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The International Relations Major

The international relations major seeks to promote a sophisticated
understanding of the trans-boundary interactions of governments,
organizations, cultures and people – both in terms of how such
interactions exist today and how they can be improved in the
future. In addition, the major seeks to help students cultivate
practical analytical and communication skills that will foster
professional excellence and personal achievement.
Because it is difficult to understand our dynamic and
increasingly interdependent world through a single lens, the
major works across multiple academic disciplines, while also
providing students with the flexibility to focus upon subjects
and themes of greatest interest to them. The major draws
upon faculty and courses representing some twelve academic
programs at RWU, including political science, history,
economics, sociology, anthropology, communication, art and
art history, and languages, among others.
 
To study international relations is to celebrate human
endeavor, global diversity and new opportunities. At the same
time, our world is deeply troubled. From the persistence of
global poverty and disease to the threats posed by weapons of
mass destruction and regional conflicts in Asia and the Middle
East, global problems are many and often deeply disturbing.
The aim of the international relations major is to give students
the tools to flourish in the world while also encouraging
students to use these tools to help make the world more secure,
more prosperous, and more humane than it is at present.
Students are encouraged to understand the world, as it really
is, and also to engage themselves as global citizens working to
make a difference.
 

 

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Majors pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in international relations
must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the
College speech requirement, COMM 210. In addition, majors
must complete five international relations foundation courses;
a two-course sequence intended to promote intercultural
negotiating skills; a minimum of eight thematically-related
courses in one of four tracks: Globalization Studies; Culture
and Identity; Area Studies: Europe; or Area Studies: Non-
Western; and one final capstone course completing the major.
Majors must demonstrate minimum proficiency in a foreign
language, either by successful completion of courses at the
202-level or by test; and they must complete a sufficient
number of general electives to total 120 credits. Independent
study and study abroad are encouraged.
It is recommended that majors use core concentration
requirements to enhance their knowledge of a single discipline
or language—and to apply electives toward a related minor or
second major.
 
Note: Double counting courses is not permitted in meeting
requirements for the core concentration, a minor or a second major.
 

Foundation Requirements:

The following five courses are required of all majors and are prerequisites for many of the more advanced courses in the major.
 
POLSC 110 The US in World Affairs  
ECON 112 Principle of Macroeconomics  
HIST 102 History of Western Civilization II  
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology  
POLSC 210 International Relations  

Intercultural Negotiation Sequence:

All majors are required to take the following two courses. It is recommended that they be taken in the sequence which follows.

COMM 250 Intercultural Communication  
Note: COMM 100 and COMM 101 are waived for IR majors as a prerequisite for COMM 250.
POLSC 335 International Negotiations  

International Relations Tracks:

Majors are required to complete a minimum of eight thematically related courses from ONE of the following four tracks:

Track #1—Globalization Studies

The Globalization Studies track examines ongoing
transformations in international politics, economics and
culture. The study of globalization focuses especially upon
patterns of increasing interdependence and communication
across cultures, as well as emerging systems of global
governance and the roles of states, international organizations,
multinational corporations and transnational activist networks.
Courses are situated in fields such as political science,
economics, sociology, anthropology, management studies, and
environmental science.

Note: Courses marked with an “*” may require a non-IR prerequisite.

Requirements for this track:

POLSC 340 International Political Economy  
MGMT 340 International Management  
SOC 330 Globalization and Identity  
Select One:
POLSC 346 Foreign Policies of Russia and China  
or
POLSC 348 Rogue States, Allies, Regional Powers  

Electives: Select Four electives drawn from:

AAH 122 History of Art and Architecture II  
BIO 240 Concepts of Ecology*  
BIO 312 Conservation Biology*  
COMM 330 International Communication  
ECON 350 International Trade*  
ECON 360 International Macro Economics  
POLSC 215 Strategy and National Security Policy  
POLSC 221 Comparative Politics in the Third World  
POLSC 327 Politics of the Middle East  
POLSC 330 Revolution and Social Change  
POLSC 344 United States and the Middle East  
POLSC 346 Foreign Policies of Russia and China  
POLSC 348 Rogue States, Allies, Regional Powers  
POLSC 383 Global Environmental Politics  
PSYCH 255 Social Psychology*  
SOC 201 Social Stratification  
SOC 350 Comparative Social Movements  

Additional Elective Options are:

  • Special topics courses and independent study with permission
  • Participation in a Macro Seminar, Center for Macro
    Projects and Diplomacy
  • Courses from Study abroad or relevant internship. (A
    maximum of two could be counted against any two
    elective courses. Directly-related courses could, in
    addition, count against other IR courses.)
  • Courses from the other tracks (up to two courses.)

