Center for International Studies and Liberal Arts

The Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) Certificate Program was created to address the need for inter­national education at the undergraduate level. It allows students of every major to enrich and enhance their traditional liberal arts education. To fulfill the requirements for certification, a student is required to take a core of six courses outside the major including a sophomore gateway course and a senior seminar, demonstrate certified foreign language oral proficiency, and complete an overseas work/research internship and a senior integrative project. Each student in the program receives airfare plus a stipend to cover travel and living expenses during the internship.

The Program Provides the Opportunity for Broad-Based Learning, including:

  1. An introduction to the origins and dynamics of modern global society.
  2. An international perspective that complements the major field.
  3. An appreciation and understanding of the values and behavior of societies outside of the U.S. through studies that focus on the area of the world in which the student specializes.
  4. Certified oral proficiency in a foreign language and knowledge of the cultural, economic, political and social setting in which that language is spoken.
  5. Basic library research methods and an introduction to the latest library technologies through group and individual instruction. Each student is paired with a librarian-mentor throughout the certificate program.
  6. A synthesizing senior seminar.

Criteria for the certificate:

  1. An overall 3.0 grade point average.
  2. Language proficiency as certified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Required level to be specified according to language.
  3. Successful completion of IS 201IS 401 and the approved core courses.
  4. Successful completion of an eight- to 12-week overseas internship.
  5. Successful completion of the senior integrative project.
  6. Successful completion of the 10-page addendum addressing the three foundational CISLA questions.


The mission of the center is to encourage students to become politically concerned, socially engaged, and culturally sensitive and informed. We seek to engage our students as leaders of tomorrow by preparing them with the type of skills, knowledge and wisdom, eloquence and virtue required of leaders in a global world.


  1. Cross-cultural understanding through:
    1. Course work with international focus from different disciplines
      • IS 201 – sophomore gateway course, “Perspectives on Modern Global Society”
      • IS 401 – senior seminar, “New Perspectives on Modern Global Society”
      • Senior Integrative Project designed to integrate the major with the geographical area of study
    2. Completion of an addendum to address the three broad CISLA questions:
      1. What are the origins and dynamics of contemporary society?
      2. What is the relevance of the past in understanding the present and the possibilities of the future?
      3. What are the material, spiritual and ethical challenge of modernity?
    3. Participation in a language based study abroad program that will foster cultural awareness and sensitivity
    4. Foreign language oral proficiency at a determined level as certified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
    5. Experiential learning through an international internship
    6. Enhanced world vision and understanding of global citizenship through discussion, reflection and participation in initiatives of international interest

    Core Courses

    A Core of Six Courses : These courses should be outside the primary major but may be from a second major or minor. They should be chosen with the goal of acquiring broad and substantive knowledge beyond the major but related to the student's planned integrative project or the culture, society or geographical area appropriate to the student’s foreign language, internship and integrative project. These courses may not be counted toward the first major, but may be counted toward a second major or a minor. Students may use a course from a study abroad program upon submission and approval of a syllabus from the course. The core should include:

    • IS 201 - required and offered in the spring semester of the sophomore year.
    • No more than one 100-level course.
    • Three courses at the 200, 300 or 400 level.
    • IS 401 -  required and offered in the fall semester of the senior year.

    Required Courses





    Language Proficiency

    Exit-level proficiency is assessed, according to the standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The required level varies by language.

    Foreign Language Work/Research Internship

    The internship component is designed to integrate the student’s major and planned senior integrative project. The student must complete an eight- to 12-week internship in a foreign country, using the language of that geographical area. International students for whom English is a second language may use English as their CISLA language but preferably in a country outside of the U.S.

    Senior Integrative Project (SIP)

    The SIP is an independent integrative project presented as an Individual Study or an Honors Study in the major. The SIP must also include a 10-page addendum that addresses the three foundational CISLA questions that put research in the major in a broad context.