Major and Minor Requirements
› NOTE: These requirements are for the Class of 2014 and beyond. Class of 2013 students may "opt-in" to the new curriculum.
The major in international relations
Requirements: The international relations major consists of at least 11 courses to count exclusively towards the major.
- Three core disciplinary courses: ECON 227 or ECON 327, POLS 170 and IREL 250.
a) ECON 227/327 (International Economics and International Economics Theory respectively) should be completed by the end of the junior year. Students who are double majoring in international relations and economics should take ECON 327 instead of ECON 227. In those instances, ECON 327 can count towards the economics major. Students counting ECON 327 toward their economics major will need to take an additional IREL course to compensate. The additional course should be taken from the student's Area Concentration or Thematic Track.
b) POLS 170 (International Politics) should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
c) IREL 250 (Theories of International Relations) should be taken second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year. Students planning on spending a full year abroad should make sure that they complete IREL 250 before they go abroad. Students will ordinarily take POLS 170 before enrolling in IREL 250, which is a W2 and will develop skills in writing, speaking, and information literacy.
- IREL 350 (Globalization) should ordinarily be taken during the fall of the junior year. If a student is spending the entire junior year abroad, it may be taken during the senior year. Students will ordinarily take ECON 227 before enrolling in IREL 350.
- Three courses in an area concentration, one of which must be a course satisfying the history requirement for the area. No more than two of these courses may be in the same department. The area concentrations offered are: 1) Africa, 2) Asia, 3) Europe, Eurasia, and Russia, 4) Latin America and Caribbean, and 5) Middle East. The acceptable history courses for each area concentration are indicated by a *on the area concentration course lists. A course that is counted towards the area concentration may not simultaneously count towards a thematic track.
- Three courses in one of the following thematic tracks: 1) Development and Sustainability, 2) Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, and 3) Global Governance and Conflict Resolution. Each track is anchored by a required core course. It is recommended that students take the core course first. A course that is counted towards a thematic track may not simultaneously count toward an area concentration.
- Culminating Experience. Students must enroll in a seminar either semester of the senior year. This seminar, taught by international relations faculty and enrolled in by international relations students, will serve as the College Core Curriculum's Culminating Experience requirement. These courses will be taught as W2s and will develop skills in writing, speaking, and information literacy. IR seminars that are Culminating Experiences are designated by IREL 4XX course number.
There are three additional requirements and rules for the international relations major as stipulated below:
- Of the 11 courses recorded for the major, no more than six courses may be taken from one department.
- No more than two off-campus courses will count toward the major per semester of study abroad. Students studying abroad for one semester may count two courses toward the major. Students studying abroad for a full year may count four courses towards the major.
- Competence must be demonstrated in a foreign language compatible withthe area concentration, normally by successfully completing a one-credit fifth-semester equivalent course on the culture or society of a country or region. The language(s) appropriate to each area concentration, and the Bucknell equivalent levels that are required to satisfy the major's language requirement, are noted in the area concentration course list. International students whose native language is not English are exempted, in consultation with the department chair, from the language requirement if they select an area concentration suitable for the native language.
One semester of study abroad is strongly recommended in a country within the area concentration and where the language being used for the language requirement is spoken or in a study abroad program compatible with the selected thematic track. Off-campus study in Washington, D.C., including the Washington Semester or Washington Center, also is recommended, but not as highly as overseas study. Students should contact the Office of International Education for information about off-campus study.
The department encourages students to pursue summer internships in positions related to international relations. Students have interned in embassies abroad, as well as in government agencies in Washington, D.C. Students with high grade point averages or a scholarly bent are encouraged to apply for honors in international relations or to conduct research with a faculty member. Students planning to pursue graduate study in international relations should consider taking a course in statistics, computer science, and microeconomics and macroeconomics.
The minor in international relations
- POLS 170 International Politics and
- ECON 227 International Economics or IREL 277 International Political Economy (crosslisted as POLS 277)
The remaining three courses will come either from the course lists for one of the five area concentrations (Africa, Asia, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, Latin America/Caribbean or Middle East) or from the course lists of one of the three thematic tracks (Development and Sustainability; Foreign Policy and Diplomacy; or Global Governance and Conflict Resolution). Students who choose to complete their international relations minor through an area concentration are encouraged to take one of the designated history courses. Students who choose to complete their international relations minor through a thematic track are encouraged to take the appropriate core course. Students minoring in international relations are strongly encouraged, but not required, to develop competence in a suitable language.