International Affairs

Program Description

International Affairs (IA) is offered only as a dual major; therefore, it must be combined with another major.

International Affairs offers students an opportunity to understand the factors and forces that shape the contemporary scene. The program covers all facets of international relations.  Students focus on issues facing the international community, the interdependence of political, social, economic, and environmental factors, and the interactions of states and other actors attempting to achieve their foreign policies or goals. 

The program enables students to gain specialization in the multidisciplinary field of international relations while also developing a strong foundation in a second major field. In recent years, students have combined their IA major with majors in Anthropology, Computer Science, Chinese Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, French, German, History, Japanese Studies, Management, Math, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish. IA majors can also develop a specific regional track, focusing on Latin America, Europe, Africa, or Asia.

Students who graduate with an IA major are well prepared to pursue careers in the international arena, whether they choose to enter the professional world following graduation or go on to graduate school.

Applying to International Affairs
IA is a selective program and students must apply for admission.  IA is offered only as a dual major, which means that all students must also choose a second major field before applying.  Application must be made to the Chair of the IA program and will be reviewed by the Chair and the IA advisers.

Application Form (PDF)

Minimum Requirements for Acceptance to the IA Major
To be considered for acceptance into the IA program, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00 and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their other major. Students must maintain the minimum College and department GPA and at least a 3.00 average in the IA courses to remain in the program. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the program; the Chair and advisors have the final say on whether a student will be admitted to IA.

When To Apply
Students are encouraged to apply for IA between the second semester of their first year and the middle of the second semester of their sophomore year. First-year students who are accepted into the program will be assigned a provisional standing until the completion of the spring semester of the first year. At that time the Chair and advisors will review the student's performance and decide whether or not to grant permanent standing.

Program Requirements

In addition to completing the requirements for their other major, International Affairs majors must complete the requirements outlined below. All students must take some Select Electives. Students with a dual major in Economics, History, or Political Science must also take additional Select Electives outside of those major fields. These requirements are explained in more detail below.

Students must maintain at least a 3.00 G.P.A. in the major.

IA advising

IA advising is very important for students in the IA major. All students who are accepted into the IA program will be assigned an advisor.

Economics Courses

  • Economics 103 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • Economics 104 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Economics 251 - International Economics 


  • History 110 - Twentieth Century World 
  • History Elective: Choose one Select Elective in History at the 200 or 300 Level

Political Science

  • Political Science 103 - Introduction to International Relations 
  • Political Science 242 - U.S. Foreign Policy 
  • Political Science Elective: One Select Elective in Political Science


All IA majors must successfully complete a methods course. The courses applicable to this requirement are:

  • ANTH-323 Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology
  • CS-201 The Mathematics of Computation
  • HS-232 Statistics for the Health Sciences
  • HIST-300 Historical Method
  • ENG-299 Critical Methods
  • ECON-241 Introductory Economics and Business Statistics
  • ES-230 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
  • MATH-107 Applied Statistics
  • OMS-235 Statistical Methods
  • POL-215 Methods of Political Science
  • PSYCH-205 Introduction to Statistics
  • SOC-302 Research Methods
  • SOC-303 Data Analysis and Statistics

IA 400 - Capstone Senior Seminar:

Students must complete a senior capstone seminar that draws on the program's multi- and interdisciplinary features to examine an issue of international significance.  

Additional Select Electives for Dual Majors in Economics, History and Political Science.
All IA majors with a dual major Economics, History, or Political Science must take three additional Select Electives, outside of their primary major. This is required because of the overlap between the IA major requirements and the major requirements in those disciplines 

Encouraged, But Not Required:


Language Courses and Off-Campus Programs
All students in the IA program are strongly encouraged to participate in a one-semester overseas program; information is available from the Center for Global Education. Students who are not language majors are strongly encouraged to continue with foreign language study beyond the intermediate level.

IA students are encouraged to participate in internship programs through their primary major, especially those pertaining to international relations.

Information for Students Pursuing Interdisciplinary, Cross-disciplinary and Individual Majors
IA cannot be paired with Globalization Studies, Individualized Major (Self Designed), or Public Policy.

Course Listing

Course level:
| 400

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IA-400 IA Seminar
Because IA majors also have majors in other disciplines, the IA capstone brings the seniors together and draws upon their multidisciplinary educational experience in the study of an important contemporary international issue. This year’s seminar, Health and Development, explores health conditions, particularly in poor populations in Africa, Asia, and South America, through the perspectives of multiple disciplines. Using tools of interdisciplinary investigation, the students will engage in a review of the biology of human disease and immune response; a survey of the geographical and climate conditions that affect human and animal health; an examination of the characteristics of the built environment, such as food security, economy, and state institutions that contribute to good health or disease and disability; and will consider the development of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the context of poverty and underdevelopment.

IA-460 Individualized Study-Research