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, QST 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 QST 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 six 4-credit courses. These include four required principal courses listed above in the Required Principal Courses section 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 in all of 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.
The Pardee School offers courses in 9 distinct subfields known as “tracks.” Tracks are divided into two types: functional and regional.
- 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 Pardee School Honors Program is a selective, two-semester intensive research project resulting in an Honors Thesis. The thesis is completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor and defended before a panel of professors at the end of the research year.
Honors students are enrolled in CAS IR 401 and IR 402. Through these courses, students participate in mandatory seminars designed to teach skills related to writing and research. IR 401 and 402 count as upper-level IR courses and may be applied if students’ tracks if their thesis topic is relevant. Participating students also engage in co-curricular activities that reinforce and expand their knowledge of their research topic. Successful students graduate with Honors from the Pardee School, the highest level of academic achievement for undergraduates.
An 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.