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BIA Curriculum

Courses in Economics, Political Science, Business Administration and Law will prepare you for acting successfully and responsibly in an international environment.

The Major International Affairs follows on from the assessment year and comprises 120 ECTS credits. It is designed for a standard study duration of 4 semesters. By choosing appropriate courses, the Bachelor's programme can be studied mainly in English or German. However, at least 9 ECTS credits must be earned in the respective contrasting language.

The curriculum of the Major International Affairs consists of three parts: the core studies (84 ECTS credits), the contextual studies (24 ECTS credits) and the Bachelor's Thesis (12 ECTS credits). While the core studies involves professional competences in economics, the contextual studies focus on the development of social and cultural competences.  

The semester details for the compulsory courses are recommendations. Especially with regard to the planning of exchange semesters, it may make sense to complete the courses in a different order.

The current curriculum Major International Affairs (O20) can be found here.

 

The Major in International Affairs is a self-contained, multi-disciplinary degree course. After you have successfully completed the Assessment Year, you will attend the Compulsory Subjects and Core Electives of this Major in Economics, Political Science, Law and Business Administration for four semesters.

Do you want to study the Major International Affairs in German or English? You can decide for yourself by choosing the appropriate courses. Our students are thus excellently prepared for a career in German- and English-speaking companies or organisations. In addition, you must complete at least 9 ECTS credits in the respective contrasting language. 

Foreign languages are important to us. By the time you complete your Bachelor's degree programme, we require proof of proficiency in two foreign languages (in addition to the school language), whereby English must be demonstrated at proficiency level C2 (CEFR). You will attend a first foreign language in the assessment year, and learn a second during the Bachelor's degree programme. The range of foreign languages is broad; in addition to European languages, there are courses in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese at various levels

Your studies in the Major International Affairs consist of the compulsory area, the compulsory elective and the elective area.

Building on the University of St.Gallen's Assessment Year (60 ECTS), in which students get aquainted with the basics in economics and legal studies, the Major in International Affairs subsequently focusses on Compulsory Subjects (48 ECTS), which ensure the necessary fundamental formation in the four core disciplines. In addition, the programme offers three modules of Core Electives, which deal with integrative thinking, specific global challenges as well as research on selected areas in International Affairs (24-36 ECTS).

The following courses are compulsory and include contact and self-study.

Course

Compulsory course area

ECTS

Language

Semester

Comparative Politics / Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft

Political Science

4

EN / DE

Autumn

Politische Theorie

Political Science

4

DE

Autumn

International Relations

Political Science

4

EN

Spring

European Governance / Regieren in Europa

Political Science

4

EN / DE

Spring

Macroeconomics II / Makroökonomik II

Economics

4

EN / DE

Autumn

International Economics

Economics

4

EN

Spring

International Law / Völkerrecht

Law

4

EN / DE

Autumn

Public Management

Business Administration

4

DE

Autumn

Accounting, Controlling, Auditing

Business Administration

4

EN / DE

Autumn / Spring

Quantitative Methods / Quantitative Methoden

Methods

4

EN / DE

Autumn

Qualitative Methods / Qualitative Methoden

Methods

4

EN / DE

Spring

This course offering corresponds to the current planning status. You can find the entire course offering in the official Course Catalogue Online.

The Major in International Affairs offers you a large choice of core electives. As a BIA student you may choose 24 - 36 ECTS of Core Electives, comprising Integrative Fundamentals, Global Challenges and a Spring Project:

 

Integrated Fundamentals

Interdisciplinarity and breadth: These courses build on the fundamental compulsory courses, developing your ability to recognize linkages between disciplines and analyze political and economic challenges in more integrated ways. You may choose between 12 to 24 ECTS of Integrative Fundamentals, which include the following:

 

Course

ECTS

Language

Semester

Development Economics

4

EN

Autumn

European Law / Europarecht (BLAW)

4

EN

Herbst / Frühling

International Management (BBWL)

4

EN

Herbst Frühling

Vernetztes Denken in den International Affairs

4

DE

Autumn

Fundamentals of Computer Science

4

EN

Autumn

Comparative Political Economy

4

EN

Autumn

Introduction to Environmental Economics (BVWL)

4

EN

Autumn

Recht und Staat

6

DE

Spring

Public Sector Economics

4

EN

Spring

Economics of Climate Change 4 EN Spring
Ethik in den Inernationalen Affairs 4 DE Spring

