Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies program is based on a student's prior coursework and motivation to complete a bachelor's in two years and the possibility of completing a master's with one additional year.

Admissions Requirements Overview

Language Proficiency

You have the opportunity to develop and integrate foreign language and intercultural communication skills within your degree program for professional purposes.

Native English Speakers

You will complete at least 8 credits of advanced language courses as part of your language and intercultural competency degree requirement. You may choose to select an additional 1-4 credits of language coursework or 1-4 credits of intercultural competency coursework to satisfy this requirement. To ensure the greatest improvement in your second language ability, the 8-12 credits of language study must be dedicated to a single language, unless you have 400-level or above proficiency.

You are expected to be at the following level by the time you begin the degree program:

Spanish or Arabic: At the 200-level, equivalent to second-year college level
You will have completed at least one recent academic year of beginning language coursework successfully. OR You will have completed one summer of intensive language course successfully before enrolling in your degree program.

Chinese, French, Japanese Russian or any other language: At the 300-level, equivalent to third-year college level
You will have completed at least two recent academic years of language coursework successfully. OR You will have completed one recent academic year plus one summer of intensive language course successfully before enrolling in your degree program.


Please note that it is not the number of years of language study you have completed that determines your eligibility to enter our language program, but your ability to read, write, speak and listen in your language of choice at the time of enrollment. Your past academic coursework is not part of this requirement.

Non-Native English Speakers

We recognize that many of our international students come to the Monterey Institute with sophisticated language backgrounds. Terms like "native-speaker," "fluent," or "bilingual" often do not accurately reflect the rich backgrounds of our students.

If you did not receive your high school and/or college education in English, your Language of Study will be English. You will be asked to demonstrate English proficiency as part of the admission process.

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

You must provide evidence of English proficiency from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examinations. Scores are valid if you've taken the exam within the last two years.

Minimum TOEFL Scores Minimum IELTS Scores
  • Internet-based test: 79
  • Writing sub-score: 23

(No sub-scores below 19)

  • 6.5 Overall

(No Sub-score below 6.0)

Alumni of U.S. or U.K. Colleges and Universities

If you have completed your entire undergraduate program at a U.S. or U.K. college or university, you will not be required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS scores. These scores may also be waived on a case by case basis, if you have completed extensive academic work in English. Contact us to learn more >>

Test Your Language Proficiency

Diagnostic Test

Self-assess the level at which you read, write and understand your target language of study.

Placement Test

New students are required to complete an online language placement test prior to orientation week.

Summer Language Scholarships

If you're an admitted student, the Betty and David Jones Language Scholarships will offer you the opportunity to attend the Monterey Institute's summer language programs and to enhance your language skills before your degree program begins. Languages include: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

Prerequisite Coursework

Applicants that would like to complete their bachelor's degree must have previous college/university study that satisfies the following prerequisite subjects and 60 semester hours of credit with grades of B or above:

  • Composition (3 credits)
  • Math (3 credits)
  • 4 courses from at least 2 of the following:  (12 credits)
      • Physical-Biological Science
      • Social Science
      • Arts/Humanities
  • Language Semester 1 (3 credits)
  • Language Semester 2 (3 credits)
  • Electives 

The maximum number of credits that will be accepted for transfer to the Monterey Institute is 70 semester credits. It is required that all must be taken for credit with a grade of B or better.

Completing Bachelor's and a Master's Degree

Students must apply separately to a master's degree program at the Monterey Institute after they have enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies program. Learn more about our master's degree programs and admission requirements.

Overall credits required for the bachelor's program are 120 and a minimum of an additional 30 credits for the master's program.  If a student completes all requirements, the master's degree is awarded at the end of the third year of study at the Institute.  Because the BA/MA sequence is accelerated, it is regarded as an "honors program."  To succeed in this demanding program, students should be well prepared, highly motivated, mature, and willing to follow the advice of their academic advisor.