International Relations (Major & Minor)

International Relations at University of IowaMajor (B.A.) in International Relations
Major (B.S.) in International Relations
Minor in International Relations
Honors in International Relations

Ready to take on the world? 

International Relations is for you.  International relations (IR) is an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree program offered by the Department of Political Science.  Students gain the combination of knowledge and skills to understand and, more crucially, shape our ever more closely connected and changing world. 

While ensuring an excellent grounding in political, economic and historical fundamentals, IR also provides substantial flexibility for students to pursue the global issues or world regions they find most interesting.  (See our curriculum.)  Dozens of courses counting toward the degree are offered every semester by Iowa’s internationally renowned faculty.  Working closely with an advisor, you will select a series of courses that gives you the preparation you want.  This includes opportunities to take courses from distinguished alumni with careers in diplomacy, international law or business and other fields as well as visiting faculty from other countries.

IR students get to engage actively with contemporary world affairs, meeting and interacting with major international figures in virtually every field or working directly with faculty members on international research.  IR majors are particularly encouraged to complete some of their requirements by studying abroad.  Iowa students can take advantage of numerous programs in all world areas.  They should contact the UI International Programs Office early in their studies to begin selecting a program

Want to make a difference?  International Relations provides outstanding preparation for work in the diplomatic service, multinational corporations, intelligence organizations, international organizations, think tanks, public health agencies or international media organizations. 

B.A. Major

Bachelors of Arts, International Relations Major

Summary of General Requirements for B.A. in International Relations

  • Students must fulfill all CLAS requirements.
  • Majors must maintain at least a 2.0 major and UI major grade-point average.
  • All coursework for the major must be taken on a graded basis; courses taken on a P/N or S/F basis will not count toward the major.
  • Students may apply up to 12 sh of coursework from another major to this major.
  • 18 of the 33 required hours for the IR major must be taken at The University of Iowa.

Specific Major Requirements for B.A. in International Relations

Core Classes (12-13 sh)- These courses provide an overview of the study of international relations.
Methods Class (3 sh)- This course introduces students to the methodology used to study and understand international relations.
One Emphasis Area (15 sh)- Student specialize in one of the following emphasis areas: Conflict and Foreign Policy; International Business and Economic Relations; Regional Politics and Rela­tionships; and Transnational Issues. This emphasis area will appear on their transcript. A student may petition the Political Science Director of Undergraduate Studies to count a course not listed below toward one of the emphasis areas.

A students may also design an emphasis area not from the list above. A student interested in doing this gains approval from the Political Science Director of Undergraduate Studies on what courses will comprise this emphasis area.

Senior Research Seminar (3 sh)- This is a capstone course during which students complete a final paper. Students take this course during their final academic year.

Classes for each Requirement

A. Core Classes (12-13 sh)

  • POLI:1500 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:3512 International Conflict
  • POLI:3516 Politics of International Economics
  • HIST:2403 Western Civilization III (4 sh) (-or- HIST:3143 International Politics: History of the Present -or- HIST:3155 The World Since 1945)

B. Methods Class (3 sh)

  • POLI:3000 Understanding Political Research

C. Senior Seminar (3 sh)

  • POLI:4800  International Relations Senior Seminar

D. Emphasis Areas (Students choose 1 of 4 emphasis areas) (15 sh)

Conflict and Foreign Policy (15 sh)

Required (3 sh):

  • POLI:1501 Introduction to American Foreign Policy

Choose Three Courses (12 sh)
Choose at least 6 sh from each of two different departments:

  • HIST:4105 World Events in Historical Context
  • HIST:4125 War and Peace in the Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4146 The History of Warfare
  • HIST:4176 Vietnam War on Film
  • HIST:4228 Cold War America
  • HIST:4230 The Political Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy
  • HIST:4232 United States in World Affairs
  • HIST:4264 U.S.A. in a World at War 1931-1945
  • HIST:4435 War and Society in Modern Europe
  • HIST:4499 First World War
  • HIST:4520 Latin Amer & U.S.: Historic Perspective
  • HIST:4525 Latin American Revolution
  • HIST:4617 History, Memory, and Pacific War
  • HIST:4620 Japan--U.S. Relations
  • POLI:2416 Revolutions and Political Violence
  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3405 Authoritarian Politics
  • POLI:3410 Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3419 War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 Southeast Asia: Democracy, Identity, and Dev
  • POLI:3421 Southern Africa Development & Governance
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues & Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3423 The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3500 American Foreign Policies
  • POLI:3503 Politics of Terrorism
  • POLI:3505 Causes, Consequences, and Mgmt of Civil War
  • POLI:3506 Consequences of War
  • POLI:3514 Regional Peace and Security
  • POLI:3518 Water Wars: Conflict and Cooperation
  • POLI:3520 National Security Policy
  • POLI:3521 21st Century Technology and Warfare
  • POLI:3522 Ending Wars and Keeping Peace
  • POLI:3550 Problems of International Politics
  • POLI:3603 War and Film
  • POLI:4500 Honors Seminar

