The program is primarily for students with a background or interest in political science, history, economics, geography, sociology, anthropology, and humanities, as well as other areas. Students can specialize in international issues through a curriculum which integrates training and experience concerning the complex and challenging issues that are central to global affairs. Public or private sector employees who wish to specialize in specific dimensions that are necessary to understand and address international issues may also be interested in this program.


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 minor program information →

Declaration Requirements

Students are eligible to declare their minor in International Studies after completing its lower division requirements.  Send your request to advising_is@sfu.ca, along with a copy of your advising transcript, sorted by term and subject anytime of the year.  Specify your intended concentration.

The CGPA to declare a minor in IS is 2.5. This may change in future terms.