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What is the International Affairs Major at Lafayette?

Coming into college I was completely undecided. After talking with a professor in the German department, I learned that Lafayette has an International Affairs department. This piqued my curiosity and I have never looked back. Now you might be wondering what the heck International Affairs (IA) is. Let me give you a broad overview of what the IA program at Lafayette looks like and what classes you could look forward to taking. 

International Affairs is an interdisciplinary major that teaches you about globalization and its various implications through the study of specific world regions and focused themes. Classes pull from the disciplines of Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering to create a holistic perspective of global issues and their contexts. 

As an IA major, you pick a thematic concentration and a regional concentration. As a junior, I would recommend being deliberate about what region and concentration you select. I knew that I would study German as a double major. Therefore, I selected a European regional concentration. This will ultimately lead to a less stressful course selection process throughout your time at Lafayette since you will be able to double-count courses. 

Now, you may be wondering what options there are for your concentrations. Here is a brief list of the concentrations but you can find more information on the IA website.

Thematic Concentrations

  • Global Conflict and Cooperation
  • Development Studies
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Global Networks, Global Cities
  • Culture, Power, and Identity in the Modern World
  • Global Environmental Studies

Regional Concentrations

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Middle East

The IA department is also is supportive of students who wish to pursue self-designed themes within the department. Overall I could not recommend a more interesting major. As for course, the IA department only requires 3 mandatory courses across all themes and concentrations. That means that your IA experience will be unique to each person which leads to lively classroom discussions where each student brings a different perspective. I cannot recommend checking out International Affairs more if you are still undecided!

Layla Ennis

Lafayette '23

Campus Correspondent Junior at Lafayette College
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