International Business and Economic Relations (15 sh)

Choose Two (6 sh)

  • ECON:1100 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON:1200  Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GEOG:2910 The Global Economy

Choose Three (9 sh)
Select courses from at least two different departments:

  • ECON:3345 Global Economics and Business
  • ECON:3620 Economic Growth and Development
  • ECON:3625 Environmental & Natural Resrc Economics
  • ECON:3750 Transportation Economics
  • ECON:4110 International Economics
  • ENTR:4460 Entrepreneurship and Global Trade
  • FIN:4240 International Finance (prerequisite required)
  • MGMT:3450 Intl Business Environment (two prereqs)
  • MKTG:4300 International Marketing (prereqs required)
  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3400 Introduction to Political Economy
  • POLI:3502 Politics and the Multinational Enterprise
  • POLI:3504 Globalization
  • POLI:4500 Honors Seminar on International Politics
  • GEOG:2410 Environment and Development
  • GEOG:3070 Hungry Planet Global Geographies of Food
  • HIST:3126 History of Globalization
  • IS:3200 Political Economy of Int'l Development 
  • IS:3333 Economics & Religion

Regional Politics and Relationships (15 sh)

Required (3 sh):

  • POLI:1405 Introduction to Comparative Politics

Choose Four (12 sh)
Choose at least (6 sh) from each of two different departments:

  • HIST:1008 Issues in European Politics and Society
  • HIST:2602 Civilizations of Asia: China 
  • HIST:2604 Civilizations of Asia: Japan
  • HIST:2606 Civilizations of Asia: South Asia
  • HIST:2607 Civilizations of Asia: Korea
  • HIST:2608 Civilizations of Africa
  • HIST:3145 Europe and the U.S. in the Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4289 The Atlantic World c. 1450-1850
  • HIST:4438 Modern European Imperialism
  • HIST:4460 Twentieth-Century Europe: The Nazi Era
  • HIST:4461 Twentieth-Century Europe: Cold War and After
  • HIST:4464 Modern France 1789-1871
  • HIST:4465 Modern France 1870-Present
  • HIST:4475 Germany Since 1914: Weimar, Hitler, & After
  • HIST:4486 Modern Britain: The Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4493 Soviet Union 1917-1945
  • HIST:4501 Society and Revolution in Cuba
  • HIST:4502 History of Mexico
  • HIST:4515 Introduction to Modern Latin America
  • HIST:4525 Latin American Revolution
  • HIST:4615 Modern Japan
  • HIST:4616 Japanese History & Society 1945-Present
  • HIST:4640 Imperialism and Modern India
  • HIST:4655 China Since 1927 .
  • HIST:4666 Topics in Asian History
  • HIST:4685 Modern Korean History
  • HIST:4715 African History Since 1880
  • HIST:4810 History of the Modern Middle East
  • HIST:4815 Topics in the Modern Middle East
  • POLI:1401 Intro to the Politics of Russia and Eurasia
  • POLI:1403 Introduction to Politics in the Muslim World
  • POLI:1445 Introduction to Asian Politics
  • POLI:2415 Latin American Politics
  • POLI:3401 European Union
  • POLI:3403 Parties and Elections Around the World
  • POLI:3405 Authoritarian Politics
  • POLI:3408 Chinese Politics and Society
  • POLI:3410 Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3412 Government and Politics of Europe
  • POLI:3413 Russian Politics
  • POLI:3419 War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 Southeast Asia: Democracy, Identity, and Dev
  • POLI:3421 Southern Africa Development & Governance
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues and the Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3423 The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3450 Problems in Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3514 Regional Peace and Security
  • POLI:4400 Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics

Transnational Issues (15 sh)

Choose Five (15 sh)
Select at least 1 class from 3 different departments:

