International Studies Certificate

The International Studies Certificate is a study option offered by the International Programs Office, in cooperation with the language departments and the Faculty of Arts and Science.

This option is available to all Queen's University undergraduate students regardless of their degree concentration, and is intended for those who wish to enhance their undergraduate degree with a formal international program of study. The International Studies Certificate combines language acquisition with cultural and interdisciplinary learning, and includes a study abroad component.

The Certificate was one of the first certificate programs at Queen's to be formally approved by Senate. First awarded in June 2001, the Certificate is becoming increasingly well-recognised as more Queen's students graduate with it.

The Certificate is

  • Open to all Queen's University undergraduate students who are in good academic standing. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program may enhance their degree program by completing the Certificate requirements as part of their Queen's Option.
  • Not a stand-alone option; students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree to enroll in the Certificate.
  • Comprised of 15.0 units. Up to 6.0 units may be double-counted with a student's undergraduate degree requirements. The remaining 9.0 units for the Certificate are courses taken outside of degree requirements.

Certificate Components

The International Studies program consists of 15.0 units, comprised of 3.0 units of language acquisition, 6.0 cross-cultural units, and 6.0 study abroad units.

3.0 units in a language other than English.


Except: GREK 430/6.0; GRMN 181/3.0; GRMN 353/3.0; HEBR 135/3.0; ITLN 210/3.0; ITLN 215/3.0; ITLN 226/3.0; ITLN 232/3.0; ITLN 233/3.0; ITLN 234/3.0; ITLN 257/3.0; ITLN 308/.3.0; SPAN 247/3.0; SPAN 248/3.0; SPAN 308/3.0; SPAN 316/3.0; SPAN 328/3.0.

6.0 cross-cultural units from:

  • IDIS 302/3.0 (Race and Relations)
  • INTS 306/3.0 (Culture, Identity and Self - formerly IDIS 306/3.0)
  • INTS 307/3.0 (Intercultural Relations - formerly IDIS 307/3.0)
  • LLCU (Excluding: LLCU 101, LLCU 102, LLCU 103, and LLCU 104)

LLCU course descriptions are available on the LLCU departmental website.

6.0 units obtained from:

  • Course(s) obtained during a study abroad experience obtained at Bader College.
  • a Queen's University departmental study abroad opportunity (Queen’s courses that meet the study abroad requirement of the Certificate in International Studies: ARTH 245/6.00; ARTH 380/6.00; BADR 100/3.00; BADR 101/3.00; CLST 409/ 6.00; DRAM 273/.3.0; LLCU 432/6.00 )
  • participation in a Queen's University international exchange program
  • a study abroad experience at a recognized university outside Canada
    • e.g., KCU Global Career Seminar in Japan or the KGU Global Internship in Japan

The course(s) offered for the 6.0 study abroad units must demonstrate academic benefit derived especially from the experience of studying abroad and will usually incorporate a regional, cultural, or comparative cultural perspective. /

Why Should I Consider Enrolling in the International Studies Certificate?

For students intending to apply to graduate or professional schools, the entry on your transcript will demonstrate that you have opted to enhance your undergraduate studies with this formal academic option. This will also enable you to note the Certificate program on the education section of your résumé, drawing it to the attention of potential employers.

While on exchange in the Netherlands, I completed a course in Dutch. Can I count this course toward the Language Credit?

Yes. We recognize that many of our students may opt to take conversational language courses which are intended to help visiting students orient themselves in their host country and interact with their host society. Since we do not have academic departments at Queen's for every possible language, Arts and Science now offers students the option to count these units as LANG 101/3.0, 102/3.0, 201/3.0 or 202/3.0. These language credits can be counted towards the Certificate language requirement. The language courses must be assessed by the International Programs Office in order to receive the credit.

I already speak a second language. Can you waive the language requirement on the basis of my existing language ability?

No. The Certificate program has been approved by Senate as a formal program option offered by Queen's University. As a result, the academic requirements for the Certificate must be strictly enforced. We are unable to award the Certificate based on language courses taken at the secondary school/high school level.

Does the United States count as "abroad" for the purposes of the Certificate?

Yes. Although the cultural differences may not seem as pronounced, there are subtle and not-so-subtle differences involved in any study and living experience undertaken outside of Canada.

Can the "term" abroad be a spring or summer term?

Yes. We do not specify a minimum length of time during which you must undertake study abroad in order to qualify. However, your study abroad experience must be of sufficient duration to yield 6.0 units. It is possible to count two 3.0 unit courses obtained from different study abroad programs, provided that both courses are approved by the International Programs Office.

What kind of study abroad units are approved?

In addition to classroom study, it is expected that your study abroad experience will allow you the opportunity for social and cultural interaction in your host country. The study abroad context will be considered in approving proposed study abroad credits. Literature, history, or social science courses which offer insight into the host culture are among the ideal choices.  As a general rule, students should seek credits which focus on their area of study, but which are taught from the perspective of the host culture or region. Ideally, a comparative element will be included.

In order to avoid disappointment, students are strongly encouraged to seek approval of their proposed courses before they depart for their study abroad term.

How to Apply

Email the International Programs Office

Email to request permission to enroll in the Certificate.


Apply for an International Letter of Permission (if necessary)

If you are an Arts and Science student and decide to complete your Study Abroad component through a program other than Bader College or a Queen's University departmental study-abroad program (i.e., where you are taking Queen's courses), ensure that you apply for an International Letter of Permission from the International Programs Office. Your study abroad credits will be assessed at this time and we will confirm whether they meet the Certificate requirements.

If you are a student from another Faculty or School, consult with both your Faculty adviser and the International Programs Office. You must complete the equivalent of 6.0 approved units during your period of study abroad in order to qualify for the Certificate.


Apply to Graduate

Upon completion of the required 15.0 units for the International Studies Certificate, apply through the SOLUS Student Centre to graduate.