International Relations

The objective of the International Relations concentration is to foster creative thinking about pressing global problems and to equip students with the analytic tools, language expertise, and cross-cultural understanding to guide them in that process. To this end, the concentration draws on numerous departments including political science, history, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, religious studies, and area studies. The IR concentration is organized around a multidisciplinary core and two sub-themes: security and society, and political economy and society. It has a three-year language requirement that must be linked to the student’s selected region of the world. All concentrators are required to undertake a capstone project using research in a second language.


The IR concentration requires 14 courses and the equivalent of 3 years study of a second language.

Core Courses
Students must take all 5 core courses, preferably during freshman or sophomore year. AP credit does not count toward the concentration.
ANTH 0110Anthropology and Global Social Problems: Environment, Development, and Governance1
ECON 0110Principles of Economics1
POLS 0400Introduction to International Politics1
or POLS 0200 Introduction to Comparative Politics
HIST 1900American Empire Since 1890
SOC 1620Globalization and Social Conflict (WRIT)1
Track Requirements (five courses from ONE track distributed between the sub-themes): 15
Security and Society:
Governance and Diplomacy (two or three courses): EXAMPLES
History of American Intervention
International Law
Cyber Conflict and Internet Freedom
The International Law and Politics of Human Rights
American Foreign Policy
Nuclear Weapons and International Politics
Society (two or three courses): EXAMPLES
War and Society
Ethnographies of Global Connection: Politics, Culture and International Relations
Nations within States
Religion and Global Politics
Ethnic Politics and Conflict
Political Economy and Society:
Economics (two or three courses): All students MUST take Micro and Macro
Intermediate Microeconomics
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Plus an International Economics course: EXAMPLES
Current Global Macroeconomic Challenges
International Trade
International Finance
Political Economy (two or three courses): EXAMPLES
Inequality, Sustainability, and Mobility in a Car-Clogged World
Money, Work, and Power: Culture and Economics
Global Corporate Accountability: Issues of Governance, Responsibility and NGOs
Politics of International Finance
Politics of the Illicit Global Economy
Money and Power in the International Political Economy
Research Methods1
Prior to 7th semester. Quantitative or qualitative course from approved list.
Regional Focus2
Both courses must be on the same area. Students are required to link these to language study.
Three years university study or equivalent. Must correspond to region.
Capstone Course, from the following options:1
Must be taken senior year. Must incorporate language skills.
a.) Senior seminar paper (see website for approved senior seminars) WRIT, OR
b.) Independent Study Research Project WRIT, OR
c.) Honors thesis (two courses: INTL 1910, INTL 1920) WRIT
Total Credits13

This is only a subset of the more comprehensive list of applicable courses. See IR website for current list.

Detailed lists of courses that satisfy these requirements may be obtained from the IR program website.

The program has a director, an associate director/concentration advisor, and two faculty advisors for each track to assist students in planning their academic programs.