IAFS Major Requirements

Major Requirements Worksheet & Major Requirements Summary



  • A minimum course grade of C- or better is required for all courses. No Pass/Fail grades are permitted for major courses.
  • We encourage students to study abroad during their degree program. The Office of Study Abroad has information about scholarships and financial aid.
  • Please refer to this semester's list of courses currently available.


  • Complete the following five courses (18 credit hours total):
IAFS 1000 Global Issues and International Affairs
PSCI 2223 Introduction to International Relations
PSCI 2012 Introduction to Comparative Politics
ECON 2010 Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 2020 Principles of Macroeconomics


Functional Area

    • Complete one class in each of the four functional areas and complete two additional classes in ANY functional area (6 classes, 18 credit hours)
    • Students cannot apply more than four functional area classes from one department (i.e., PSCI, ECON). Please check all prerequisites for courses.

    The permanent list of functional area classes can be found here: Functional Area I: Development and Culture, Functional Area II: International Economics, Business, and Political Economy, Functional Area III: Political Geography, International Security, and Foreign Policy, and Functional Area IV: Institutions, Rights, and Norms.

    Geographic Concentration

    Complete three classes in your geographic concentration (3 classes, 9 credit hours).

    IAFS majors must choose an area of geographic concentration, and a language appropriate to that area, no later than the beginning of their Junior year.  Geographic concentration is a part of or a whole region outside the United States: Africa/Middle EastAsiaEurope/Eurasia, or Latin America. Geographic concentration: should be mainly in the social sciences; must include one course in contemporary history; and can include a three hour course of contemporary literature (taught in the foreign language). Students wishing to use other geographic concentrations must receive written approval from the Director of the International Affairs Program.

    Off-Campus Experience or Major Elective

    (1 class, 3 credit hours)

    • If you declared the IAFS major in Fall 2015 or later: Complete 3 upper division credit hours to fulfill the Off-Campus Experience from one of: IAFS 4930: Internship in International Affairs; a study abroad course; a CU in DC course; or other credit-bearing off-campus experience approved by the program.
    • If you declared the IAFS major before Fall 2015: Complete 3 credit hours to fulfill the Major Elective from any Functional Area OR your Geographic Concentration >

    Senior Seminar

    Complete one of the following: IAFS 4500 or IAFS 4800 (1 class, 3 credit hours). 

    Foreign Language Proficiency

    Minimum requirement: Third-year, university-level proficiency in a foreign language appropriate to the area of concentration. This requirement may be met through completion of two 3000-level grammar courses in the language (except Spanish see below).

    Notes on foreign anguage proficiency

    • Majors starting IAFS in Fall 2014 or later must declare their language with their IAFS academic advisor by the end of their sophomore year. Special circumstances of language proficiency to meet these requirements must be resolved by the end of the sophomore year.
    • Students pursuing a language offered at CU-Boulder should take the placement test of the individual language department by the end of sophomore year. Students must take at least the final semester of the required language sequence at the 3000 level.
    • If a student chooses to seek a waiver from the language requirements by testing out of a language not offered at CU-Boulder, the student must consult with her/his IAFS academic advisor.
    • For language study while on study abroad, please see your IAFS advisor.

    Specific Requirement by Language

    For the following languages, the third-year courses which will fulfill the language requirement are:

    Both Courses
    ARAB 3110 & 3120
    Both Courses
    CHIN 3110 & 3120

    Both Courses
    FRSI 3110 & 3120

    Two of the following
    FREN 3010, 3050, 3060
    Both Courses
    GRMN 3010 & 302
    Both Courses
    HEBR 3010 & 3020
    Both Courses
    HIND 3110 & 3120
    ITAL 3015 and ONE of the following:
    ITAL 3025, 3030, 3040
    (Pre-Fall 2012, students may count two of the following: ITAL 3010, 3020, 3030)

    Both courses
    JPNS 3110 & 3120

    Both courses
    KREN 3110 & 3120
    Both courses
    PORT 3003 & 3230
    Both Courses
    RUSS 3010 & 3020
    This 5 credit course only:
    SPAN 3000

    *Please check courses for number of credit hours. 

    IAFS Course Overlapping with Core Requirements

    All lower division IAFS courses count for Contemporary Societies. Check the College of Arts & Sciences website for a full listing of core courses. Our individual semester PDF schedules may list other classes that fulfill core requirements.

    Course IAFS Requirement Core Requirement
    COMM 3410 Functional Area I Human Diversity
    IAFS/JWST 3600 Functional Area I Human Diversity
    SOCY/WMST 3012 Functional Area I Human Diversity
    IAFS 3500/HIST 4190 Functional Area III Historical Context
    PHIL 3190 Functional Area III Ideals & Values
    PSCI 3163 Functional Area III US Context
    PHIL 3260 Functional Area IV Ideals & Values
    SOCY 4121 Functional Area IV Ideals and Values
    Course Geographic Concentration Core Requirement
    IAFS/JWST 3650 Africa/Middle East Historical Context
    RLST 3100 Africa/Middle East Historical Context
    GEOG 3822 Asia Human Diversity
    KREN 3441 Asia Human Diversity
    ECON 4514 Europe/Eurasia Historical Context
    IAFS 3500/HIST 4190 Europe/Eurasia Historical Context
    ITAL 4730 Europe/Eurasia Human Diversity
    RUSS 3502 Europe/Eurasia Ideals & Values
    RUSS 4221 Europe/Eurasia Ideals & Values
    RUSS 4471 Europe/Eurasia Human Diversity