SIS question: IS vs Language&Area Studies major

<p>Any current SIS students on this forum? I’m interested in the differences in the course of study for the International Studies major vs. the Language & Area Studies major. If someone were interested in Russia–what would be the pros and cons of choosing one path vs. the other?</p>

<p>Hey! I’m an IR major in SIS and I think I can help you out. Both majors take same amount of general ed courses, college writing, math requirements, etc. In L&FS, you only have to take 51 credit hours towards your major while in IR you have to take 64 credit hours towards your major. However, if you’re going to take up L&AS, you ought to have a real affinity for language because you have to take 18 credit hours of a foreign language and end up in a 300+ level course while in IR you only have to take 3-20 credit hours which means you can test into an intermediate language and never take a foreign language course again. </p>

<p>According to the 2011-2012 American University Catalogue, the BA in Language and Area Studies is designed for students with a strong interest in a region of the world and in a language of that region. [Blah blah blah] … this major mixes humanities with social sciences. The majors/regions you can concentrate in are French/Europe, German/Europe, Russian/Area Studies, or Spanish/Latin America. </p>

<p>Basically, if you are more interested in language and relating that to international studies, do L&AS, but if you want to specialize in a region and in a concentration (Comparative and International Race Relations, Global Environmental Politics, Global Security, etc) you should take IR. I’m sure the big reason why most people choose L&AS is because they don’t want to take language. But don’t worry – SIS students and faculty all realize that language is a vital part of both SIS majors. Let’s just say you’ll be spending a lot of more time learning languages if you’re doing L&AS. </p>

<p>You can compare them here:
[Degrees:</a> Majors, Minors & Certificates | American University](<a href=“Program Finder | American University, Washington, DC”>Program Finder | American University, Washington, DC)</p>