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 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   380: West Africa
  • HIST  300:  The Caribbean
  • HIST  304: Brazil
  • HIST 305: History of Mexico
  • HIST 325: Race, Culture, and Modernization in South Africa
  • HIST 328: Modern Japanese History
  • HIST 329: Modern Chinese History
  • HIST 330: America and China: US-China Relations since 1784
  • HIST 332: Modern Korean History
  • HIST 340: Maroon Societies
  • HIST 370: History of Britain
  • HIST 373: East Central Europe
  • HIST 378: The History of Russia
  • HIST 384: The History of Germany
  • 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.

  • ANTH 475:  Globalization, Democratization and Neo-nationalisms
  • ANTH 476:  National Formations and Postcolonial  Identities
  • 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: Development Economics (ECON 303, 304)
  • ECON  484: Economics of Growth (ECON 303, 304)
  • 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 (International Relations topics only)
  • 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  141:  Survey of East Asian Civilization to 1600
  • HIST  142:  Survey of East Asian Civilization, 1600 to present
  • HIST 161: History of South Asia
  • HIST  172: The Modern Middle East II (1798-present)
  • HIST  182:  African History
  • 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  431:  United States Immigration History
  • HIST  433:  U.S. Foreign Relations, 1763-1900
  • HIST  434:  U.S. Foreign Relations, 1900-present
  • HIST  435:  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
  • PSYC 470: Topics in Psychology: Psychology of Peacekeeping (instructor permission required)
  • RELG 323: Warfare and Ethics
  • SOCL  408: Migration in Global Context
  • SOCL 427: Globalization and the Environment
  • 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.

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.