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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

The Monitor: Our journal publishes original research conducted by undergraduate students.

The W&M Global Research Institute offers many opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty.

Through the W&M Project on International Peace and Security, students write briefs suggesting ways to improve current U.S. national security policy and present their work to policymakers in Washington, D.C. 

Have you ever wondered...
  • How will climate change affect relationships between countries?
  • Why are some countries less economically developed than others?
  • Why isn’t the United Nations doing more to prevent genocide or ethnic cleansing?
  • Why do wars occur between some countries, but not others?
  • Why don’t countries cooperate more to prevent or stop global pandemics?

If you answered “yes!” to any of these questions, then a major in International Relations might be for you.

In the International Relations program, you will study the economic, historical, political, and social interactions among global actors, from countries to multinational corporations to non-governmental organizations and activists. The program integrates perspectives from several different disciplines through teaching, research, language, and study abroad. 

Morgan Pincombe '21

An Interview with Morgan Pincombe '21:

How has being an IR major shaped your education at W&M?

Being an IR major has allowed me to simultaneously pursue my interests in sociology, political science, and economics. As an interdisciplinary major, IR allows students to take classes across several departments, gaining exposure to different professors, methodologies, theories, and disciplinary approaches. If not for IR, I would not have discovered my interest in sociology and its foundational concern with marginalized populations. My IR major also gave me the opportunity to continue taking French classes and study abroad in Senegal, with some of the classes I took overseas fulfilling requirements for my major.

Degree Programs

Our courses cover a wide range of topics, including globalization, U.S. foreign policy, international law, economic development, climate change policy, and European integration. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore the complete list of International Relations courses.


Many of our faculty oversee research projects in which you can get involved--even in your first semester at William & Mary. You can conduct field research in the United States or around the world, publish an article or oped, or present your paper at an international conference.

Student Activities

There are so many internationally focused activities on campus. The International Relations Club is one of the largest student organizations at William & Mary and hosts three Model United Nations conferences each year. You can also be an editor for or publish your research in the Monitor, a student-run international relations journal. 


Our alumni follow diverse paths. Many have careers in public service--including at the Department of State, in the intelligence community, or at USAID. Others join the Peace Corps or other non-profit organizations. Still, others work for think tanks or are journalists. A major in International Relations opens doors. It can help you achieve your professional goals.

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