Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 University Bulletin 
2021-2022 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

International Relations and Diplomacy - B.A.

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The major in international relations and diplomacy (IR&D) is designed to prepare students for any number of the many careers within international politics. Career options in this field include (but are not limited to): the United States Department of State, the United Nations, the World Bank, as well as a range of international, non-government organizations and agencies. Students are also encouraged to think about international volunteer opportunities like the Peace Corps or teaching English abroad. For those students who wish to specialize in a more specific area of international politics, preparation for graduate work is an ideal option. This major is wonderful preparation for global service in the creation of a more just and humane world

Further information on international career opportunities is available from the major advisor.

A background in international affairs and at least one foreign language are considered essential for minimal competitiveness in the international field. International relations and diplomacy is one of the most competitive fields in politics and successful students must be willing to go beyond the minimum requirements to be accepted into the best graduate schools and to gain entry-level positions. The student will work with the major advisor to develop a coherent course of studies for his or her area of interest.

Major Requirements:

Forty-six to 51 credit hours in course work, depending on the student’s language proficiency at the start of the program. A minimum of one-half the courses in the major field must be completed at Dominican.

International Relations Requirements:

Diplomacy Requirements

IR&D majors complete the requirements outlined in both of the following diplomacy areas.

Diplomatic and Cultural Understanding

In consultation with the advisor, complete a three course concentration in one of the following areas. These courses may be interdisciplinary if appropriate and may be POSC courses, but that is not required.

  1. History: regional or world concentration.
  2. Economics: understanding economic systems and concepts .
  3. Communication: journalistic/ interpersonal/corporate/cultural knowledge and skills.
  4. Cultural: understanding in study of women and gender, black world studies, interfaith studies, or Latino and Latin American studies. 
  5. Language: completed modern foreign language minor

Foreign Language

Path 1: Foreign Language Novice (for non-native speakers). This path is for students who have studied or learned or wish to study or learn a second language that is not a native language. This requires a language sequence completed through the intermediate level for non-native speakers (4-8 credit hours beyond the core curriculum foundation requirement, depending on testing)

Path 2: Foreign Language Proficient (for native speakers). This path is for students who speak a second language through a bilingual home or foreign education. Students may take 6 additional credits in their native language OR they may take 8 credit hours in a third language OR they may take 9 credit hours in English and Communication courses in consultation with advisor. This last option is designed for students who view English as their second language and will help enhance that skill.

Path 3: Foreign Language Exposure (for students unable to complete path 1). Students must complete 9 credit hours in a combination of MFL/ENGL/CAS courses in consultation with advisor.


IR&D majors should give serious consideration to completing the following:

  • Additional language training
  • Additional courses in economics, world history, and U.S. history

It is also strongly recommended that the student study abroad and/or complete an internship with the Department of State or some other international agency in Washington, DC. The field of international relations and diplomacy is extremely competitive and advantages need to be accumulated early and often.

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