• International Relations Undergraduate Program

    Welcome to the Undergraduate IR Program!

    We live in an international age. We are more closely connected to other peoples, cultures, and countries than ever before, and global events affect our daily lives in countless ways. Modern communications instantly deliver news from around the world; we consume goods produced through global supply chains; millions of people continue to migrate across national borders and across the globe, to seek economic opportunities or to flee violence and chaos; carbon emissions in one country can affect the climate in many others; ideas and ideals can spread like wildfire. This new and intense level of interconnectedness presents American and global citizens with enormous challenges and opportunities. Environmental degradation, poverty, the spread of disease, and many forms of political violence result from global trends and require global solutions. But globalization also presents us with the opportunity to pursue unrivaled levels of economic empowerment, cultural understanding, and human flourishing – if we can learn how to manage it for the benefit of all.

    The undergraduate major in International Relations helps students develop the analytic, cultural, and linguistic skills needed to understand contemporary international affairs, to function effectively in a global environment, and to prepare for further academic or professional study and international career opportunities. This multidisciplinary program provides students with tools and approaches from social science disciplines – anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology – to explore current issues and to conceptualize global citizenship.

    In addition to our own dedicated faculty and staff, our students learn from a team of more than 60 full time faculty who teach on every manner of international issues and affairs, covering all major world regions. Our students benefit from a variety of additional learning experiences, including: study-abroad opportunities in more than 60 countries  through Syracuse Abroad and a semester-long program in Washington DC; and participation in our award-winning Model United Nations team, as well as many other club and conference opportunities. Most importantly, we offer a rigorous academic program that prepares our students for a variety of careers in international development, human rights, security, diplomacy, advocacy, consulting, and law.

  • Andrew says he owes his career success not just to the education he gained at Maxwell, but also to many people at Maxwell who helped him along the way.

    Andrew Swab

    ~ Andrew Swab, '12 BA (IR)

    Graduate Student
    Harvard Kennedy School