There are certain academic disciplines in which knowledge of a specific geographic area would provide a competitive edge. An Area Studies minor allows the student to concentrate on the politics, culture, and economic structure of a specific geographic region. This minor will enable students to apply their academic experience in their major discipline to a geographic region. This will also allow the student to present a broader academic portfolio to potential employers or graduate schools. This Area Studies minor requires 18 semester hours. Additionally, students are encouraged to undertake the study of a language appropriate to this geographic area.

Minor Objectives

Upon successful completion of this minor, the student will be able to:

General Knowledge of Regional Politics and Security

  • Investigate the concepts and theories of comparative analysis of different political regimes and economic markets.
  • Explain the role of international, regional, and non-governmental organizations in the regional context.
  • Compare and contrast the political, economic, social, and military components of national and regional power.
  • Articulate the importance of key nations to the strategic interests of the United States.


  • Determine the significant political, economic, security, diplomatic, and social challenges facing a selected region -- individually as separate nations and collectively as a region.
  • Describe the economic policies, challenges, and opportunities facing a particular region.


  • Examine the origins, course, and character of the civilization of a selected area from pre-written history until the present.
  • Describe the key historical events that shape the region’s current policies and processes.

Philosophies, Religions, and Popular Culture

  • Evaluate the importance of philosophical, cultural, and religious schools of thought underlying development in the selected area of study.
  • Identify the role culture plays in the political, cultural, economic, and social policies of a region.
  • Analyze the rise and spread of the major philosophies and religions in the selected area of study.
  • Describe the impact of the predominant religions in the selected region.
  • Analyze the role of literature as an expression of culture and politics of the selected region through a reading of the national literature.

Minor Requirements (18 semester hours)

HIST360History of Latin America3
IRLS300Comparative Political Systems3
IRLS310Introduction to Human Security3
IRLS355Latin American Politics3
IRLS392Globalization and the Market Economy3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Political Geography
Comparative Foreign Policy
Spanish I
Spanish II
Total Semester Hours18