2021-2022 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Relations, BA

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International Relations Program
225 Eggers Hall


Sherburne Abbott, Lamis Abdelaaty, Edwin Ackerman, Merima Ali, Alan Allport, Douglas V. Armstrong, Elizabeth Ashby, Hossein Bashiriyeh, Mona Bhan, Erin Hern, Stuart Brown, Horace Campbell, Frederick Carriere, Linda Carty, A.H. Peter Castro, Matthew R. Cleary, Goodwin Cooke, Francine D’Amico, Gavan Duffy, Donald H. Dutkowsky, Michael R. Ebner, Colin Elman, Miriam F. Elman, Gary Engelhardt, Margarita Estévez-Abe, Jerry Evensky, Christopher Faricy, Shana Gadarian, Peng Gao, Cecilia Green, Ryan Griffiths, Dimitar Gueorguiev, Paul M. Hagenloh, Timur Hammond, Petra Hejnova, Azra Hromadzic, Matthew Huber, Jok Jok, Hugo Jales, Seth Jolly, Amy Kallander, George Kallander, Thomas M. Keck, Osamah F. Khalil, Audie Klotz, Natalie Koch, Radha Kumar, Prema Kurien, Norman A. Kutcher, Derek Laing, Scott Landes, Sandra Lane, Yoonseok Lee, Mengxiao Liu,  Andrew London, Mary E. Lovely, Yingyi Ma, Gladys McCormick, Daniel McDowell, Devashish Mitra, D. Glyn Morgan, Terrell Northrup, Inge O’Connor, Arthur Paris, Thomas Perreault, Jane Read, Lars Rodseth, Alexander Rothenberg, Robert A. Rubinstein, Mark E. Rupert, Tod Rutherford, S.N. Sangmpam, Rebecca Schewe, Maureen Schwartz, Yüksel Sezgin, Martin S. Shanguhyia, Naomi Shanguhyia, Abdulaziz Shifa, James B. Steinberg, Farhana Sultana, Brian D. Taylor, Robert Terrell, Susan S. Wadley, Michael J. Wasylenko, Simon Weschle, John C. Western, Jamie L. Winders

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 in international affairs and to conceptualize global citizenship.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Recognize global political and economic patterns and relationships.

2. Interpret similarities and differences in cultures, norms, and institutions.

3. Apply theoretical and analytical perspectives in one of four areas: Intercultural Communication, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, and International Security and Diplomacy.

4. Gain detailed knowledge of how international relations work in a particular world region, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, or Middle East/North Africa.

5. Demonstrate foreign language competency necessary to study or work abroad.

6. Effectively utilize appropriate quantitative or qualitative research tools, analytical techniques, and presentation skills to explain and interpret contemporary issues in international relations.

Major Requirements

Graduation with a Bachelors of Arts degree in international relations requires an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher in 24 credits of upper-division courses for the major, including a grade of ‘C’ or better for work undertaken to fulfill the senior capstone requirement.

Credits for internships in international relations, including internships abroad and IRP 471 - Global Internship  in Washington, D.C., may be counted toward the major upon prior approval by the International Relations Program.

To be eligible to declare the undergraduate major in International Relations, students first must earn a grade of B or higher in at least one of the required introductory courses listed below, taken for the major at Syracuse University main campus.

Requirements for the major include 33 credits in courses taken for the major, plus fulfillment of the major’s language proficiency requirement (see below). At least 21 credits must be from courses numbered 300 or higher.  The major requirements include:

  • Required introductory courses
  • Research methods requirement
  • Topic and regional concentrations
  • Senior capstone seminar
  • Language proficiency

Research Methods Requirement

Each student major takes one 3-credit course in social science research methods.  The methods course must be approved by the International Relations Program and should be appropriate to the student’s senior capstone project.  

Topic Concentration

Each student major takes 9 credits (3 courses) in a topic concentration including Intercultural Communication (ICC), International Law and Organizations (ILO), International Political Economy (IPE), or International Security and Diplomacy (ISD). 

Regional Concentration

Each student major takes 9 credits (3 courses) in a geographic regional concentration (including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, or the Middle East and North Africa).

Senior Capstone Seminar

The remaining 3 credits are fulfilled in an advanced seminar in which the student designs and implements a capstone research project. The capstone research project must provide an original analysis of primary sources on an appropriately international theme, combining the student’s topic and region concentrations, subject to approval by the faculty of the International Relations Program. Each semester a list of approved senior seminar courses is posted on the International Relations Program website. 

Language Proficiency

In addition to all credits taken for the major, each student major must demonstrate proficiency in a contemporary spoken language other than English. This language should be spoken in the geographic area chosen for the student’s region concentration. Proficiency is demonstrated by coursework to at least the level of Course IV (202) taught by the Syracuse University Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, or the equivalent. We strongly encourage students to continue language study to an advanced level of literacy and fluency.  Students for whom English is a second language must complete coursework through ENL 213.

Additional Program Opportunities

International relations majors are encouraged to study abroad during their undergraduate program. Syracuse Abroad offers a rich variety of courses that can be applied to the International Relations major requirements.

Participation in the Maxwell-in-Washington Program, a 15-credit seminar and internship program, is open to all majors. For more information on how this program applies to the International Relations major, please contact the International Relations Program office.

Co-curricular activities, such as the International Relations Learning Community (a residential program for incoming students), the Sigma Iota Rho Honor Society, Model United Nations Club and Team, International Relations Club, invited speaker series, and other events throughout the Maxwell School are available. More information is available on the International Relations website.

The International Relations Program also offers minors in Global Political Economy and Global Security Studies. For more information, please see the Course Catalog listings for these two programs or visit the International Relations website

Program faculty will invite majors who meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the Distinction Program. This program offers an enhanced research and mentoring experience.  Working closely with a faculty member, Distinction candidates produce a research project of substantially greater depth than the capstone research project required of all student majors. As with the capstone, the Distinction research project must combine the student’s topic and region concentrations. In addition, the Distinction Program provides young scholars the skills and support needed to produce a project suitable for presentation at an academic conference or for publication in an undergraduate social science academic journal.  Graduation with Distinction requires a grade of B or higher on the Distinction paper and in the Distinction seminar.

Topic and Regional Courses

This is not a complete list of courses that can be applied to the major. A full list of on-campus courses that are approved each semester for the major (including special and selected topics) as well as courses through Syracuse Abroad and Maxwell in Washington can be found by visiting the International Relations website

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