48-Unit Major Advising FAQ

We're happy to have you join us! In order to make sure you have all the relevant information prior to making the switch, please do the following:

  1. When classes are held in person, come to the department office - Kalmanovitz 213 - to pick up a New Student folder from the BAIS Program Assistant. When classes are remote, email international.studies@usfca.edu to receive an electronic version of the New Student folder.
  2. Following this meeting, you may want to meet with a BAIS Peer Advisor, who will give you a mini-orientation to the major, help you with your four-year plan, and answer any general questions you have.
  3. Once you are sure you wish to declare the major, fill out the Change of Academic Program (CoAP) form. If you wish to declare your concentration, you may do so at this time by filling out the form again.
  4. Following filling out the form, you should plan to meet with your new Faculty Adviser, the Undergraduate Director, or the Department Chair, to receive specific advising for the major. The BAIS Program Assistant will contact you with your new adviser's info as well as if you have been assigned to a Peer Advisor.

International Studies is a large, complicated, interdisciplinary major that can be difficult to navigate without advising. You will be choosing a concentration (20 units) and a regional focus (12 units), which, along with the three basic required courses and the capstone course, make up the 48 units needed for the major. Consulting with an adviser at least once a semester will ensure that you stay on track to graduate and meet all the requirements of the major and USF.

BAIS Peer Advisors are current International Studies students who have been trained to share their experience with the major and provide advising to other BAIS students for general questions about the major. Peer Advisors are available for consultation during the first weeks of classes and around the advising period each semester while classes are held in person. During a remote semester, Peer Advisors are available virtually (see contact information on Canvas). You do not have to see a specific Peer Advisor each time.

BAIS Peer Advisors also serve as Squad Leaders for small groups of incoming students each year.

Questions for Peer Advisors

  • What classes should I take first (second, third…)?
  • Which track / region should I choose?
  • Should I study abroad? What options are there?
  • Which classes count for BAIS and the CORE? Can I double-count them?

Questions for Faculty Advisors

  • Can I count a special topics class, independent study, etc. for the major?
  • Have I completed the track / region requirements?
  • How does a specific study abroad program fit into my requirements for the BAIS major?
  • Will this class I took elsewhere count towards my major?

To see who your faculty adviser is, you can check the Student menu on myUSF.

You can find the office hours for the BAIS faculty advisers on myUSF. You can also meet with your faculty adviser during BAIS Group Advising sessions.

Every semester, prior to the registration period for next semester’s classes, International Studies holds mandatory Group Advising for first-years and sophomores. Students must attend one Group Advising session to have their Advising Hold removed, so they can register for classes. During these sessions, the requirements are discussed and new courses for the semester are announced. Peer and faculty advisers are also available for consultation.

  • Fill in your “Four Year Plan” as far as you are able.
  • Meet with a Peer Advisor to get general questions answered.
  • Have specific questions ready for your faculty adviser.
  • Retrieve your advising file from the department office (KA 213) to bring with you.

The BAIS major underwent a major curriculum update in Fall 2019. Students who added the major in prior years will be completing the previous curriculum, while new students will be completing the updated curriculum requirements. Thus, your peers may have different requirements than you. If you have any questions, please discuss with your adviser or the International Studies office.