Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu
Rain in the morning sunrise in the Quad

Program Requirements for International Relations

Major in International Relations

For a major: 44 credits distributed as follows (all courses are 4 credits unless otherwise specified):
Common Core: 18 credits including:

Foreign language proficiency through a second-year level and successful completion of a foreign study abroad program of at least one semester approved in advance for this purpose (relevant courses taken abroad may count toward IR electives).

At least 15-16 additional credits distributed as follows:

4-credit Methods requirement:

(subject to approval from HIST or SOAN for double majors)

4-credit History requirement: An upper division (300 level or above) international history course.

4-credit Theory and Practice of International Politics requirement

plus corresponding POLS 498 1-credit proseminar course.

3–4 credit Comparative Culture, Philosophy, and Ethics Requirement from:

At least 10 additional credits from the IR major elective list
below, including at least one additional 300-level course or above.
Major elective courses:

Any other relevant COMM course;

Any other relevant GLCS course;

Any other relevant HIST course;

(note JAMS courses subject to approval by IR coordinator)

Any other relevant PHIL course;

any other relevant RELS course; any relevant SOAN course; SOCL 370; any relevant internship course; any relevant study in Washington, D.C. or abroad; or any relevant January term course abroad.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of international relations, other courses may be approved to count toward the major. The student may petition the coordinator of the International Relations program, expressing a rationale for the substitution. This rationale must include a signed agreement between the student and the relevant course instructor that the student’s major project, counting for at least 1/3 of the course grade, will be devoted to an international relations issue. The IR coordinator must approve the petition before the Office of the Registrar will accept the substitution.

As noted above, courses taken while studying abroad may also be counted toward elective credit. To receive credit, students should retrieve the relevant form from the Office of the Registrar (or on the IR website), provide a course syllabus, and other supporting documentation for approval from the relevant department and/or IR major director.

Double majors with other disciplines are encouraged and three courses (up to 12 credits) may count toward both major requirements. Double majors in Political Science and International Relations, however, are not permitted. As with other majors, at most two courses can be counted toward Linfield Curriculum requirements.

Minor in International Relations

For a minor: 24 credits, distributed as follows: POLS 210; ECON 210; at least 4 credits from:

at least 4 credits from a relevant upper-division HIST course; 8 additional credits from the approved International Relations major elective list above; and one year of foreign language (see B.A. language requirement).

At most two courses counted for the minor may be doublecounted toward major and Linfield Curriculum requirements.