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Requirements for Majors and Minors

Major in International Relations

42 credits including:

  • POLS 210 Introduction to International Politics (4 credits)
  • POLS 390 Introduction to Comparative Politics (4 credits) OR SOAN 350 Global Political Economy (4 credits)
  • ECON 210 Principles of Economics (4 credits)
  • POLS 490 Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Methods Requirement: POLS 230 Research and Methodology or HIST 285 Methods of Historical Research or SOAN 307 Social Research Methods - 5 credits (subject to approval from HIST and SOAN, double-majors recommended)

History Requirement: At least 4 credits in an upper division (300 level or above) international history course

Theory and Practice of International Politics Requirement:4 credits from POLS 361 Current Debates in US Foreign Policy, POLS 362 International Law, Ethics, and Global Governance, POLS 370 Topics in International Politics, POLS 371 Political Psychology, POLS 384 US Foreign Policy or POLS 385 Topics in Comparative Politics, plus corresponding POLS 498 1 credit proseminar course (5 credits total) 

Comparative Culture, Philosophy, and Ethics Requirement: At least 4 credits from ANTH 111 Cultural Anthropology, POLS 220 Great Political Thinkers, PHIL 160 Philosophy East and West, PHIL 180 Moral Problems, PHIL 365 Social and Political Philosophy (at least 3 credits)

Foreign language proficiency through a second year level

Successful completion of a foreign study abroad of at least one semester approved in advance for this purpose (courses taken abroad may count toward IR electives) 

At least 10 additional credits from the IR major elective list below, including at least one 300 level course or above.  Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor to ensure a focused course of study.

International Relations Major Elective List

  • ANTH 111 Cultural Anthropology
  • ECON 331 International Economics
  • ECON 332 Development Economics
  • ECON 333 International Monetary Economics
  • ECON 341 Environmental Economics
  • ECON 342 Natural Resource Economics
  • HIST 120, 121 History of Western Culture I and II
  • HIST 122, 123, History of World Civilizations I and II
  • HIST 124 East Asia Before 1800
  • HIST 125 East Asia Since 1800
  • HIST 126, 127 Introduction to Eurasian Civilizations I and II
  • HIST 144 Europe Since 1500
  • Any other relevant upper division history course
  • MSCM 150 Introduction to Mass Communication
  • MSCM 333 Mass Media and Society
  • MSCM 337 Mass Media and the Law
  • MSCM 340 Mass Media and Popular Culture
  • MSCM 345 Mass Media, Politics, and Public Opinion
  • Any other relevant MDLA course
  • PHIL 150 Fundamentals of Philosophy
  • PHIL 180 Moral Problems
  • PHIL 285 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 306 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 360 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 365 Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 375 Comparative Philosophy
  • POLS 201 American Politics
  • POLS 220 Great Political Thinkers
  • POLS 330 Politics and the Arts
  • POLS 361 Current Debates in US Foreign Policy
  • POLS 362 International Law, Ethics, and Global Governance
  • POLS 370 Topics in International Politics
  • POLS 371 Political Psychology
  • POLS 384 US Foreign Policy
  • POLS 385 Topics in Comparative Politics
  • RELS 115 Religious Ethics
  • RELS 140 The Holy Qur'an
  • SOCL 370 Society, State, and Social Policy
  • TCCA 230 Intercultural Communication: Global Perspectives
  • TCCA 335 Nonverbal Communication
  • Any relevant internship course; any relevant study in DC or abroad; or any relevant January term course abroad.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of international relations, other courses may, on occasion, be approved to count toward the major.  The student may therefore petition the coordinator of the International Relations program, expressing a rationale for the substitution. This rationale must include a signed agreement between the student and course instructor that the student’s major project, counting for at least 1/3rd of the course grade, will be devoted to an international relations issue.  The IR coordinator must approve the petition before the Registrar will accept the substitution.

Double-majors with other disciplines are encouraged and two courses (up to 8 credits) may count toward both major requirements.  Double-majors in Political Science and International Relations, however, are not permitted.

Minor in International Relations

24 credits including: 

  • POLS 210 Introduction to International Politics (4 credits)
  • ECON 210 Principle of Economics (4 credits)
  • A relevant upper division (300 level or above) POLS course
  • A relevant upper division (300 level or above) HIST course
  • At least 8 additional credits of approved IR major elective courses, including at least one at the 300 level or above
  • One year of foreign language, see BA language requirement

Only two courses counted for the minor may be double counted toward major and LC requirements.