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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 RelationsTheory
Modern Foreign Languages: 9 credits
  • Credit hours in Modern Languages and Literatures must be completed at the 300 level or above and must include 301 and 302 or 306 level courses in their chosen language of study.
  • Students may 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 substitute 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 - Comparative Political Systems: Advanced Industrial States
  • IR 209 - Comparative Political Systems: Developing States
  • IR 254 - American Foreign Policy
  • IR 305 - International Political Communication
  • 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 from among Political Science, History, or Modern Languages and Literatures. However, students have also been pairing an International Relations major with any other major (eg.: Communications, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Theology) offered by the College of Liberal Arts, and work in many other disciplines may enhance the study of International Relations.

Students who double major in International Relations and History, Modern Languages, or Political Science must complete their elective credits for the International Relations major outside of their second major. For example, a student majoring in International Relations and History would complete his or her elective credits from Political Science and Language courses.

Dual Degree

Much like a double major, a dual degree program affords students the opportunity to pursue interests and develop skills in areas that combine well with International Relations. Many students choose to earn their degree in IR as an addition to a degree in Law or International Business.