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Major in International Relations

Major in International Relations

International Relations Steering Committee

Zachary Abuza, Professor of Political Science and International Relations

Kirk James Beattie, Professor of Political Science and International Relations 

Mark Bellamy, Joan M. and James P. Warburg Professor in International Relations

Dan Connell, Distinguished Lecturer in Communications and Political Science 

Eduardo Febles, Professor of Modern Languages 

Sarah Leonard, Associate Professor of History

Zhigang Liu, Associate Professor of History and Modern Languages 

Stephen Ortega, Associate Professor of History 

Catherine Paden, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Relations 

Jyoti Puri, Professor of Sociology

Niloufer Sohrabji, Associate Professor of Economics

The interdisciplinary major in international relations seeks to impart to students an understanding of the political, economic, social, and cultural relations among states as well as the transnational roles of non-state actors. Such an understanding is critical in today's world and can support a variety of career options.

The major consists mainly, but not exclusively, of courses in international politics, economics, history, and women's studies. The senior year includes an integrative seminar and, if the senior chooses, an internship or independent study. Students have interned at organizations involved in international relations such as the World Affairs Council, the United Nations, Amnesty International, the International Business Center, Bay Banks International, the offices of US senators, and Grassroots International.

Students are also strongly encouraged to take the following courses in the first or second year: ECON 100 and 101, HIST 128, and POLS 102.

Students majoring in international relations must fulfill a language requirement beyond that required by the College's foreign language requirement. Students may indicate their attainment of this enhanced proficiency in one of four ways:

  1. A student may complete a second major in a modern language, or may minor in a modern language.
  2. A student whose native language is not English and is exempt from the College foreign language requirement may choose to use her native language to fulfill the language proficiency requirement in International Relations
  3. Students who choose to use either French or Spanish to fulfill the proficiency requirement in International Relations must take at least two foreign language courses beyond the College's foreign language requirement in the same language used to fulfill that requirement. Students who choose to fill the proficiency requirement in Japanese or Chinese must take one language course beyond College's foreign language requirement in the same language used to fulfill that requirement. Any language course above the 202 level may be counted as an elective toward a relevant "Area Studies" area of elective concentration.
  4. Students whose native language is English, and who wish to use a modern language not taught at Simmons to fulfill the proficiency requirement in International Relations, may petition the IR Steering Committee, which will determine whether the level of proficiency in that language meets the requirement.

Core Courses:

  • ECON/WGST 214 Women in the World Economy
  • HIST 101 World Civilizations II: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism
  • HIST 128 Modern European History: 1789—1989
  • INRL 390 Senior Seminar
  • POLS 102 Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 220° International Organizations and Law

One of the following:

  • ECON 218° International Trade
  • ECON 220° International Monetary Systems

Students are strongly encouraged to take the following courses in the first or second year: ECON 100 and 101, HIST 101 and 128, and POLS 102. Faculty members of the International Relations Steering Committee are available for advising and supervising independent studies and honors theses.

Elective Courses

Students must also take three elective courses in one of the following areas:

  • Global and Human Security
  • Political Economy and Development
  • Transnational Issues of Culture and Identity
  • Geographical Area Studies

In addition, the senior seminar, INRL 390, must be taken in the senior year.

Students may substitute courses from other colleges and study-abroad programs with special permission. This list is not inclusive and new curricular offerings may be added.

Global and Human Security

  • HIST 203 History of East Asian and U.S. Foreign Relations
  • HIST 205 Global Environmental History
  • HIST 237 Holocaust
  • HIST 248 U.S. Foreign Policy: 1898—1945
  • HIST 251 Global Perspectives on 9/11
  • HON 303 HIV/AIDS: The Intersection of Science and Society
  • POLS 221 The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • POLS 223 Human Rights: The Basic Dilemmas
  • POLS 224 Human (In)Security
  • POLS 229 Comparative Foreign Policy
  • POLS 244 Crisis and Transition in Contemporary Africa
  • POLS 248 Terrorism
  • POLS/HIST 249 U.S. Foreign Policy: 1945—Present
  • POLS/COMM 268 Human Rights in South Africa

Political Economy and Development

  • ECON 216° Economic Development
  • ECON 222° Comparative Economies of East Asia
  • NUTR 150 International Nutrition Issues
  • POLS 104 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 225 International Politics of East Asia
  • POLS 242 African Politics
  • POLS 245 Politics of Newly Industrializing Countries
  • POLS 245M Politics of Newly Industrializing Countries - Thailand Short-Term Course
  • SOCI 245 International Health

