College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Bachelor's Degree Programs

International Relations (B.A.)

Minimum hours required for major: 34 credit hours — 14-hour introductory core with 11 hours of political science courses and 3 hours in economics, 15 to 16 hours in a selected International Relations concentration that includes political science and other courses in the social sciences, humanities, and arts, or in business, depending on the specific concentration, and a 5-credit-hour political science senior seminar as a capstone course.

Language Competence: Students must demonstrate mastery in a major world language of relevance to their concentration comparable to that obtained from two years of college-level instruction. Competence may be demonstrated by examination.

Admission to Major: No requirement other than good academic standing in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Double majors are encouraged.

Evening Program: Because courses are offered in a variety of departments, no assurance can be given that the major can be fully completed at night. All core courses will be available (in political science and economics) over a two-year cycle.

Foreign Study Programs: Students may apply study-abroad credit toward their concentration.

Internship Opportunities: Students can acquire valuable work experience, and can earn up to 5 credit hours through an internship in the U.S. or abroad (sign up for PSC 406). Specific intern assignments will be worked out on an individual basis by the department's International Relations intern adviser. Hours earned will apply toward a concentration.

Advising: When a student signs up as an International Relations major, an adviser will be assigned to the student. To make an advising appointment, please telephone 216-687-4541 or e-mail in the Department of Political Science.

Additional Information:

This major is designed to give students the opportunity to engage in a multidisciplinary study of the variety of subjects concerned with international affairs. Successful completion of the major does not assure job placement in an international career. It does offer a number of advantages to students seeking entry placement in domestic and overseas private-sector firms and nongovernmental organizations where a premium is placed on the ability to interact successfully with people and economic and political practices in other cultures. It also provides an excellent foundation for more specialized graduate study in international studies, and for taking entry-level examinations into international service.

All students follow a series of core courses in political science and economics. In addition, students choose from one of a number of concentrations in the areas of international business and economics, Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Latin American and the Caribbean. For each of these concentrations, students take four courses from a recommended list. Students, with the agreement of the IR director or the chair of the Department of Political Science, may also design their own concentration if a grouping of appropriate courses is available.

In addition to the analytic tools of political science and economics, all International Relations majors are required to demonstrate competence in at least one major world foreign language at a level comparable to two years of college instruction. Competence may be demonstrated either by completing course work or passing an examination. Non-native English speakers may submit English as their foreign language. All other students must obtain approval for their language and show its relevance to their area of concentration. IR majors are encouraged to gain or deepen their language competence through a period of residence and/or study abroad. The department works closely with the Center for International Services and Programs to develop study-abroad opportunities for International Relations majors. In some cases scholarship support may be available to assist with travel expenses. Foreign-language majors or minors are welcome to double major in International Relations.

The Department of Political Science also encourages students to benefit from an internship program which will further deepen their knowledge of international affairs and improve their marketability. The director of the International Relations program will work with interested students to arrange internship opportunities in Cleveland, elsewhere in the United States or in some instances with foreign corporations or organizations abroad. Students can consult a list of existing opportunities, or additional ones can be developed on an individual basis.

Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in their major in order to graduate.

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Major-Field Requirements

The curriculum for the International Relations major consists of an introductory core, a concentration, and a capstone course. The following courses represent the introductory core are required of all International Relations majors:

Introductory Core:

The Concentration:

(15 to 16 hours all at the 300-level or above, except for PSC 221 in European, Asian, African, Latin America and Caribbean area studies concentrations or ARB/PSC/HIS 274 in Middle East area studies concentration.)

The purpose of the concentration is to enable students to pursue an in-depth study of one area of international studies corresponding to their intellectual and/or career interests. Courses in the concentration may be chosen from among a variety of courses in different disciplines of arts and sciences and from the College of Business. All courses selected for the concentration must be approved by the student's adviser or by the director of the International Relations major. Students can select from among the six concentrations listed below, or may create their own concentration with the approval of their adviser. Courses listed below for each concentration are indicative and may not all be available as needed. Students should see their advisers to work out their specific set of concentration courses.

1. Concentration in International Business and Economics (four of the following):

Every student needs to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in a language relevant to the area of International Business the student is concentrating in. International Relations majors in this concentration are encouraged to focus on either a Marketing (MKT) track or a Management and Labor Relations (MLR) track.

Marketing (MKT) Track:

Management and Labor Relations (MLR) Track:

Note: Students will not be allowed to submit both MKT 301 and MLR 301 for the concentration. If they take both, one will count for major credit and they may submit a mixture of MKT and MLR courses toward their concentration.

2. Asia (four of the following):

Students taking this option need to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in a major Asian language.

Note: No more than one course total may be taken in Art and Religion.

3. Europe (four of the following):

Students in this concentration will be expected to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in French, German, or Spanish, or by permission, another major European language.

4. Africa (four of the following):

Students in this concentration will be expected to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in Arabic, French, or Portuguese, or, by permission, another major African language.

Note: No more than one course total may be taken in Art, Religion, and Communication.

5. Middle East (four of the following):

Students in this concentration will be expected to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, or Persian or, by permission, another major Middle Eastern language.

Note: No more than one course total may be taken in Religion.

6. Latin America and the Caribbean (four of the following):

Students in this concentration will be expected to achieve and demonstrate the equivalent of a two-year academic competence in Spanish, Portuguese, or French.

7. Global Studies (12 credit limit on Graduate Courses):

*Requires instructor’s permission


The International Relations program encourages all students to include a study abroad experience as part of their curriculum if it is at all practical. We are willing to accept any CSU-approved study abroad courses to fulfill concentration requirements, provided that the subject matter is in the Social Sciences or Humanities (or, in the case of the international business concentration, Business Administration), and is directly relevant to the region represented by the concentration.

Capstone Course

All International Relations majors will be required to conclude their major with a 5-credit-hour capstone course. The capstone experience in International Relations is to complete a political science senior seminar. To take a senior seminar the International Relations major must have completed the Introductory Core and at least two 300- or 400-level courses in their concentration, or permission of the instructor.

Transitional Policy

The International Relations major frequently changes when new courses are added or when old courses are dropped, or when the department revises the curriculum. Any student has the right to complete the requirements as they existed at the time the student declared his/her IR major, or may decide to adhere to subsequent requirements. Copies of previous IR major requirements are available from the Department of Political Science.

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