International Relations Program
International relations is an interdisciplinary major emphasizing the systematic study of political and economic relations between governments and people in different states, as well as comparisons across different political and economic systems. Students majoring in international relations also come to understand the historical and geographic basis for current international relationships.
The international relations major gives students a strong liberal arts education along with useful technical skills. In addition to substantive knowledge, international relations majors will learn analytical concepts and ideas that allow them to organize, explain, and make sense of relations between states and comparisons among them. High proficiency in math and statistics, writing, and a foreign language will prepare for a wide variety of career paths—including, but not limited to, government, law, business, and international organizations. Many career paths will require graduate-level training. Therefore, the international relations degree should be seen as certifying fluency in the ideas and methods of multiple fields so that students can find and pursue their own specialized interests rather than as a terminal degree.
It is important to distinguish international relations as a field from a more general definition of "international," which might include anything (people, language, culture, traditions, etc.) beyond the territorial boundaries of the United States. For students interested in the broad study of anything international and foreign, BYU's international relations degree will not provide the best training. In fact, no reasonable degree can include the systematic study of everything international and foreign. It should be remembered that BYU students have a wealth of options through which to pursue their particular international and foreign interests. These include:
- Social science majors with a strong international component, such as economics, geography, history, or political science.
- Area studies majors, including Asian, European, Latin American, Ancient Near Eastern, and Middle East studies.
- Foreign Language majors.
- Other majors combined with a minor in one of the above areas.
To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:
- The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
- At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
- A minimum of 120 credit hours
- A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
- Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office
Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.