 

Global Challenges

Interdisciplinarity and depth: Dealing with specific global challenges, you will deepen your knowledge in selected areas of international affairs and develop integrative thinking competences. You may choose between 8 - 20 ECTS of Global Challenges core electives which include the following:

Kurs

 ECTS

 Sprache

Semester

 Brennpunkte und Grundprobleme internationaler Politik

 6

 DE

Autumn

 Intergenerational Fairness

 4

 EN

Autumn

 Global Water Governance

 4

 EN

Autumn

 Multilateralism and the challenges to the rules based international order

 4

 EN

Autumn

 Peacekeeping without Helmets: The Civilian Dimension of Peace Missions world-wide

 4

 EN

Autumn

 Vergleichende regionale Integration

 4

 DE

Autumn

 Ungleichheit und Umverteilung

 4

 DE

Autumn

 National Model United Nations 
(application info further below)

 6

 EN

Autumn & Spring

 Model WTO 
(application info further below)

  6

 EN

Autumn & Spring

 Egalitarian Capitalism in Crisis

 4

 EN

Spring

 Business and Politcs: A Risk Perspective

 4

 EN

Spring

 Asia-Pacific Security

 4

 EN

Spring

 Economic and Social Human Rights: The Right to Food

 4

 EN

Spring

The Middle East Conflict - and no End?

 4

 EN

Spring

 Global Health Governance

 4

 EN

Spring

 Responding to Crisis and Building Peace

 4

 EN

Spring

 

Spring Project

You can choose among several guided writing projects worth 4 ECTS predominantly offered in the spring semester: This format allows you to practice your research skills in a selected area of International Affairs, preparing you for your Bachelor's thesis.

 

This course offering corresponds to the current planning status. You can find the entire course offering in the official Course Catalogue Online.

In the elective area (0-12 ECTS credits), you can either complete further economics courses from a diverse range or supplement your curriculum with courses from other majors. In this way, you can structure your studies with the offers of the compulsory elective area and the elective area according to your individual preferences - either through a broadly composed portfolio of courses or by focussing on courses offered in a specific subject area.

The complete range of courses can be found in the official Course Catalogue Online.

The Contextual studies complements your specialized studies and is compensated with 24 ECTS credits.

The Contextual studies is another strong factor of the programmes' curriculum. It integrates knowledge across disciplinary boundaries and strengthens the social and cultural competencies of our students in a special way. They will holistically "think outside the box" and take courses in focus areas as well as in the skills area. The contextual studies also teaches skills such as presentation and negotiation techniques or programming languages. The cross-cultural and cross-social science programme courses offered in the focus areas are extremely diverse and can be tailored to the Major Economics degree programme. In the skills area, you will learn complementary competencies and practical skills for success in the corporate world.

The Bachelors' Thesis (12 ECTS credits) is a scientific paper. You deal in depth with a question from a subject area of your own choice. In the Bachelor's thesis, you are guided by the relevant scientific research designs and principles.

Internationalisation and intercultural exchange are important topics in the Major Economics. Many of our students are drawn to study abroad in the fifth or sixth semester and we very much welcome you to spend an exchange semester either at one of our many partner universities or at a university of your choice. You can also receive credit for courses abroad and, most importantly, gain intercultural skills without having to pause your academic progress. You can find more information about exchange opportunities here..

Here you will find a compilation of the most important programme regulations.

Practice Credits are awarded for practical activities that are closely related to your studies. These may be, for example, internships at political agencies, NGOs and other institutions as well as other qualified activities in politics, business and law. As a first priority, Practice Credits are credited to Leadership Skills; as a second priority to Electives. BIA students may apply for 4, 6 or 8 Practice Credits. In the past BIA students have earned Practice Credits for their work at the following institutions.

Please note that the list is not exhaustive:

  • Caritas Schweiz

  • Swiss Embassy San José, Costa Rica

  • Swiss Mission to the UN, New York

  • Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

  • Department of Disarmament, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

  • Austrian Consulate General, New York

  • DEKRA e.V. Brussels

  • United Nations Relief Works Agency in the Near East, Lebanon

  • NGO SUTRA, India

  • Thura Swiss Ltd, Myanmar

  • Internationale Organisation für Migration (IOM), Tadzhikistan

  • SAP Schweiz AG

  • arf GmbH Nürnberg

  • Hans Seidel Stiftung, Lima, Peru

  • UBS Wealth Management & Swiss Bank

  • Credit Suisse Private Banking

  • KPMG Zürich

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zürich

Are you interested in the United Nations and in spending a week in New York debating current international affairs while earning 6 ECTS?