Track #2 – Culture and Identity

The Culture and Identity track track explores how myriad cultural
traditions around the globe have evolved and influenced each
other throughout history and also shaped the formation of
personal identity. While scholars today debate the possible
emergence of a universal global culture, global communication has
reinforced particular identities, attachments and allegiances along
national, ethnic, religious and tribal lines. Courses are situated in
fields such as anthropology, literature, sociology, communication,
art and architecture, political science, psychology.

Note: Courses marked with an “*” may require a non-IR prerequisite.

Requirements for this track:

ANTH 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology  
and
One Anthropology elective with International content (select one):
ANTH 220 Self, Culture and Society**  
ANTH 356 World Cultures**  
ANTH 380 Culture Change and Development**  

**If a student selects either ANTH 220; ANTH 356 or ANTH 380, the student may not take the same course to fulfill the electives requirement below.

and

SOC 330 Globalization and Identity  
POLSC 321 Politics and Ethnic Conflict  

and

Electives:

Select four electives drawn from:

ANTH 220 Self, Culture and Society  
ANTH 356 World Cultures  
ANTH 380 Culture Change and Development  
AAH 122 History of Art and Architecture II  
AAH 311 History of American Art*  
AAH 312 History of Modern Art  
AAH 313 Art and Architecture of Africa  
AAH 323 Art and Architecture in the Islamic World  
COMM 330 International Communication*  
COMM 380 Visual Media in a Cultural Context*  
ENG 290 British Literature II: From Romanticism to Modernism  
ENG 301 Contemporary American Literature  
ENG 320 Studies in Global Literatures*  
ENG 360 Studies in Ethnic American Literature  
MRKT 402 International Marketing*  
PHIL 258 American Philosophy*  
POLSC 302 Political Parties and Interest Groups*  
POLSC 307 Gender in American Politics  
POLSC 325 Modern European Politics  
POLSC 327 Politics of the Middle East  
POLSC 344 United States and the Middle East  
POLSC 346 Foreign Policies of Russia and China  
POLSC 348 Rogue States, Allies, Regional Powers  
POLSC 383 Global Environmental Politics  
PSYCH 255 Social Psychology*  
PSYCH 335 Social and Emotional Development*  
SOC 201 Social Stratification  
SOC 230 Population and Society  
THEAT 331 Modern Drama  
THEAT 332 British Theatre and Performing Arts  
THEAT 333 Asian Drama and Dance  

Additional Elective Options are:

  • Special topics courses and independent study with permission
  • Participation in a Macro Seminar, Center for Macro
    Projects and Diplomacy.
  • Courses from Study abroad or relevant internship. (A
    maximum of two could be counted against any two elective
    courses. Directly-related courses could, in addition, count
    against other IR courses.)
  • Courses from the other tracks (up to two courses).

Track #3--Area Studies: Europe

The European Area Studies track examines the history, politics,
economics, literature, arts and cultural traditions of Europe.
Particular attention is given to the pivotal role of Europe
in shaping modernity as well as prospects for Europeanbased
international organizations, especially the European
Union, to serve as prototypes in strengthening channels of
global collaboration. The longstanding impact of Europe in
propelling economic capitalism and political liberalism is
examined alongside themes such as immigration and resurgent
nationalism. Courses are situated in fields such as economics,
history, political science, art and literature.

Note: Courses marked with an “*” may require a non-IR prerequisite.

