International and Area Studies

International Relations

International Relations
Hours60 - 86 Credit Hours
MAPMajor Academic Plan

Program Requirements

No double counting of courses within the major will be allowed unless noted otherwise. Students majoring in international relations may not pursue a double major or minor in either economics or political science because of the course overlap between international relations and those majors.
requirement 4 Complete 2 courses
requirement 5 Complete 1 option
option 5.1 Complete 2 courses
Note: Econ 388 can double count for an elective under specialization B and G.
option 5.2 Complete 1 course
requirement 10 Complete 1 course
Only MESA 495, Poli 450, or Poli 470 can fill the GE Advanced Written and Oral Communication requirement when coupled with Poli 200.
requirement 11 Complete 1 course
Achieve proficiency in a foreign language. Students must complete courses for one language to a specified level. Some prerequisite courses may be waived with equivalent language experience. The foreign language requirement is waived for international students for whom English is their second language. Students can also receive credit for many less commonly taught languages (e.g., Tagalog, Thai). Please see the Center for Language Studies website ( for information on which languages are offered and when or visit the Kennedy Center Advisement Office.
requirement 12 Complete 1 option
Specializations: Complete one of the following tracks. Courses above cannot be double counted for specialization unless otherwise noted.
option 12.2 Complete 4 courses
B. Political Economy. Complete four courses from at least two disciplines. At least two courses must be from economics. NOTE: Econ 378/388 sequence will be allowed to double count to fulfill one course in this track. Poli 304 may substitute for Econ 478.
option 12.4 Complete 4 courses
D. Latin American Politics and History. Complete four courses from the following. At least one course must be from political science and one course from history.
option 12.5 Complete 4 courses
E. Middle Eastern Politics and History. Complete four courses from at least two disciplines. At least one course must be from history. Note: Hist 242 and 243 do not substitute here.
option 12.7 Complete 2 groups
G. Economic and Political Development
group 12.7.1 Complete 1 course
Note: Econ 431 cannot be double-counted for the 400-level economics course in the core in Requirement 7; Econ 388 is the preferred route to fill the statistics prerequisite for this course. Complete three courses from the following, of which one course must be from political science. NOTE: Econ 378/388 sequence will be allowed to double count to fulfill one course in this track.
option 12.8 Complete 4 courses
H. African Politics and History. With the prior approval of the international relations coordinator, a maximum of 3 hours of IAS 399 or IAS 351R may be used toward meeting the four-course requirement of specialization. Only the second semester of IAS 351R would be allowed.
Program Outcomes: 

Factual Knowledge

Demonstrate factual knowledge of important international trends and events related to politics, economics, geography, and history.

Analyzing International Affairs

Analyze international affairs by using theoretical concepts and ideas from more than one IR-related discipline.

Writing Effectively

Communicate effectively in writing and in speech.

Critical and Analytical Thinking

Think critically and analytically about international problems and events, and synthesize concepts, information and experiences from different disciplines relevant to international affairs.

Analysis and Research

Employ appropriate methods of analysis and research, both qualitative and quantitative, to provide sophisticated analyses and clear, logical arguments relating to important questions about international relations.