The world is rapidly becoming more interconnected and globalized and is undergoing many processes that challenge our everyday understanding of others and ourselves. The International Affairs program is designed to provide students with a multi-disciplinary set of intellectual tools and practical skills to engage in the continual re-making of the world as effective, knowledgeable, and ethical citizens.
The IA Program seeks to provide an intellectually vibrant environment for all at Lafayette College where students learn about specific world regions and important topics through an engaging and rigorous curriculum and thought-provoking co-curricular programming.
International Affairs is an interdisciplinary major that investigates global, international, and transnational issues. The program brings together faculty and students from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering, and offers a sophisticated look at the past and present of international exchange, conflict and cooperation. The Major offers coherent thematic and geographic emphases that provide depth and breadth in student learning which are linked by a course on interdisciplinary research methods and by a capstone seminar on globalization.
The IA curriculum introduces students to the structures and dynamics of communities, societies, states, and the international system. It addresses the mechanisms of economic growth, technological innovation, and environmental sustainability. International Affairs courses also attend to past and present global power differentials, differences among rich and poor nations, and the legacies of colonialism, as well as dynamics of race, class, and gender. The program aims to help students develop a critical consciousness that empowers them to understand and to constructively address existing global problems. In a challenging and enriching environment, students learn how to perform research and communicate across disciplines and cultures. They gain proficiency in a second language relevant to the regional emphasis of their own choosing and they study abroad. After graduating, IA Majors go into government, diplomacy, business, health, the non-profit sector and graduate school.
David Stifel, Associate Professor of Economics