International Economics Cultural Affairs (IECA) is an interdisciplinary major program that combines study of a foreign language and culture with internationally-focused courses in economics, geography, history, and political science. Students select a regional emphasis (East Asia, Europe, or Latin America) which, in turn, determines the specific courses and language study the student will undertake.
The IECA major is distinct from an International Business major because it is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers, from international commerce and banking to policy design and government service. It helps students to understand a particular region in all its complexity, cultural, political, and economic. If you want to combine your talent for foreign languages and appreciation of things international with a mix of career-oriented courses, IECA might be the major for you.
The languages among which students may choose in the IECA major are French, German (Europe emphasis), Spanish (Europe or Latin America emphasis), Japanese, and Chinese (East Asia emphasis). A student majoring in IECA at Valparaiso University does not need a second major or a minor to graduate with the B.A. degree, since the major consists of 51 academic credits. However, you may choose a minor or a second major to complement the IECA program. Many IECA students choose a second major in the foreign language they are studying; many complete the Fundamentals of Business Minor program or another minor. The choice is up to you and your academic advisor, according to your interests and career plan.
Summary of the requirements for the IECA major: A minimum of 51 credits in courses approved by the Administrative Committee. Courses include a Foundational Course (taken as early as possible), Foreign Languages and Cultures, 17-22 credits (requirements vary by language); Economics, 15 credit hours, History, 3 credit hours, and Political Science, 6 credit hours. Students choose elective courses from the list below (number varies by regional focus). A senior seminar of one credit (IECA 493) in the fall semester is followed in the spring semester of the senior year by a senior research project earning 3 credits (IECA 495).