International Affairs

The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs is designed to provide the student with a broad knowledge of the contemporary international system as well as with specific expertise in a given geographic area and/or academic discipline. To this end, the major combines required courses that examine international affairs from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (i.e., economics, geography, history, and political science) with related field courses that permit students to pursue in depth their particular geographical and/or disciplinary interests. Students majoring in International Affairs have ample opportunities to pursue internships with the numerous governmental agencies and private “think tanks” located in Washington, D.C., which focus on different aspects of contemporary international economic, political, and social issues.

Students majoring in International Affairs who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Affairs.

The IA major requirements as listed below go into effect August 2022. These requirements apply automatically to all new International Affairs (IA) majors, who complete a major declaration form after February 10. Current IA majors wishing to adopt the new IA requirements should contact their major advisor.**

36 Total Credit Hours Required

Required Courses (21 credits)

  • PSCI 101A Introduction to Political Science (3 credits)
  • PSCI 102A Introduction to International Relations (3 credits)
  • PSCI 321 Theory of International Relations (3 credits)
  • PSCI 350 Politics of Developing Countries or PSCI 351 International Political Economy (3 credits)
  • PSCI 356 American Foreign Policy  (3 credits)
  • ECON 382 International Economies or ECON 384 Economic Development or ECON 386 International Finance (3 credits)*
  • GEOG 338 Geopolitics or GEOG 339 Development Studies  (3 credits)

*Econ 382, 384, and 386 require ECON 201B and 202B to be taken first.

Support Courses/IA Electives (15 credits) : 

To be selected by student and advisor from the following disciplines: Economics, French, Geography, German, History, Italian, Political Science, Spanish, and other disciplines as the Major Advisor deems appropriate. Students must take at least one (3 credit) elective in HIST. All IA support courses must be chosen from a list of electives approved by the department. A list of permanent electives is posted on the site. A list of temporary electives is posted every semester. Check with your IA advisor before choosing a course.

Language Requirement:

Completion of one language through the intermediate level.  (Except Latin or Greek.)

Speaking Intensive Requirement

At least one Speaking Intensive course (officially designated as SI) must be among the 36 credits in the major program.

Writing Intensive Requirement

At least one Writing Intensive course (officially designated as WI) must be among the 36 credits in the major program.

Honors/Independent Study

Each year several students in Political Science and International Affairs avail themselves of the opportunity to pursue honors and independent study projects. Examples of such projects in the recent past have included: “Counterinsurgency in the Philippines,” “The Shining Path in Peru,” “Independent Peace Movements in Eastern Europe,” “The Latin American Debt Crisis,” and “Conservatism in America.”

Honors Thesis Registration Requirements

Students interested in writing an honors thesis must fill out an independent study form with the registrar, and specify that the project is for honors (PSIA 491H). The form requires the signature of the professor chairing the thesis and the department chair. To be eligible to enroll in 491H, students must have a 3.4 GPA overall, and a 3.4 GPA in the major.

International Affairs Beyond the Classroom Opportunities

Students interested in fulfilling the general education Beyond the Classroom (experiential learning) requirement using International Affairs courses/opportunities should check out the PS/IA Beyond the Classroom page.


** If you are a continuing, declared International Affairs major (those who declared their major after February 10, 2022 are automatically in the revised major) and would like to move into the revised major, send an e-mail to Ms. Takera Zajac,, Assistant Registrar, informing her of your intent. The Registrar’s office will update your records within a week. To see whether the new requirements work better for your, consider running a “what-if” scenario on Banner. When you meet with your academic advisor in March 2022 to choose fall 2022 courses, plan your courses accordingly. Finally, please note that these requirements DO NOT apply to you if you are graduating in spring or summer 2022.