International Relations

The International Relations program is an interdisciplinary program designed for students preparing for graduate work or careers with an international focus, whether in government, business, the professions, such as law, teaching, journalism, or in other areas, such as private foundations or international organizations.

All majors take a group of courses in government and economics in common. In addition to these courses, students in the international relations major take elective courses with a particular thematic or geographic focus. The Chair of the International Relations Committee will advise students on substitute and transfer courses.


"...foreign affairs and international relations, however they may be studied or analyzed, are in themselves not a closed theoretical system. They are the political region pre-eminently of the contingent and the unforeseen, in which the survival of nations may be at stake, and agonizing decisions have to be made. The underlying aim. . . is to clarify the principles of prudence and moral obligation which have held together the international society of states throughout its history, and still hold it together." (Herbert Butterfield and Martin Wight, Diplomatic Investigations)

"...Mature thought combines purpose with observation and analysis. Utopia and reality are thus the two facets of political science. Sound political thought and sound political life will be found only where both have their place." (Edward Hallett Carr, The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1919-1939)

"...the problem which faces the students and teachers of international relations more than any other, namely, that dualism we have to face in moving in two different and opposite areas. I mean the area of institutions of peace which are related to the adjustment of disputes and the area of power politics and war." (Charles E. Martin, Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of Teachers of International Law and Related Subjects, 1946)