To study international relations is to learn how the world works. Undergraduates studying international relations choose from a wide range of interdisciplinary courses in history, economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and religion, among other disciplines. In a globalizing world, the study of international relations provides a portal for entry into a variety of career fields or for further graduate or professional training.
All IR students must complete 14 classes.
- Four classes will relate to a “region” of the world.
- Four classes will pertain to a “function” in the field of international relations.
- Six classes, known as “pre-requisites” and “principle courses,” are listed below and are required of all majors.
- EC 101 – Microeconomics
- EC 102 – Macroeconomics
Four Required Principle Courses (must obtain a C or above):
- CAS IR 271 Introduction to International Relations
- CAS IR 292 Fundamentals of International Economics*
- CAS IR 349 History of International Relations, 1900-45
- CAS IR 350 History of International Relations Since 1945
*Students who select the “International Economics, Business, and Politics” functional track must take CAS EC 392 International Macroeconomics, SMG IM 345 Global Business Environment, or IR 399 Fundamentals of Global Money, in place of CAS IR 292. Please note that these courses require the following prerequisite courses: EC 392 requires CAS EC 203 as a prerequisite, and CAS EC 204 as a corequisite.CAS IR 292 and SMG IM 345 and IR 399 require CAS EC 101 and CAS EC 102 as prerequisites.
Minoring In International Relations
A minor in IR consists of eight, 4-credit courses consisting of the four required principal courses listed above in the Required Principal Courses section, two prerequisite courses (EC 101 and EC 102), and two additional courses from any of the regional or functional tracks as chosen by the student. A grade of C or higher must be achieved for these courses to count toward a minor in IR.
Students also must declare one regional track and one functional track by the end of sophomore year. The regional and the functional track consists of four courses each. Two of those courses must be at the 400 level or above.
Looking to declare your tracks? Fill out your International Relations Major Track Declaration Form here.
- Africa/Middle East
- Latin America
- Foreign Policy/Security Studies
- International Economics, Business and Politics
- International Systems and World Order
- Regional Politics/Cultural Anthropology
No course may be used in more than one track. This arrangement is designed to give the undergraduate concentrator reasonable facility in an important functional subfield of international relations as well as an understanding of at least one region of the world.
For a detailed explanation of the program requirements, please refer to the university bulletin.
The IR Honors Program
The International Relations Honors Program is an elite, two-semester intensive research project completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor and defended before a panel of professors at the end of the research year.
Participating students engage in co-curricular activities abroad to reinforce their project, and earn credit for two upper-level IR courses in their chosen tracks (CAS IR 401/402). Successful students graduate with Honors from the Pardee School, the highest level of academic achievement for undergraduates.
The IR Honors Thesis is a significant piece of academic writing for publication, employment purposes, or post baccalaureate applications. Students apply to the Honors Program during the spring semester of their junior year. For more information, please refer to our Pardee School Honors Program webpage.