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Program Overview

Courses for the International Relations major are drawn principally from the departments of History, Modern Languages and Literatures, and Political Science.


Students majoring in International Relations will complete 36 credits comprised of the following:

Mandatory Courses : 12 Credits
  • IR 200 - Writing and Research in International Relations
  • IR 216 - Foundations of International Relations Theory
  • IR 245 - International Relations
  • IR 499 - Advanced International Relations Theory
Modern Foreign Languages: 9 credits
  • Credit hours in Modern Languages and Literatures must be completed at the 300 level or above and must include 301W and 302W or 306W (Spanish only) level courses in their chosen language of study.
  • If students wish to develop an expertise in a second language in addition to the language requirements for the major, these second language credits would only be counted as elective credits.  Second language credits cannot be substituted for the "primary" language requirements.
Chosen Area of Concentration : 12 credits
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • Russia and Central Asia
  • European Culture or Policy
  • Humanitarian Operations
  • Security Studies
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

See the Concentrations and Courses tab for a list of courses included in each concentration. When combined with an appropriate semester abroad program, these concentrations provide students with an advanced understanding or specialization in their area or field of study.

At least one of the following elective courses: 3 Credits
  • IR 208 - Politics of Great Powers
  • IR 209 - Politics of Emerging Powers
  • IR 254 - American Foreign Policy
  • IR 345W - Ethics & International Relations
  • IR 351 - U.S. Foreign Relations to WWI
  • IR 352 - U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1917
  • IR 393 - Political and Economic Geography
  • IR 394 - Historical Geography

International Relations major are strongly encouraged to spend a semester/summer abroad to ensure the most effective and rewarding educational experience, develop knowledge in their chosen area of expertise, and achieve an awareness of our status as global citizens.

Double Major 

Many International Relations students choose to enhance their skills and increase their attractiveness in the job market by completing a double major in 4 years.

Due to the complementary nature of the coursework, many students choose to complete their second major in Political Science, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, or any other offerings in the College of Liberal Arts.

Dual Degree

Much like a double major, a dual degree program with another school (undergraduate/graduate) at DU, affords students the opportunity to pursue interests and develop skills in areas that combine  with International Relations. However, it is important to note that such degrees require careful planning with their academic advisors. 

For Current Students:

Declaring Your Major in International Relations

  1. Log into DORI and complete the Major/Minor Declaration Form.

  2. In the upper right corner, click on INDEX.

  3. Select LIBERAL ARTS in Schools in DORI.

  4. Under BACHELOR'S PROGRAMS in the center of the page, click on RESOURCES FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS.


  6. Once you have submitted the Major/Minor Declaration Form, the form will be sent to the Department.