Majors, Minors, Certificates & Language Studies

Finding your path to global readiness

If you want to change the world, first you have to understand it: that’s our philosophy at HLS.

You can choose from five majors, 11 minors, and six certificates as an HLS student. Even more important, you can customize your educational journey to fit your goals, no matter what they are.

Not sure where you want to focus your energy? Take an introductory class or two.

Passionate about a particular region, like East Asia? Choose an area studies major.

Want to make our planet a better place? Perhaps International Studies, with its focus on issues like global health and environment or diplomacy, security and governance, is for you.

And at HLS, overseas study is the expectation, not the exception. We want all of our students to study abroad before they graduate.

There’s no end to the avenues you can explore—or the places an HLS degree can take you.

Erin Patterson: Ready to explore

Erin Patterson’s interest in Russia began early. “When I was in the eighth grade,” she says, “my favorite book was a biography of Catherine the Great. By high school, I was fixated on the Cold War and U.S./Soviet relations.” Now that she’s an international studies major at HLS, “my focus has transitioned from historical to contemporary Russia and to Central Asia,” she explains. Erin will be studying Russian in Kazakhstan for six months, in fact.

What I like about HLS is the amount of freedom the school gives you—not just the freedom to set your own schedule, but freedom of thought. You’re at liberty to follow your interests wherever they lead you.

Erin Patterson, Class of 2019, B.A., International Studies and Russian Language and History

Erin has also made good use of the internship and independent research opportunities at HLS. In addition to being a research assistant at the Center on Global and American Security at HLS, she’s assisting HLS Professor Padraic Kenney with his research on Communism. Erin has spent time in the University of Michigan archives, and she relied on her Spanish fluency to search for and translate memoirs of South American Communists.