Major and honours programs

Our major is a flexible program which can be tailored to your specific interests. You may choose to focus on one or more particular policy areas (related to security, development, human rights, etc). Or you may focus on a specific region and develop a specialized knowledge of the social, political, and economic issues affecting that region.

The IS major can also be productively combined with programs in many other fields, including: economics, political science, sociology and anthropology, history, communications, geography, health sciences, etc.


All International Studies undergraduate students take a series of core international studies courses and then choose from one of three specialized concentrations of study.

International security and conflict  

This concentration includes studies of international politics including the causes, patterns and consequences of wars within and between states, of terrorism, and of the possible ways of resolving conflicts and building peace and security.

Comparative world politics, culture and society

Those who specialize in this concentration take courses about the sociology and politics of different regions of the world, and on important themes such as religion and politics, nationalism and transnationalism, and the patterns of democratization and authoritarian rule around the world.

International development, economic and environmental issues  

In this concentration students study the causes and consequences of the disparities in wealth and poverty, the ways in which the global economy works, development strategies and policies, and the environmental problems that are such a significant feature of our world.

Detailed program information: Major | Joint Major | Honours →

Declaration Requirements

Major and world literature joint major declaration

Students are eligible to declare either their major or joint major in International Studies after successfully completing 30 units which must include IS 101, plus three of:

  • IS 200 (required for Concentration 1)
  • IS 210 (required for Concentration 2)
  • IS 220 (required for Concentration 3)
  • IS 230
  • IS 265

The CGPA to declare a major or joint major in IS is 2.7. This may change in future terms.

Please submit a copy of your advising transcript showing final grades for the term, sorted by term and subject to  In the subject line of the e-mail, indicate the following information in the order specified: Applicant Name, Student Number, and Major/Joint Major Application.  Specify your intended concentration.

Honours declaration

Please click here for information. Send your request to, along with a copy of your advising transcript, sorted by term and subject anytime of the year.  Identify your confirmed faculty supervisor.

Admission to the Accelerated Master's

The minimum University requirements for eligibility for an Accelerated Master's are as follows:

a)   Enrollment in a Simon Fraser University undergraduate bachelor's program and the completion of 90 undergraduate credits with a minimum CGPA of 3.67/4.33;

b)   Submitted evidence from qualified referees of the student's ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest.

Only students with a major or honours program in IS are eligible.

Students must satisfy any additional requirements set by the graduate program committee.

A maximum of eight graduate course units, used either as electives or upper division required courses at the bachelor's level, can be applied to the requirements for the master's degree. This means that up to 8 graduate credits can be applied towards both the undergraduate and graduate IS programs.