The international relations and global affairs major is designed to provide students with an understanding of the international political and economic factors, relationships, and issues shaping today's global community. It is an interdisciplinary major, but its home discipline is political science.

Students majoring in international relations and global affairs affiliate with the Behavioral Science Collegium and will be associates of the political science faculty. Students majoring in international relations and global affairs will gain competency in international political, economic, and foreign policy analysis, proficiency in a world language other than English, and skills in research, writing, and oral communication. Students will also gain practical experience in international relations through their work in their practicum. Students will be prepared to go on to graduate study in international relations, the foreign service, or law. They will also be well prepared for a career in the international non-governmental community, service organizations, interest groups, or journalism.

The major requirements consist of three prerequisite courses: PO 103G Introduction to International Relations, EC 282S Principles of Macroeconomics, HI 234G Twentieth Century World, plus six core courses distributed across the three core groups listed below. Also required are Political Science Research Methods, two and a half years of a world language, the international practicum, the Senior Seminar, and the Senior Comprehensive Exam. Students majoring in international relations and global affairs are also strongly encouraged to spend a semester or at least a winter term abroad. Beyond the three prerequisite courses already listed, a minimum of six core courses are required for the major, with at least two courses taken from each of the following three core groups:

Group A - International Relations Theory and Foreign Policy:

  • AN 289S Gender: Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • IR 340 Geneva and International Organization
  • IR 341 The Hague and International Law
  • PO 200S Diplomacy and International Relations
  • PO 212S U.S. Foreign Policy
  • PO 222 Political Ideologies
  • PO 243S Human Rights and International Law
  • PO 251S The Media and Foreign Policy
  • PO 315 Theories of War and Peace
  • PO 325S Environment Politics and Policy
  • PO 353E International Disaster Management
  • PO 341 Ethics and International Relations
  • PO 343S International Environmental Law
  • PO 351 National Security Policy
  • PO 353E: Intl Disaster Management
  • PO 365G The Syrian Civil War
  • PO 366S Conspiracy Theories Mid/East/US

Group B - Regional Studies Group:

Students must take at least two courses, one each from different regions and one each from different disciplines.
  • AN 285G Latin American Area Studies
  • AN 286G Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • AN 287G Caribbean Area Studies
  • EA 201G East Asian Traditions
  • EA 210G East Asia: Nationalism & Revolution
  • EA 312G History of Southeast Asia
  • HI 202H Modern Europe
  • HI 360G Modern Africa
  • HI 361H Modern France
  • HI 368H Modern German History
  • LI 244G Postcolonial Literature
  • LI 314G Caribbean Literature and Film
  • PO 211G Inter-American Relations
  • PO 221S Politics of Revolution & Development
  • PO 230G East Asian Comparative Politics
  • PO 233E Global South: Environment
  • PO 252S Middle East Politics
  • PO 261G African Politics
  • PO 263G North African Politics
  • PO 311G Latin American Politics
  • PO 316G Women and Politics Worldwide
  • PO 321S Comparative European Politics
  • PO 322S Authoritarian Political Systems
  • PO
    324 East European Politics
  • PO 333 Japan: Government, Politics, Foreign Policy
  • PO 335S Government and Politics of China
  • PO 337E Chinese Environmental Politics
  • PO 336S East Asian International Relations
  • PO 362G Mid East Conflicts and Wars
  • PO 364 Islam and Human Rights
  • RE 356G Asian Religion and Warfare

Group C - International Political Economy Group:

  • EC 281S Principles of Microeconomics
  • EC 388 Economic Development
  • EC 480 International Economics: Foreign Exchange
  • EC 481 International Economics: Trade
  • PO 217G Refugee & Migration Politics
  • PO 232G The Pacific Century
  • PO 241S International Political Economy
  • PO 242S The Politics of Defense: Economics and Power
  • PO 313 Politics of the European Union
  • PO 342S Hunger, Plenty, and Justice
  • PO 352G The Globalization Debate
  • PO 353E International Disaster Management
  • PO 354G United Nations and Sustainability
  • PO 363G Middle East Political Economy
  • PO 369G Globalization of Crime

In addition to the three prerequisite courses, the six core courses, PO 260M Political Science Research Methods, the Senior Seminar (IR 410), and the Senior Comprehensive Exam, the major requires the following:

Language Requirement:

At least two and a half years (five semesters) of college level world language other than English or the equivalent. More years of language or a second world language are strongly encouraged.

International Practicum:

There are three ways to fulfill the requirement:

  • Enroll in IR 353 IRGA Practicum. Only IRGA majors fulfilling their IRGA Practicum requirement may enroll in this course. This course includes an internship in an institution engaged in international affairs within the U.S. or abroad. The student's 150 internship hours are combined with a directed study of issues related to the specific internship focus. An internship done abroad will involve a deep emersion in another culture. Instructor permission required.
  • Specified Winter Term and Spring-Into-Summer courses led by IRGA faculty. The U.N. Winter Term, IR 340 Geneva and International Organization, and IR 341 The Hague and International Law are examples.
  • Semester study abroad programs recognized for credit by the International Education Office and the registrar. ISEP or CIEE organized semester abroad programs are examples. IRGA students have studied in Austria, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and France. The Eckerd London program, while excellent, does not fulfill the IRGA practicum requirement. Students work closely with a member of the Political Science faculty (or faculty from other disciplines represented in the major) in arranging for the practicum and are responsible for informing themselves of the available types of practicums, for choosing one that meets their needs, and for fulfilling the terms of the practicum contract in a timely manner.

Students may also minor in international relations and global affairs by completing PO 103G Introduction to International Relations, PO 241S International Political Economy, and four core courses beyond the introductory level which are distributed across each of the three core groups.