  • ECON:3625 Environmental & Natural Resrc Economics
  • ECON:3760 Health Economics (two prereq required) .
  • ECON:3750 Transportation Economics 
  • HIST:4101 History of Human Rights
  • HIST:4438 Modern European Imperialism
  • HIST:4508 Medicine & Publ Hlth Latin Am 1820-2000
  • HIST:4640 Imperialism and Modern India
  • HIST:4725 Women and Gender in African History
  • POLI:2417 Comparative Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3421 Southern Africa Development & Governance
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues and the Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3501 International Organization & World Order
  • POLI:3507 Women and Politics in Global Perspective
  • POLI:3509 Int'l Courts Intersection Law & Politics
  • POLI:3511 International Law
  • POLI:3513 Politics of International Human Rights Law
  • POLI:3515 Global Communication and Politics
  • SOC: 3415 Global Criminology
  • GEOG:1020 The Global Environment .
  • GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • GEOG:1090 Globalization and Geographic Diversity
  • GEOG:2110 Population Geography
  • GEOG:2410 Environment and Development
  • GEOG:3070 Hungry Planet Global Geographies of Food
  • GEOG:3110 Geography of Health
  • GEOG:3331 Human Dimensions of Climate
  • GEOG:3780 U.S. Energy Policy in Global Context
  • GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice
  • GWSS:2045 Working for Social Justice
  • GWSS:3157 Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights
  • GHS:3030 Global Health Conference
  • GHS:3050 Global Aging
  • GHS:3110 Health of Indigenous Peoples
  • GHS:3141 Design With the Developing World
  • GHS:3720 Global Health Seminar
  • GHS:3850 Promoting Health Globally
  • GHS:4160 History of Public Health
  • GHS:4162 History of Global Health
  • GHS:4180 Climate Change and Health
  • GHS:4210 International Health
  • GHS:4340 Global Health and Global Food
  • GHS:4600 Global Health and Human Rights
  • HRTS:3895 Human Rights and Community Development
  • HRTS:3900 Child Labor and International Human Rights
  • HRTS:3905 Topics in Human Rights
  • HRTS:3906 Human Rights Systems: Enforcement
  • HRTS:3910 Human Rights Advocacy
  • IS:3116 Comm-Based Approaches International Dev
  • IS:3200 Political Economy of Int'l Development
  • IS:4131 Globalization and Culture

B.S. Major

Bachelors of Science (B.S.), International Relations Major

Summary of General Requirements for BS in International Relations

  • Students must fulfill all CLAS requirements.
  • Majors must maintain at least a 2.0 major and UI major grade-point average.
  • All coursework for the major must be taken on a graded basis; courses taken on a P/N or S/F basis will not count toward the major.
  • Students may apply up to 12 sh of coursework from another major to this major.
  • 18 of the 33 required hours for the IR major must be taken at The University of Iowa.

 
Specific Major Requirements for BS in International Relations

Core Classes (12-13 sh)- These courses provide an overview of the study of international relations.
Methods Class (3 sh)- This course introduces students to the methodology used to study and understand international relations.
One Emphasis Area (15 sh)- Student specialize in one of the following emphasis areas: Conflict and Foreign Policy; International Business and Economic Relations; Regional Politics and Rela­tionships; and Transnational Issues.  This emphasis area will appear on their transcript.  A student may petition the Political Science Director of Undergraduate Studies to count a course not listed below toward one of the emphasis areas.
 
A students may also design an emphasis area not from the list above.  A student interested in doing this gains approval from the Political Science Director of Undergraduate Studies on what courses will comprise this emphasis area. 
 
Senior Research Seminar (3 sh)- This is a capstone course during which students complete a final paper.  Students take this course during their final academic year.
 
Math/Statistics Requirement- For a Bachelor of Science Degree, the student must complete a specific sequence of three semesters of mathematics or statistics courses as shown below, with a minimum grade point average of 2.00.  Substitutions must be approved by the Political Science Director of Undergrad­uate Studies.

Option 1

  • MATH:1380 Calculus for Business --OR-- MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • STAT:4143 Intro to Stats --OR-- PSQF:4143 Intro to Stats
  • STAT:6513 Interm. Stats
  • PSQF:6243 Interm. Stats

Option 2

  • MATH:1380 Calculus for Business --OR-- MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • STAT:1030 Stats for Business.  Note: This course is not equivalent to Intro to Stats.  It will not prepare you to take Intermediate Stats.
  • ECON:2800 Stats for Strategy

Option 3

  • MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • MATH:1860 Calculus II --OR-- MATH:1560 Engineering Calculus II
  • STAT:4143 Intro to Stats --OR-- PSQF:4143 Intro to Stats

Classes for each Requirement

A. Core Classes (12-13 sh)

  • POLI:1500  Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:3512  International Conflict
  • POLI:3516 Politics of International Economics
  • HIST:2403 Western Civilization III (4 sh) (-or- HIST:3143 International Politics: History of the Present -or- HIST:3155 The World Since 1945)

