Major Requirements for International Relations

A major in International Relations includes courses from at least three departments. A detailed description of the degree program is provided below. The program does not currently offer a minor. In all cases, students should take Government 204, Economics 101 and 102, and History 192 as soon as possible. This ensures that they are prepared to take INRL 300 during their sophomore year.

The International Relations major requires a minimum of thirty seven credits selected from the options listed under Parts A, B, C, D, and E below  In choosing courses, students are encouraged to work with their advisors to achieve an appropriate degree of substantive coherence across disciplines and analytical approaches. For example, a student might combine History 182 (African History) in Part E with Anthropology 335 (Peoples and Cultures of Africa) under Part C. Such choices should also be taken into consideration by the student in selecting the language(s) used to fulfill the language co-requisite.

Major Writing Requirement (MWR). The major writing requirement may be satisfied by upon completions of the capstone course, internship, independent study or honors project.

Major Computer Proficiency Requirement (CPR). International Relations majors may satisfy the computing proficiency computer proficiency by succesfully completing the concentration methods course requirements.

Part A: Core Curriculum (7 courses)

Part A represents the core of the IR major, and includes basic requirements in Government, Economics, and History. All courses must be taken, and no substitutions are allowed. Prerequisites in (parentheses).

  • GOVT  154/204:  Introduction to International Politics
  • GOVT  328:  International Political Economy (GOVT 154/204)
  • GOVT  329:  International Security (GOVT 154/204)
  • ECON  475:  International Trade Theory and Policy  (ECON 101, 102, 303)
  • ECON  476: International Finance Open Econ Macro (ECON 101, 102, 304)
  • HIST  192: Global History since 1500
  • INRL  300: IR in Disciplinary Perspective (GOVT 204/GOVT 150W-01 and -03, HIST 192, ECON 101/102). You should take this course during your sophomore year.
Part B: Methods (1 course)

Part B includes courses designed to familiarize students with the basic methodological tools of disciplines contributing to the IR major.  This course meets the Major Computer Proficiency requirement.  Students who intend to write an Honors thesis In IR should select the methods course that provides the necessary tools to complete the thesis.   It may be fulfilled with any of the following courses:

  • BUAD  231: Statistics
  • GOVT  301:  Research Methods
  • GOVT  302: Quantitative Methods
  • GOVT  307: Political Polling and Survey Analysis
  • ECON  307: Principles and Methods of Statistics
  • PSYC  302: Experimental Methods (201, 202, 301prerequisites, 302L co-req.)
  • SOCL  352: Methods of Social Research (Soc 250)
  • SOCL  353: Social Statistics (Soc 250 or consent)
Part C: Social and Cultural Contexts (1 course)

Part C emphasizes the role that social and cultural contexts play in international relations, and exposes students to relevant disciplinary approaches. Students may fulfill part C with any of the following courses:

  • ANTH  330: Caribbean Cultures (ANTH 202)
  • ANTH  335: Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • ANTH  338:  Native Cultures of Latin America
  • GOVT  311: European Political Systems (GOV 203)
  • GOVT  312: Politics of Developing Countries (GOV 203)
  • GOVT  334: Russian and Post-Soviet Politics
  • GOVT  335: Politics of Eastern Europe
  • GOVT  336: Governments and Politics of China and Japan
  • GOVT  337: Politics in Africa
  • GOVT  338: Latin American Politics and Government
  • GOVT  339: Middle Eastern Political Systems
  • HIST  304: History of Brazil
  • HIST  305: History of Mexico
  • HIST  309:  The Caribbean
  • HIST  325: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
  • HIST  331: Modern Japanese History
  • HIST  333: Modern Chinese History
  • HIST  330: America and China: US-China Relations since 1784
  • HIST  332: Modern Korean History
  • HIST  370: History of Britain 1783 to the Present
  • HIST  373: East Central Europe
  • HIST  378: The History of Russia since 1800
  • HIST  380: West Africa
  • HIST  384: The History of Germany since 1918
  • SOCL  312: Comparative Sociology
  • SOCL  313:  Globalization and International Development
Part D: Capstone (1 course)


