International Relations

International relations majors will develop the critical and analytical skills requisite for understanding the problems posed by our rapidly changing world.

At Wesleyan, we think globally. The international relations major brings together the disciplines of political science, history, economics, and foreign language, combining an exciting curriculum with many opportunities for study abroad, internships, experiential learning, and undergraduate research. An international relations major prepares students for a broad range of careers in government, international and non-profit organizations, law, journalism, business, and many other fields. Our students develop important transferable skills, such as the ability to express concepts concisely and forcefully, through both written and oral communication. A majority of international relations majors pursue graduate study, but many have gone directly into successful careers in their field, for example, working on the staff of a U.S. Senator and managing an international non-profit organization.

Major: International relations
Related Majors and Minors: History, Political Science
Academic Catalogue

Major Support Is Everywhere

Current Wesleyan Student FATIMA KHAN smiles for the camera in the hallway of OSP

FATIMA KHAN

Majoring in international relations and biology, Fatima plans to work the field of global public health. She served as a research intern at the Technische Universität in Dresden, Germany, is an award-winning member of the UN team, and represented China at the Model World Health Organization at Emory University.

Contact a Current Student

Contact a Current Student

No one knows Wesleyan better than the students who are currently learning, living, and thriving in the Wesleyan experience. If you’d like to speak to a student about your major, the residence halls, a club, or anything else, we can hook you up.

Contact Now
Career Development

Career Development

A liberal arts education prepares you for your first job and your last. Wesleyan has a four-year plan to prepare students to make the connection between a liberal arts education and success in the workplace.

See More
Majors

Majors

Wesleyan offers 30 majors and 33 minors, as well as eight pre-professional programs. Students also have the opportunity to self-design their own major, combining two or more interdisciplinary major programs.

Learn More

 

Get A Global Experience

At Wesleyan, international relations majors experience a global community on a daily basis. Wesleyan ranks among US News and World Report’s Most International National Liberal Arts Colleges and our classrooms are filled with students from all over the world. Our Global Scholars program brings domestic students to campus who are passionate about international affairs. The Center for Global Initiatives hosts speaker and film series devoted to international affairs. The international relations program also offers students a broad range of global experiences off campus, including international study and internships. The College has an award-winning Model United Nations chapter and teams of our students regularly participate in the annual Southern Regional Model UN and the Harvard Model UN.

International Relations students work on project at table together.

 

Outside The Classroom

International relations majors apply what they learn in the classroom to new settings and complex real world problems outside the classroom. In doing so, they acquire skills and experiences employers and graduate programs to desire. All students have an internship or a professional development experience. Students have interned in Washington, D.C., with human rights organizations, and at the CATO Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Georgia General Assembly. Some choose to do graduate-level research as part of their professional experience. Study abroad is also an integral part of the international relations major. Students in recent years have studied in France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and Guatemala, to name just a few destinations. Others have held internships in Nepal and Vietnam. Finally, co-curricular activities such as Model UN, student debate clubs, and student organizations help our students develop critical skills in research, public speaking, group collaboration, and leadership.

 

 

Wesleyan Women In International Relations Careers

Alumnae DIEP NGUYEN ’14 stands in classroom as a student at Wesleyan

DIEP NGUYEN ’14

Diep graduated with majors in international relations and photography. While at Wesleyan she had internships at Vietnam National Television and at Knight Frank International in Hanoi. Diep is pursuing a master’s degree in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Alumnae ALICIA BROWNELL ’11 working at her desk.

ALICIA BROWNELL ’11

An international relations graduate, Alicia serves as an advisor to the National Colombian Army, the deputy chief of the National Colombian Army, and the chief of Army of Operations. She is also responsible for researching international organizations such as NATO, UN, and WTO.

 

WESLEYAN IR MAJORS STUDY IN GRADUATE SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD:

Harvard University, Georgia Tech, Villanova University, Emory University, University of Denver, American University, London School of Economics, Institute for Graduate Studies in Geneva, Institut d'études politiques de Paris

CAREER OPTIONS FOR IR MAJORS

Foreign Intelligence

A agent is employed by national governments to gather and analyze information relating to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of foreign governments, organizations, or persons and investigates international terrorist activities.

UNITED NATIONS

Purpose is to maintain international peace and security, promote human rights, foster social and economic development, protect the environment, and provide humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

Teaching & Research

Faculty work within departments … Faculty teach large lecture courses and smaller seminar style class. Academia also takes faculty into the field to do research and often involves international travel.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is an agency of the U.S. government that sends Americans abroad to promote world peace and friendship. Volunteers work with local leaders to tackle challenges inhabiting economic and social development.

Law

Most international lawyers are concerned with private international law, how individuals and corporations can carry on transactions within different and sometimes conflicting legal systems.

Diplomacy

Diplomats are appointed by national governments to conduct official negotiations and maintain political, economic, and social relations with another country or countries.

CIA Agent

Conducts sensitive and high profile inquiries into possible violations of laws, rules, and regulations; mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety within the CIA.

Journalism

Journalists are employed by media outlets and collect, analyze, and present information through newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet in Investigates.

Organizations

International organizations mediate between countries & work on issues related to peace, security, development, & human rights. Many provide relief in times of natural or humanitarian crisis; others are advocates.

Business

Global business is expanding and creating a need for managers who are well-versed in international business.

Barbara Donovan
Professor of Political Science (478) 757-5113 Profile
Karen Huber
Associate Professor of History (478) 757-5107 Profile
Philip Davis Taylor
Professor of Economics (478) 757-5184 Profile
Sarah Harrell DeSmet
Professor of Modern Languages (478) 757-5222 Profile
Teresa Parrish Smotherman
Professor of Modern Foreign Languages (478) 757-5220 Profile

75%

More than 75% of Wesleyan IR majors go to graduate school.

90%

More than 90% of Wesleyan IR majors are in careers related to their major field.

100%

of international relations majors study abroad or complete at least one internship.

Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events

Wesleyan College is privileged to steward many arts and cultural events and share them with the community. Most are free and open to the public. Wesleyan art galleries are open M-F 1:30 – 5:00 PM and on Wesleyan Market Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

View More
Visit our Campus

Visit our Campus

Tour our beautiful 200-acre campus featuring Georgian architecture, lush green spaces, recreational facilities, residence halls, and worship center.

Tour Now
NCAA Division III Athletics

NCAA Division III Athletics

Wesleyan College is home to five NCAA Division III sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and softball. In addition, we offer an award-winning Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian program.

Learn More

Join our email list