B. Methods Class (3 sh)

  • POLI:3000 Understanding Political Research

C. Senior Seminar (3 sh)

  • POLI:4800 International Relations Senior Seminar (3 sh)

D. Math/Stats Requirement

Option 1

  • MATH:1380 Calculus for Business --OR-- MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • STAT:4143 Intro to Stats --OR-- PSQF:4143 Intro to Stats
  • STAT:6513 Interm. Stats --OR-- PSQF:6243 Interm. Stats

Option 2

  • MATH:1380 Calculus for Business --OR-- MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • STAT:1030 Stats for Business.  Note: This course is not equivalent to Intro to Stats.  It will not prepare you to take Intermediate Stats.
  • ECON:2800 Stats for Strategy

Option 3

  • MATH:1850 Calculus I --OR-- MATH:1550 Engineering Calculus
  • MATH:1860 Calculus II --OR-- MATH:1560 Engineering Calculus II
  • STAT:4143 Intro to Stats --OR-- PSQF:4143 Intro to Stats

E. Emphasis Areas (Students choose 1 of 4 emphasis areas) (15 sh)

1) Conflict and Foreign Policy (15 sh)

Required (3 sh):

  • POLI:1501 Introduction to American Foreign Policy

Choose at least 6 sh from each of two different departments:

  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3410 Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3419 War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 SE Asia Democracy
  • POLI:3421 Politics of Southern Africa
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues and the Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3423 The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3500 American Foreign Policies
  • POLI:3503 Politics of Terrorism
  • POLI:3505 Causes, Consequences, and Management of Civil War
  • POLI:3506 Consequences of War
  • POLI:3510 State Failure in the Developing World
  • POLI:3514 Regional Peace and Security
  • POLI:3518 Water Wars: Conflict and Cooperation
  • POLI:3520 National Security Policy  
  • POLI:3550 Problems of International Politics
  • POLI:3603 War and Film
  • POLI:4500 Honors Seminar on International Politics
  • HIST:4105 World Events in Historical Context
  • HIST:4125 War and Peace in the Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4146 The History of Warfare
  • HIST:4176 Vietnam War on Film
  • HIST:4228 Cold War America
  • HIST:4230 The Political Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy
  • HIST:4232 United States in World Affairs
  • HIST:4264 U.S.A in a World at War 1931-1945
  • HIST:4435 War and Society in Modern Europe
  • HIST:4499 First World War
  • HIST:4617 History, Memory, and Pacific War
  • HIST:4620 Japan-U.S. Relations

 

2) International Business and Economic Relations (15 sh)

Choose Two (6 sh)

  • ECON:1100 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON:1200  Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GEOG:2910 The Global Economy

Choose Three Courses (9 sh)
Select courses from at least two different departments:

  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3400 Introduction to Political Economy
  • POLI:3502 Politics and the Multinational Enterprise
  • POLI:3504 Globalization
  • POLI:4500 Honors Seminar on International Politics
  • ECON:3345 Global Economics and Business (Prereq ECON:1100 & ECON:1200)
  • ECON:3620 Economic Growth and Development (Prereq ECON:1100 & ECON:1200)
  • ECON:3625 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • ECON:3750 Transportation Economics
  • ECON:4110 International Economics
  • GEOG:2410 Environment and Development
  • GEOG:3070 Hungry Planet: Global Geographies of Food
  • GEOG:3910 Geographic Perspectives on Development
  • HIST:3126 History of Globalization
  • MGMT:3450 International Business Environment (Prereq MGMT:3200 & MGMT:3300)
  • MKTG:4300 International Marketing (Prereq MKTG:3000)

 

3) Regional Politics and Relationships (15 sh)

Required (3 sh):

  • POLI:1400 Introduction to Comparative Politics

Choose Four Courses (12 sh)
Choose at least (6 sh) from each of two different departments:

  • POLI:1401 Introduction to the Politics of Russia and Eurasia
  • POLI:1403 Introduction to Politics in the Muslim World
  • POLI:2415 Latin American Politics
  • POLI:3401 European Union
  • POLI:3403 Parties and Elections Around the World
  • POLI:3404 Public Policy Around the World
  • POLI:3405 Authoritarian Politics
  • POLI:3408 Government and Politics of China
  • POLI:3410 Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3412 Government and Politics of Europe
  • POLI:3413 Russian Politics
  • POLI:3416 France in the 21st Century
  • POLI:3419 War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 Southeast Asia: Democracy, Identity, and Development
  • POLI:3421 The Politics of Southern Africa
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues and the Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3423 The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3450 Problems in Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3510 State Failure in the Developing World
  • POLI:3514 Regional Peace & Security
  • POLI:4400 Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics
  • HIST:1008 Issues in European Politics and Society
  • HIST:2602 Civilizations of Asia: China
  • HIST:2604 Civilizations of Asia: Japan
  • HIST:2606 Civilizations of Asia: South Asia
  • HIST:2607 Civilizations of Asia: Korea
  • HIST:2708 Civilizations of Africa
  • HIST:3145 Europe and the U.S. in the Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4289 The Atlantic World c. 1450-1850
  • HIST:4460 Twentieth--Century Europe: The Nazi Era
  • HIST:4461 Twentieth--Century Europe: Cold War and After
  • HIST:4464 Modern France, 1789-1871
  • HIST:4465 Modern France 1870-Present
  • HIST:4475 Germany since 1914: Weimer, Hitler & After
  • HIST:4486 Modern Britain: The Twentieth Century
  • HIST:4493 Soviet Union 1917-1945
  • HIST:4501 Society and Revolution in Cuba
  • HIST:4502 History of Mexico
  • HIST:4515 Introduction to Modern Latin America
  • HIST:4525 Latin American Revolution
  • HIST:4615 Modern Japan
  • HIST:4640 Imperialism and Modern India
  • HIST:4655 China Since 1927
  • HIST:4666 Topics in Asian History
  • HIST:4685 Modern Korean History
  • HIST:4715 African History Since 1880
  • HIST:4810 History of the Modern Middle East
  • HIST:4815 Topics in the Modern Middle East

 

4) Transnational Issues (15 sh)

Choose Five Courses (15 sh)
Select at least one class from three different departments:

  • POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3422 Transnational Issues and the Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3501 International Organization & World Order
  • POLI:3507 Women and Politics in Global Perspective
  • POLI:3508 Race and World Politics
  • POLI:3511 International Law
  • POLI:3513 Politics of International Human Rights Law
  • ECON:3625 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • ECON:3750 Transportation Economics
  • ECON:3760 Health Economics (Prereq ECON:1100 & ECON:1200)
  • GEOG:1020 The Global Environment
  • GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • GEOG:1090 Globalization and Geographic Diversity
  • GEOG:2110 Population Geography
  • GEOG:2331 Human Dimensions of Climate
  • GEOG:2410 Environment and Development
  • GEOG:3070 Hungry Planet: Global Geographies of Food
  • GEOG:3110 Geography of Health
  • GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice
  • GHS:3030 Global Health Conference
  • GHS:3050 Global Aging
  • GHS:3110 Health of Indigenous Peoples
  • GHS:3720 Global Health Seminar
  • GHS:3850 Promoting Health Globally   
  • GHS:4141 Design With the Developing World
  • GHS:4160 History of Public Health 
  • GHS:4162 History of Global Health
  • GHS:4210 International Health
  • GHS:4340 Global Health and Global Food   
  • GHS:4600 Global Health and Human Rights
  • GWSS:3157 Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights
  • HIST:4101 History of Human Rights
  • HIST:4438 Modern European Imperialism
  • HIST:4508 Medicine and Public Health in Latin America, 1820-2000
  • HIST:4640 Imperialism and Modern India
  • HIST:4725 Women and Gender in African History
  • HIST:4730 Slavery, Jihads, and Saints in Islamic Africa
  • HRTS:3895 Human Rights and Community Development
  • HRTS:3900 Child Labor and International Human Rights
  • HRTS:3905 Topics in Human Rights
  • HRTS:3906 Human Rights Systems: Institutions and Mechanisms Enforcing and Implementing Human Rights
  • HRTS:3910 Human Rights Advocacy
  • SOC:3415 Global Criminology

Honors

Honors Requirements for BA or BS in International Relations

Graduation with honors in International Relations has three requirements (in addition to the general BA or BS requirements):

 1) The student must have a 3.33 overall University of Iowa GPA and a 3.5 International Relations GPA

 2) One of the following classes must be completed:
POLI:4500, Honors in International Relations --OR-- POLI:4400, Honors in Comparative Politics

 3) the student must designate the Senior Seminar (POLI:4800) as an Honors class and complete an honors thesis.

Click here to access the honors website and forms needed for graduation and designating a class an honors seminar.

Minor, International Relations

Requirement for a minor in International Relations

  • POLI:1500 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:3512 International Conflict  -or-  POLI:3516 Politics of International Economics
  • 9 sh from other classes numbered 3000 or above that count towards the major.
  • A GPA in this coursework of at least 2.0
  • 12 of the 15 required hours must be taken at the University of Iowa.  All courses must be taken for a grade.
  • Only 9 sh from any one department can be counted towards the minor.