To fulfill part D, each student must successfully complete an independent research project.  This course meets the Major Writing Requirement.  This requirement may be met by completing one of the following:

  • INRL  495-496:  Senior Honors in International Relations
  • INRL  480:  Independent Study in International Relations
  • 400-level seminar in contributing department (approved IR topics only)
  • Three credit directed internship in contributing department (approved IR topic only, and must not be Pass/Fail)
Part E: Electives (2 courses)

IR majors may choose any two courses from the list below, provided that no more than nine of the twelve total courses required for the concentration may come from the economics and/or government department. All the courses in Part C listed above can also count as Part E courses.

  • BUAD  417:  International Banking and Trade Financing (Buad 203, Econ 101, 102)
  • ECON  342: Global Economic History (Econ 101, 102)
  • ECON  382: Comparative Economics (Econ 101, 102)
  • ECON  400: Economics of Immigration--Econ 400:03 (Econ 303, 304)
  • ECON  474:  Seminar in International Economic Integration (ECON 303 304, and 475)
  • ECON  483:  Macroeconomics of Development (ECON 303, 304)
  • ECON  484: Economics of Growth (ECON 303, 304)
  • GOVT  310: Game Theory and Politics
  • GOVT  322: Global Environmental Governance (Gov 204)
  • GOVT  324:  U. S. Foreign Policy
  • GOVT  325:  International Organization (GOVT 204)
  • GOVT  326:  International Law (GOVT 204)
  • GOVT  327:  Intermediate International Relations Theory (GOVT 204)
  • GOVT  330:  Politics of European Cooperation (GOVT 204)
  • GOVT  391:  Topics in Government (should have only approved IR topics)
  • GOVT  433:  Theories of the International System
  • GOVT  482:  Geostrategic Thought
  • HIST  131:  Survey of Latin American History to 1824
  • HIST  132:  Survey of Latin American History, 1824 to present
  • HIST  142:  Survey of East Asian Civilization, 1600 to present
  • HIST  161: History of South Asia
  • HIST  172: Modern Middle East  since 1400
  • HIST  211: Topics in History (only approved IR topics)
  • HIST  212: Topics in History (only approved IR topics)
  • HIST  223: Pacific War
  • HIST  241:  European History, 1815-1914
  • HIST  242:  European History, 1914-1945
  • HIST  243:  Europe Since 1945
  • HIST  311: Topics in History (only approved IR topics)
  • HIST  312: Topics in History (only approved IR topics)
  • HIST  319: The Nuclear World
  • HIST  341:  United States Immigration History
  • HIST  352:  U.S. Foreign Relations, 1763-1900
  • HIST  353:  U.S. Foreign Relations, 1900-present
  • HIST  354:  America and Vietnam
  • HIST  490/491: Topics in History (International Relations topics only)
  • HIST  490C/491C: Senior Colloquia in History (International Relations topics only)
  • INRL   390:  Topics in International Relations
  • INRL  480:  Independent Study
  • INRL   495-496: Senior Honors
  • RELG  323: Warfare and Ethics
  • SOCL  408: Migration in Global Context
  • SOCL  427: Energy, Environment and Development
  • SOCL  430:  Comparative Studies in Gender and Work
Second Language Requirement

The IR major requires intermediate proficiency in a modern language other than the native language of the student. The student can meet this requirement in two ways:


  • Continuation of the modern foreign language used by the student to meet the College requirement to three courses above the level of 202.  The courses must be taught in the target language.

  • Starting a second modern language in addition to the modern language used to meet the College requirement.  The student must achieve the 202 level in both of the languages, and one course over the 202 level in one of the languages.  The courses must be taught in the target language.
  • Please note that 203 is a combined version of 201-202, allowing you to take both of these classes in one semester. It is only equivalent to 202, however, and does not count as a course above the level of 202.

A student who is a native speaker of a language other than English should consult with his/her advisor about meeting the IR language requirement using their native language.

Please see the on-line schedule for the most current information about courses offered.