Requirements for the B.A. in International Relations

Students at graduationThe mission of the undergraduate major in International Relations (IR) is to provide students with the research, analytic, cultural, and linguistic skills needed to understand major developments in contemporary world affairs, to function effectively in a global environment, and to prepare for further academic or professional study and international career opportunities.  The multidisciplinary program provides students with analytical tools and approaches from different disciplines - primarily the social sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology) - to explore contemporary issues and to conceptualize global citizenship.  


Requirements for the major include either 33 or 36 credit hours in international relations plus demonstrated proficiency in a modern second language. The major is grouped in 4 sets of courses: 3 required introductory courses, 3 advanced courses in your geographic region of choice, 3 advanced courses in your topic of choice, a research methods course, and a senior seminar in which students complete an original capstone research project.

Geographic regions include Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Middle East/North Africa.

Topic concentrations include Intercultural Communication, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, and International Security and Diplomacy.

To connect you with the global marketplace, credits for internships in international relations may be earned for IRP 471, Global Internship in Washington, or in one of Syracuse's Study Abroad programs, as approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

For a complete list of major requirements, please visit the online Course Catalog.

For students who declared the major prior to the Fall 2015 semester, please review prior program requirements in the archived online Course Catalog or speak with an academic advisor.


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IRLC site visit to Skanonh CenterAdditional Programs

International relations majors are encouraged to study abroad during part of their undergraduate program. SU Abroad offers a rich variety of courses which can be applied to the IR major requirements. In addition, participation in the Maxwell-Washington International Relations Semester, a 15-credit seminar and internship program in Washington, D.C., is highly recommended. Email inquiries to  

Participation in extracurricular activities, such as the International Relations Learning Community, our International Relations Honor Society Sigma Iota Rho, Model United Nations, national conferences, and related student organizations, is also encouraged.