William and Mary

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from both students and faculty.  Please let us know if there are others you think should be included here.

What is the difference between International Relations and Global Studies?

A simple, perhaps simplistic, but useful distinction is that IR is grounded in the social sciences (primarily political science and economics)  while GS (formerly International Studies) centers around area studies, language, literature, and other aspects of the humanities.

Can a student double major in IR and GS?

Yes, but consider carefully whether future plans will be well-served by two multidisciplinary majors.  College policy also permits only two courses to overlap between two majors, or a major and a minor.

Can a student double major in GS and a department that contributes to GS?

Yes, but with the usual proviso that only two classes are subject to double counting.

Does a class used for a writing requirement or the computer proficiency in GS count as one of the two double-counted classes?  

No.  The use of a class for proficiency is a separate issue from its content.  

How are classes eligible to be used for the MWR or computer proficiency determined?

There are many options for fulfilling both the MWR and computer proficiency in GS since a student can use any class that meets the requirement that does so for a contributing department.  The class doesn't necessarily have to be one that is listed under GS as a required or elective course.

What about doubling up on proficiencies?

A computer proficiency can be used for GS and another major as long as the other major is in a contributing department.  The MWR must be fulfilled for each major as a College policy.

How is language proficiency outside of coursework handled?

The GS major requires, as a co-requisite, that a student masters a single modern foreign language to the level of 202 + 3 beyond which are the appropriate line requirements of their concentration.  If a student comes in with, for example, native proficiency that s/he wishes to use to meet the major language requirement, arrangements can be made with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures to certify proficiency for the purposes of the major.