International relations is a field of study concerned with the cultural, economic, environmental, historic, military, and political interactions among the major units of the world, such as states, international organizations, transnational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, groups and individuals. Courses from a number of departments and programs are drawn upon to offer a multidisciplinary major in international relations for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
The purposes of the major are to increase general knowledge about the history, institutions, interactions, and events of the international system; to develop insight into the objectives, decisions, and policies of state and nonstate actors; to provide a conceptual vocabulary and diverse theoretical perspectives to help explain and interpret international behavior; to build skills in critical analysis and evaluation of global issues; to develop an appreciation of commensurability and difference and acceptance of "others"; and to encourage evaluation and the solving of global problems. International relations majors will develop skills in writing, speaking, and information literacy throughout their studies, but particularly in IREL 250 and their senior seminar Culminating Experiences.
The international relations major provides a general education for students seeking greater knowledge about world affairs. It also provides a sound preparation for students interested in pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in international relations and related social sciences or a J.D. in law, and for careers in the Foreign Service, the federal government, international law, international business, banking and finance, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. International relations alumni have been accepted to the top graduate programs and law schools in the country, and are well represented in all of the listed international careers.
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