The National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York is one the larges and most sophisticated simulation of the United Nations worldwide.  Established in 1946 - one year after the foundation of the UN - the conference since has successfully taken place more than sixty times. Annually approx. 4,500 students from over 250 universities gain an insight into the innerworkings of the United Nations. This provided students with an unique opportunity to accumulate skills in conducting diplomatic negotiations and public speaking which could not be otherwise gained in the day to day university life. 

The applications for NMUN 2024 are open until 17 August, 2023 (08:00hrs).  If you would like to view the slides from our most recent Info session, please click here.

 

Profile of Candidates

Students at Bachelor’s level who do not graduate before spring 2024 and are not on exchange in autumn 2023

All majors are welcome to apply

Students will be expected to engage actively as members of the delegation by e.g. independent fundraising activities

Requirements

Interest in international organisations

Are you interested in acquiring first-hand knowledge about the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in spending a week chairing a negotiation on a current topic of international trade diplomacy, while earning 6 ECTS over two semesters?

The Model WTO is a simulation of WTO trade negotiations. The event has been organized by a student team from the University of St.Gallen since 1997. It is a week-long event and takes place in St.Gallen and Geneva. The 27th edition is expected to be held before Easter 2024 (tbc). The Model WTO provides you with a unique opportunity to engage with more than 70 students from all over the world as well as various experts, i.e. senior WTO Members' trade diplomats, WTO Secretariat officials, academics and researchers. Next yearʹs theme has yet to be determined.

The Model WTO course prepares a small group of 12 - 14 Bachelor students for their role as chairpersons of a WTO negotiating committee in the simulation. The course extends over two semesters, starting in the Autumn Semester and continuing in the following Spring Semester, and is taught by a senior WTO Secretariat official. It usually includes an excursion to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva.

This course is a great opportunity to acquire and practise skills in diplomatic negotiations and public speaking.

 

Profile of Candidates

You should bring an interest in interdisciplinary study and work, and more specifically international trade policy, international trade law, international trade economics and international trade diplomacy.

As the WTO is all about governments working together to achieve common economic goals, an interest in international intergovernmental organizations like the WTO and government-to-government economic cooperation and relations is also expected.

A desire to learn about and practise international negotiations and diplomacy is necessary, as you will be expected to chair a Model WTO committee with the mandate to conduct international trade negotiations on a specific topic.

For an impression about how WTO trade diplomats see their role and contribution, see: Faces of Trade Diplomacy.

Participation Requirements

Strong oral and written English skills.

You have to be able to commit to two semesters, the Autumn Semester and the following Spring Semester, and cannot be on exchange during those semesters.

Mandatory participation in the Model WTO 2024 taking place most likely before the Easter holiday in late March 2024 (tbc). Course participants are exempt from the Model WTO fee (CHF 380).

Majors in International Affairs; Economics; Law; Law and Economics; and Business Administration are eligible to earn credits for this course.

Application Deadline & Documents

Please send your (1) CV, (2) TOEFL® score (if available), (3) your current grade transcript and (4) your responses to the two questions below in English to: application@model-wto.org.

Please answer the following two questions each in 3 sentences (do not write more).

1. What makes you a good candidate for the Model WTO course?
2. Why do you think people should know about what the WTO does and the difficulties that it faces?

The deadline for applications to join the course is 4 September 2023.

Preselected candidates may be requested to submit a short motivation letter at short notice and very soon after the application deadline. The deadline for the motivation letter will likely be 8 September 2023. There is no bidding for this course.

Course Requirements

Written examination [50% of final grade]: open-book; last week of the Autumn Semester.

Group examination paper [50% of final grade]: Groups of two students, with each group member given the same grade. The length of the paper is 20 pages. The deadline is probably in late March with four to six weeks' time to prepare the paper.

Class attendance is expected.

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Contact

Klaus Dingwerth

Prof. Dr.

Academic programme director

SEPS-HSG
Büro 52-5036
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
9000 St. Gallen

Daniela Engelmann

Dr.

Executive programme director

International Affairs / SEPS
Büro 52-5062
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
9000 St. Gallen
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