Welcome to the School of World Studies!


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  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. Email us at swsadvising@vcu.edu 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 the human experience and to promoting understanding among people of the world. Our renowned scholars and award-winning teachers study and teach about the diversity of languages, religions, literature, film, and cultural practices, and the relationship between these forms of human expression and issues of social justice, human rights, and sustainability.

Through collaborative research, participatory pedagogy, engagement with real world issues, study abroad programs, and partnerships with universities on five continents, the School provides an array of opportunities to learn about and contribute to our understanding of humanity, and to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience 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 learn more about our academic programs and join us in the adventure of studying and making a world of difference.

Best regards,

Mark D. Wood, Ph.D., Director of The School of World Studies