Transnational Issues of Culture and Identity

  • FREN 266 The Quest for Identity: The Self and the Other in French Literary
  • FREN 316 Outside France: Perspectives from the French-Speaking World
  • HIST 231 History of Muslim Societies
  • HIST 251 Global Perspectives on 9/11
  • HIST 361 Topics in World History; Cross-Cultural Encounters: Contacts, Connections, and Conflict
  • HIST 364 The Rape of Nanjing
  • HON 203 Islam and the West
  • HON 204 France and the Francophone World
  • INRL 202* Special Topics in International Relations
  • POLS 202* Special Topics in Political Science
  • POLS 240 Islam and the West
  • POLS 247 The Politics of Religious Extremism
  • SOCI 267 Globalization
  • SOCI 270 South Asia: People and Power
  • SOCI 348 Re-envisioning the Third World
  • SPAN 314 Hispanic Culture as Seen Through Film
  • SPAN 380 Migrant in the City: Fieldwork Seminar on Puerto Rican Culture

Geographic Area Studies

A student may choose to concentrate her electives in one geographic area, selecting three courses from one of the following lists. If a student wishes to concentrate her electives in an area not represented, or if she wishes to count courses taken abroad or at another university in the relevant area, she must obtain permission from the Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations.

AFRICA

  • FREN 316 Outside France: Perspectives from the French-Speaking World
  • HON 201 Conflict and Identity in Sudan
  • POLS 242 Government and Politics in Africa
  • POLS/COMM 268 Human Rights in South Africa

ASIA

  • CHIN 310 Chinese Civilization: Past and Present
  • ECON 222° Comparative Economics of East Asia
  • HIST 201 The Dynamics of Japanese History
  • HIST 202 Asia to the 18th Century
  • HIST 203 History of East Asian and U.S. Foreign Relations
  • HIST 204 Japanese Culture: Gender, Family and Society
  • HIST 206 The Rise of Modern China
  • HIST 207 Gender, Family, and Society in Modern China
  • HIST 362 Reforms and Revolutions in Asia.
  • HIST 364 The Rape of Nanjing
  • JAPN 310 Japanese Civilization
  • POLS 225 International Politics of East Asia
  • POLS 241 The Dragon Ascendant: Politics & Policy-making in Contemporary China
  • POLS 245 Politics of Newly Industrializing Countries
  • POLS 245M Politics of Newly Industrializing Countries - Thailand Short-Term Course
  • SOCI 270 South Asia: People and Power

EUROPE

  • FREN 266 The Quest for Identity: The Self and the Other in French Literary Tradition
  • FREN 310 Inside France: Studies in French Culture
  • HIST 230 Women and Gender in Europe
  • HIST 237 Holocaust
  • HON 301 Explosive Mix: When Ethnicity, Religion, and Nationalism Collide
  • POLS 233 Politics and Catastrophe: Political Thought in the 20th Century
  • POLS 240 Islam and the West
  • POLS 246 Politics of Western Europe
  • POLS 266 France: Economic, Socio-Cultural and Political Change
  • SPAN 253 Social and Political Issues in Modern Spain
  • SPAN 264 Pushing the Limits: The Quest for Freedom in Contemporary Hispanic Theater
  • SPAN 310 The Making of Spain: Studies in Spanish Culture
  • SPAN 314 Hispanic Culture as Seen Through Film

LATIN AMERICA

  • HIST 218 Topics in Latin American History: Central America and the Caribbean
  • HON 202 Political Upheaval in 20th Century Latin America
  • POLS 250 Democratization in Latin America
  • SOCI 277 Introduction to Latin American Studies
  • SPAN 266 Imagination, Freedom, and Repression in Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 395 Special Topics
  • SPAN 312 Society and Politics in Latin America
  • SPAN 332 Contemporary Fiction in Latin America

MIDDLE EAST

  • HIST 231 History of Muslim Societies
  • HONS 203 Islam and the West
  • POLS 221 The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • POLS 243 Middle Eastern Politics
  • POLS 264 Political Economic Evolution of Egypt

°Prerequisites: For ECON/WGST 214: ECON 100 and 101 or by consent. For ECON 216, 218, 220, and 222: ECON 100 and 101. For POLS 220: POLS 102.
*Depending on the topic, these courses may count in another particular area.

Please use our International Relations Major Tracking Form to chart your progress

Double Majors:

As with political science, many students benefit from a double major. Common choices include political science, economics, foreign languages, history, sociology, management, education, and communications.

Please note that these requirements are clearly set out in the catalogue and that it is the student's responsibility to make sure that she has met all departmental requirements for graduation.