International Studies Dual Degree

If you’re interested in engineering, like to explore other languages and cultures, and want to succeed in an increasingly global job market, the engineering/international studies dual degree may be a perfect fit. There are a few similar programs at other colleges; however, the Lafayette program is designed to be completed in four years and a summer, with careful advising.

Students earn a B.S. degree in chemical, civil, electrical and computer, or mechanical engineering and an A.B. degree in international studies that combines foreign language, literature, government, law, economics, and history.

Students choose a language of concentration and take courses that develop an in-depth cultural understanding of a country or region where the language is spoken. Lafayette has excellent programs in Asian studies, French, German, Italian studies, and Spanish.

Full immersion in a foreign culture after language study has been completed serves as the capstone experience for the major. Students either study or work abroad in a country where their chosen language is spoken. The capstone experience can be completed in several ways, and is often completed during the summer before or after the senior year. [Note that need-based financial aid is typically not available for summer programs.]

Dual Degree Requirements

  • Completion of degree requirements for B.S. degree in chemical, civil, electrical and computer, or mechanical engineering
  • Foreign language proficiency (through the advanced level)
  • An in-language internship abroad or a sufficiently immersive study abroad program
  • Introduction to International Politics Seminar (international affairs)
  • Some specific coursework in government, history, and international affairs
  • A total of 42 credits


Engineers with proficiency in a second (or third!) language and an understanding of foreign cultures are well prepared for engineering and technical positions overseas, or with American companies that have international branches. Students typically secure jobs or continue graduate study in their engineering field.

Joshua H. Smith
Chair, Engineering/International Studies Program
(610) 330-5938