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International Affairs

Majoring & Minoring

Majors are required to take eleven courses, organized in terms of seven core courses and four concentrations. Each student works with his/her major adviser to construct a program appropriate to his/her interests and career goals. Generally, Introduction to International Affairs (International Affairs 100) should be taken early in the student’s academic career. This course provides an overview of the central concepts used in understanding international relations and is a prerequisite for most of the courses in the department. Majors take six additional core courses including introductory courses in economics and political science; students have a wide range of choice of courses from several disciplines to fulfill the four required concentrations. The major culminates with the final core course, the International Affairs Seminar (International Affairs 430), which is the required senior thesis class.

Students are advised to complete the following core courses ideally by the end of their second year: Principles of Economics (ECON 100), Comparative Political Systems (POLS 102) or American Government (POLS 103), and United States Foreign Policy (IA 212). These courses introduce students to important concepts and empirical information that inform upper-level courses. Research Methods and the three other concentration classes normally should be fulfilled in the third year. Theories of International Affairs (IA 310) usually should be taken in the semester preceding the one in which the senior thesis is written. Students are urged to complete all other departmental requirements prior to enrolling in IA 430.

In addition to the course requirements, majors are encouraged to develop an academic program that enables them to study at least one foreign language beyond the 201-level, participate in an off-campus program, and take courses in other disciplines appropriate to the student’s intellectual interests and career goals. Majors also are encouraged to couple their coursework with practical learning that includes, for example, internships in Portland and elsewhere with government and non-governmental organizations. These opportunities may be pursued during the academic year and/or the summer months.

We do not offer a minor. However, many IA majors adopt minor concentrations from other departments and programs across the college. We welcome this. In fact, one of our faculty members currently directs the interdisciplinary Political Economy minor.

For more information, see the L&C Catalog.