The International Relations (IR) concentration is a rigorous program that combines student choice with cross-disciplinary training in international and comparative perspective. The IR curriculum emphasizes:
- a solid grounding in the methods of analysis used in the social sciences and humanities to help students think critically about international phenomena,
- the exploration of the empirical and the normative domains of the subject, and
- flexibility to allow students to customize their IR concentration.
The objective is to foster creative thinking about pressing global problems and 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, religion, and environmental studies, and has a 3-year language requirement.
The IR concentration is organized around a multidisciplinary core and two sub-themes: security and society, and political economy and society. It offers a quality honors program in which students undertake thesis research on an international topic. The concentration is located within and draws upon the expertise of the Watson Institute for International Studies, a research and policy-oriented center whose faculty come from many different countries and international agencies.
The IR concentration requires 14 courses and the equivalent of 3 years study of a second language.
- The core courses (5 courses): Required for all students, preferably to be taken during their freshman or sophomore years. These five courses provide a multidisciplinary, conceptual basis for approaching international relations. Advanced Placement credit does not count toward the concentration. The five courses are:
- ANTH 0110: Anthropology and Global Social Problems
- ECON 0110: Principles of Economics
- HIST 1900: American Empire Since 1890
- POLS 0400: Introduction to International Politics OR POLS 0200: Comparative Politics
- SOC 1620: Globalization and Social Conflict
The Tracks (5 courses from ONE track distributed between the sub-themes): (This is only a subset of the more comprehensive list of applicable courses.)
Security and Society:
- CONFLICT (2 or 3) for example:
- ANTH 1232: War and Society
- ANTH 1411: Nations within States
- HIST 1350: Modern Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity
- INTL 1280: Global Security After the Cold War
- POLS 1560: American Foreign Policy
- SOCIETY (2 or 3) for example:
- ANTH 1233: Ethnographies of Global Connection: Politics, Culture and International Relations
- INTL 1400: Religion and Global Politics
- INTL 1800N: Global Media: History, Theory, Production
- INTL 1801O: Laws of Violence
- POLS 1380: Ethnic Politics and Conflict
- POLS 1500: The International Law and Politics of Human Rights
- POLS 1821M: War in Film and Literature
- SOC 1270: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the Modern World
Political Economy and Society:
- ECONOMICS (2 or 3)
- ECON 1110: Intermediate Microeconomics
- ECON 1210: Intermediate Macroeconomics
- One of the following:
- ECON 1500: Current Global Macroeconomic Challenges, or
- ECON 1540: International Trade, or
- ECON 1550: International Finance
- POLITICAL ECONOMY (2 or 3) for example:
- ANTH 0450: Two Billion Cars: Humans, Markets, Cultures, and the Automobile
- ANTH 1324: Money, Work and Power: Culture and Economics
- INTL 1801M: Globalization and the Rise of Asia
- POLS 1020: Politics of the Illicit Global Economy
- POLS 1420: Money and Power in the International Political Economy
Regional Focus (2 courses): Both courses must be on the same area. Content must build on track of study. Students are required to link these with language study.
Research Methods (1 course) Prior to 7th semester. Quantitative or qualitative course from approved list.
Senior Capstone (1 course):
- a. Honors thesis (2 courses: INTL 1910, INTL 1920), or
- b. Senior seminar paper (see website for approved senior seminars), or
- c. Directed research project (Independent Study)
- Must be taken senior year. Must incorporate language skills.
Language Requirement: Three full years of university study or equivalent (see IR website). Must correspond to region.
Study Abroad: Strongly Recommended.
Detailed lists of courses that satisfy these requirements may be obtained from the IR program website: www.watsoninstitute.org/IR.
The program has a director, an associate director/concentration advisor, and a faculty advisor for each track to assist students in planning their academic programs.
Page last updated in October, 2012.
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