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International Relations

The program of study in International Relations combines a rigorous and diverse set of courses from the social sciences and the humanities to help students develop conceptual and problem solving skills to address global issues that are by nature complex and interdisciplinary. The International Relations major is administered by the Department of Politics, in consultation with the History, Economics and Business, Modern Languages, and Classics Departments.

Course Requirements: Students in the International Relations major must take a minimum of 12 courses, as specified in the 9 key rules below. 

Rule 1. International Politics Requirement: Students must complete the following three core courses in international politics:
PO104 Comparative Politics
PO106 International Relations
PO330 International Political Economy

Rule 2. International Political Institution Requirement: Students must complete one of the following international political institution courses:
PO214 International Law
PO324 International Organization

Rule 3. International Relations Theory Requirement: Students must complete one of following theory courses
PO205 Diplomacy
PO310 International Relations Theory
PO347 Justice and War in International Relations

Rule 4. History Requirement: Students must complete any three of the following History courses:
HI275 Asian Civilization
HI277 Modern Africa
HI330 Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century
HI331 European Socialism
HI333 Europe Since 1945
HI355 Modern American Foreign Relations
HI376 History of Latin America
HI377 History of Russia
HI378 History of Modern China
HI379 Modern Japan
HI382 History of the Middle East
HI384 British Empire

Rule 5. Geography Elective: Depending on scheduling availability, one geography course may count for one of the three required history courses.
Students may complete any one of the following courses:
GE202 Political Geography
GE212 Cultural Geography
GE221 Economic Geography

Rule 6. Economics Requirement: Students must complete one of the following Economics courses:
EC249 International Economics (Please note: this course has two prerequisites, EC141 Principles of Micro Economics and EC142 Principles of Macro Economics).
EC322 International Business Management
EC333 International marketing (Please note: this course has a prerequisite EC231 Marketing I

Rule 7. Language Requirement: Students must complete one advanced level language (or a literature course offered for the language which does not offer an advanced class) they have taken through the intermediate level. Students are also strongly encouraged to complete a language minor. The senior comprehensive examination will include a language component.

Rule 8. Research Methods Requirement: Depending on the area chosen for senior research, students must complete one of the following research method courses typically during the Fall semester of their senior year:
PO203 Research Methods in Political Science
HI481 Seminar in History Research

Rule 9. Senior Seminar Requirement: Students must complete PO 478 (Senior Seminar). Students must choose a thesis topic and prepare the thesis in Senior Seminar. Research topics must address an international topic, and be approved by the faculty advisor.

Senior Comprehensive Examination: Comprehensive examinations, both written and oral, are required. The oral exam will require the student to discuss different aspects of international relations before a committee composed of faculty from the Politics, History, and Business and Economics departments. These comprehensives will have a language component. The individual student's selected foreign language will determine which professor from the modern language or classics department will be asked to participate in a particular student's oral examination. Students completing language certificates do not have to take the language component of the comprehensive examination.

Study Abroad: Students are strongly encouraged to gain real international experience during their undergraduate years through study abroad, travel and internships.

Freshman Year
Humanities I Humanities II
Freshman English 103 Freshman English 104
Science Science
Language Language
Comparative Politics
International Relations


Sophomore Year
Humanities III Humanities IV
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Language Language
General Elective
History Elective
Economics Elective International Relations Institution Elective


Junior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
History Elective
History Elective
Advanced Language
Methods Requirement
International Political Economy IR Theory Requirement
General Elective General Elective


Senior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Senior Seminar General Elective
General Elective
General Elective
General Elective General Elective
General Elective General Elective