Apr 12, 2024  
Undergraduate Bulletin 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Bulletin 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

International Relations and Diplomacy - B.A.

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The major in international relations and diplomacy is designed to prepare students to enter into the Department of State’s foreign service or into international agencies on the private, governmental, or worldwide level. Examples of such organizations—with headquarters in the United States or abroad—are CARE, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (part of NAFTA), and the World Bank. The major is wonderful preparation for worldwide service in the creation of a more just and humane world.

Preparation for graduate school, for students wishing to specialize in a certain area, is also provided. 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. The field of international relations and diplomacy is one of the most competitive 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 in the international community. The student will work with the major advisor to develop a coherent course of studies for his or her area of interest.

Major Requirements:

Thirty-nine credit hours in course work as directed below plus fulfillment of the language requirement through completion of one of three available options arranged with major advisor.

Required Courses:

Additional Requirements:

Two years of university-level language training or equivalent, or additional coursework as directed by the major advisor (see below).

Courses in economics, world history, and U.S. history are also strongly recommended.

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.

A minimum of one-half the courses in the major field must be completed at Dominican.

Language Requirement

Foreign language competency is essential for a successful career in international relations and diplomacy and graduate studies. It is strongly recommended that students pursue a chosen language beyond the minimum requirement set by the department. In addition, it is highly suggested that more than one additional language be pursued.  Students arrive at Dominican University at different levels and it is our job to maximize student success in the field by tailoring every student’s program to his or her skills. Therefore, students will complete one of the following three options for completion of the language requirement in the major. Language proficiency for the major is considered completion of two years of university coursework or equivalent. It is important to note that this is the major language requirement, and students are also responsible for the university language requirement.

Option #1: Zero or Limited Second Language Proficiency

Students without proficiency in a second language, as determined by the modern foreign language department placement test, must take at least 16 credit hours (through the second-year sequence) in an available language. Students who test into a language beyond 101 (first-semester, first-year language), but not through the end of the second-year sequence, must complete the second-year sequence or 7 credit hours in the language—whichever is more earned credit hours. In other words, students who test into second-semester, second-year language must complete the second-year sequence and take an additional course in the language.

Option #2: Second Language Proficiency With a United States Secondary Education

Students with proficiency in a second language, as determined by the modern foreign language department placement test, must complete either 9 additional credit hours in the language of proficiency or 8 credit hours (the first-year sequence) in a third language. If students believe, in consultation with their major advisor, that their English skills are in need of improvement, they may be approved for option #3.

Option #3: Second Language Proficiency with a Non-English-Speaking Country Secondary Education

Students whose first language is not English, and who have completed their secondary school education in a non-English-speaking country, must take either 8 credit hours (the first-year sequence) in a third language or 9 additional credit hours of course work. Students choosing the 9 additional credit hours must take ENGL 190  , CAS 150 , or CAS 155 , and an additional English (beyond university requirements), communications, or world politics course.

Language proficiency in languages that are not offered at Dominican may be accepted for the language requirement in consultation with the department advisor. This is generally approved if the student verifies academic training at accredited institutions or third-party objective testing in the language at the appropriate level of competency. This “exception” does not include English as a second language or a native language; both these circumstances fall under options #2 or #3 above. The department, in consultation with language experts, is the final arbiter on language proficiency for purposes of degree completion.

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