Requirements for this track:

HIST 305 20th Century Europe  
POLSC 120 Comparative Politics  
POLSC 325 Modern European Politics  
POLSC 346 Foreign Policies of Russia and China  

Electives

Select four electives drawn from:

AAH 122 History of Art and Architecture II  
ECON 360 International Macro Economics  
ENG 320 Studies in Global Literatures  
HIST 310 Studies in European History  
HIST 331 19th Century Europe  
PHIL 254 Contemporary Philosophy*  
POLSC 326 Post Communist World  
POLSC 340 International Political Economy  
SOC 330 Globalization and Identity  

Additional Elective Options are:

  • Special topics courses and independent study with permission
  • Participation in a Macro Seminar, Center for Macro
    Projects and Diplomacy.
  • Courses from Study abroad or relevant internship. (A
    maximum of two could be counted against any two
    elective courses. Directly-related courses could, in
    addition, count against other IR courses.)
  • Courses from the other tracks (up to two courses).

Track #4--Area Studies: Non-Western

The Non-Western Area Studies track examines the history, politics,
economics, literature, arts and cultural traditions of Asia, the
Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Special attention is given
to economic restructuring and political transitions to democracy
in the aftermath of colonialism as well as communism. Courses
are situated in fields such as anthropology, history, political
science, sociology and management studies.

Note: Courses marked with an “*” may require a non-IR prerequisite.

Requirements for this track:

POLSC 120 Comparative Politics  
POLSC 221 Comparative Politics in the Third World  
POLSC 348 Rogue States, Allies, Regional Powers  
Select one from:
HIST 381 Critical Periods and Topics in Asian History**  
HIST 382 Critical Periods and Topics in African History**  
HIST 383 Critical Periods and Topics Latin American History**  

**If a student selects either HIST 381,HIST 382 or HIST 383, the student may not take the same course to fulfill the electives requirement below.

Electives

Select four electives drawn from:

ANTH 356 World Cultures*  
AAH 313 Art and Architecture of Africa  
AAH 323 Art and Architecture in the Islamic World*  
COMM 330 International Communication  
ECON 360 International Macro Economics  
HIST 381 Critical Periods and Topics in Asian History***  
HIST 382 Critical Periods and Topics in African History***  
HIST 383 Critical Periods and Topics Latin American History***  

***A student may select one of HIST 381, 382 or 383 as an elective; which is in addition to the one HIST course required for the Non- Western track.

PHIL 212 Eastern Philosophy*  
POLSC 326 Post Communist World  
POLSC 327 Politics of the Middle East  
POLSC 330 Revolution and Social Change  
POLSC 340 International Political Economy  
POLSC 344 United States and the Middle East  
POLSC 428 Mexican Politics  
SOC 201 Social Stratification  
SOC 330 Globalization and Identity  

Additional Elective Options are:

  • Special topics courses and independent study with permission.
  • Participation in a Macro Seminar, Center for Macro
    Projects and Diplomacy.
  • Courses from Study abroad or relevant internship. (A
    maximum of two could be counted against any two elective
    courses. Directly-related courses could, in addition, count
    against other IR courses.)
  • Courses from the other tracks (up to two courses).

Capstone Course:

The capstone course is intended, in most cases, to reconnect
students to the general interdisciplinary study of international
relations; and to provide culmination—and real world context--
for their personalized studies.

Note: Normally, to be taken second semester of senior year.

All majors are required to take either:

  • A directed senior research project, independent study.
  • Senior seminar, such as ANTH 460 Senior Seminar, HIST
    420 Senior Seminar, or POLSC 460 Senior Seminar.

or

  • POLSC 386 International Law and Organization—covering
    the management of international relations (including a
    substantial research paper).

Language and Study Abroad:

All students are required to demonstrate at least minimum
proficiency in a foreign language, either by successful
completion of courses at the 202-level or by test.
 
Students entering the major without a language are
encouraged to use foreign language to meet the core
concentration requirement.
 
Study abroad is strongly encouraged—consideration to be given
with respect to substituting courses for the major, especially
with respect to the tracked courses.
 
Note: As listed above under track electives, any two courses taken
abroad or in a related internship could be used to count against
up to two elective courses in a student’s track provided they are
international in content--even if the content of these courses does
not substitute for the recommended electives.