Welcome to the School of World Studies!

A world map showing no country borders and made to appear as if on crumpled paper

Our ultimate goal at the School of World Studies is to create engaged global citizens. We encourage interdisciplinary ideas, critical thinking, primary research and open discussion in order to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to succeed in an increasingly globalized economy.

We are not only a major contributor to the study of humanities at VCU but also the intellectual and instructional center of international activities in Richmond. Our public events such as lecture series and the French Film Festival bring international talent and cultural offerings to the entire city.

We offer four degrees which represent the major expressions of humanity around the world: languages, anthropology, international studies and religious studies. Through these interconnected disciplines, we explore the commonalities and differences in how we communicate, create distinct communities, interact across cultures and define our beliefs. We are committed to upholding themes of social justice throughout our teachings.

The School of World Studies is also distinctive for our focus on experiential learning through programs like study abroad and internships which prepare students for real world cross cultural exchange. Our academic advising team is dedicated to student success in and out of the classroom with personal, tailored guidance. Contact us to find out why the School of World Studies is a good fit for your academic and professional goals.

Letter from Our Director

The School of World Studies (SWS) is dedicated to understanding what it means to be human and to promoting relations of understanding and cooperation among people of the world. Our internationally renowned scholars and award-winning teachers study the emergence, development, and contemporary expression of humanity. We investigate the nature and influence of language, religion, and culture on the construction of meaning and relations.

Through collaborative research, participatory pedagogy, engagement with real world issues, study abroad programs, and partnerships with universities on five continents, the School provides students with an array of opportunities to learn about and contribute to our understanding of humanity, and to gain the theoretical knowledge, communication skills, and cultural sensitivities to make a real difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

We are guided by the idea that whatever career one pursues, that career is best when guided by a genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of others. We invite you to explore our website and join us in the adventure of studying about and living well in our world.

Make it real!
Mark D. Wood, Ph.D., Director of The School of World Studies