Message from the Director

2015-07-10_Matthew_Jacobs-8042Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the International Studies Program here at the University of Florida. International Studies began as a stand-alone undergraduate major during the 2011-2012 academic year, and over the ensuing five years has been one of the fastest growing majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as the University of Florida as a whole.

Students find the major appealing for many reasons. International Studies offers a dynamic and truly interdisciplinary path of study that draws on courses offered by renowned faculty in more than thirty-five different units and almost all colleges with undergraduate course offerings here at the University of Florida. While students are required to declare the major within one of five regional tracks (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East) and develop language skills pertinent to their chosen area of study, the breadth of available courses also permits the flexibility to pursue different thematic interests. These include global health; the environment and sustainability; international politics and conflict; global culture, media, and the arts; and the international economy and development, among others. International Studies is also a major that promotes diverse learning experiences and we therefore strongly encourage students to pursue a study abroad opportunity, though it is not required to complete the major. There are also opportunities for students to pursue internships or other relevant experiences that in some instances can help meet academic requirements. Overall, students recognize that pursuing a major in International Studies will help them develop the language skills, regionally specific knowledge, and understanding of issues of international significance that are critical to success in today’s fundamentally interconnected world.

Please feel free to explore the pages on this website, from the requirements of the major to the constantly expanding list of opportunities—study abroad, internships, volunteer experiences, graduate programs, and so much more—that it highlights. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, and I’m also delighted to hear and read about the many wonderful international pathways our alumni will follow. We also welcome visitors to our offices, which are located inside the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service in Pugh Hall.


Dr. Matthew Jacobs
Associate Professor of U.S. and International History
Director, International Studies Program—College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director, Bob Graham Center for Public Service