This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

312 North Shafer Street
Box 842021
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2021
(804) 827-1111

Amy Rector, Ph.D.
Associate professor and director

The School of World Studies is an interdisciplinary unit that explores the diversity of the human experience and prepares students to contribute to a healthy, equitable and sustainable world. With training in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, school faculty conduct research on language, religion, film, literature, politics, economics and the environment, and their relationship to local and global movements for racial, social and environmental justice. The World School offer majors in anthropologyforeign languageinternational studies and religious studies, as well as a number of minors including European studies, Italian studies, Latin American studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, Russian studies and world cinema. Course instruction is enriched by a range of opportunities to gain real-world experience. School of World Studies majors acquire the critical knowledge, analytic abilities, experience and communication skills to succeed in all aspects of life and participate in the project of building a generous world for all. 

See what SWS students and alumni are doing to make this vision of the world real.

Degree programs

The School of World Studies offers baccalaureate degrees in the following fields:

Anthropology – Bachelor of Science

Foreign Language – Bachelor of Arts

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

International Studies– Bachelor of Arts

Religious Studies – Bachelor of Arts

Minors are awarded in these areas:

  • African studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic and Middle Eastern studies
  • Asian and Chinese studies
  • Catholic studies
  • European studies
  • French
  • German
  • International social justice studies
  • Islamic studies
  • Italian studies
  • Judaic studies
  • Latin American studies
  • Mediterranean studies
  • Religious studies
  • Russian studies
  • Spanish
  • World cinema

Undergraduate certificates are awarded in these areas:

  • International management studies (in conjunction with the School of Business)
  • Spanish/English translation and interpretation

Information regarding curricula is provided on the respective program pages.


Learning a language is incredibly rewarding because it increases mental acuity and global cultural competence and enhances opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration. Language proficiency opens doors for personal as well as professional interaction from right here in Richmond to all reaches of the globe. The School of World Studies offers courses in:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French 
  • German
  • Italian 
  • Russian 
  • Spanish

In cases where the appropriate level of instruction is unavailable, or students are interested in pursuing languages not offered at VCU, the School of World Studies Advising Office will assist in identifying language study options at other U.S. institutions or abroad.

Study abroad

Summer study-abroad programs provide students with opportunities for short-term immersion in the language, culture and civilization of the countries they visit. A list of current VCU study abroad opportunities can be found on the Global Education Office website. VCU is a member of the International Student Exchange Program, which offers junior year abroad programs at one of 40 universities worldwide. For more information about study abroad visit the School of World Studies website.