project in International Studies. By the end of the term, each student will submit to the instructor: (1) an annotated bibliography of the secondary material relevant to the thesis, (2) an 8- to 10-page paper related to some aspect of the material examined during the bibliographical search, and (3) a detailed outline of the thesis.

IS 4082 Baccalaureate Thesis

following successful completion of IS 4080, a student may use the research to write a thesis of at least 15,000 words (exclusive of footnotes and bibliography). the thesis should demonstrate thoughtful appraisal and the ability to present a scholarly argument, and should reflect the ethos of SSU in a substantial way. At the conclusion of the term, students will be required to make oral presentations based on their theses.

IS 4084 Senior Research Project

Students may enroll in IS 4084, undertaking a directed study in a selected topic with one professor, producing a major research essay at the end of the course. Permission to undertake such a plan of study must be granted by the IS 4084 professor, the Dean of Arts and the Associate Registrar.

IS 4090 Global Engagement (International Studies Practicum)

It’s one thing to study about global issues, but another thing to get engaged in an effective way right here at home. In this course students will discover creative ways to integrate knowledge attained through the International Studies curriculum, their other courses at SSU, observations from their travel experiences, and participation in events in civil society in order to articulate and share information with the rest of the SSU community and in the broader local community of St. Stephen.

IS 4472 Politics, Power and Identity

This upper level seminar course will allow students to focus on a particular theme around power and identity – for example, gender identity, feminism, indigenous identity, racial Identity, identity issues for immigrants and refugees, religious identity, etc. – and explore how this particular theme impacts, and is impacted by, Canadian society today.

TESL 3000 - Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language

This course will combine theoretical training in the principles and methods of teaching English as a Second Language, with some practical experience in lesson planning and classroom teaching, while encouraging a deepening understanding of English grammar and phonology. It will provide good preparation for teaching English to non-native speakers in a variety of contexts, and for a wide range of age groups, levels, and class sizes, and will also explore career options and professional development within the field.

Program Policies: BAIS students may take one optional short term study abroad trip for up to 3 credit hours. Additional optional study abroad trips can be participated in without credit. BIS students do not have room in their program for IS 3092 – Field Experience II or optional education abroad courses for credit, but are welcome to participate in optional education abroad courses without credit. If a BIS student cannot complete either Asia or Europe because of extenuating circumstances or program timing outside of their control, they need to take IS 3092 and an optional education abroad course for credit.

Total Degree Requirements: 120 Credit Hours. St. Stephen’s University reserves the right to cancel or revise any of the courses listed or to withdraw for the term any course for which there is insufficient demand. All courses are not offered every year.