The international relations major is intended to reflect that we live in an ever more interrelated and interdependent world. As such, it is a course of study that combines the disciplines of history, political science, economics, and foreign language study. Often it is done in conjunction with a study abroad experience. Students majoring in this field study the historical, political, cultural, and economic processes that shape the international system today, as well as the roles of the main actors, such as states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, multinational corporations, ideologies, and individuals.
The major provides an excellent background for those who wish to pursue careers in international organizations (governmental and nongovernmental) and in international business. It also provides ideal preparation for those planning communication and the law. The international relations major will help prepare the student for relevant graduate study and for the foreign service examination.
Major Program: Students who major in international relations will acquire knowledge of major international political events, phenomena, and institutions and of the frameworks and theories used in considering and interpreting global issues; the analytical skills essential for understanding the international system and for interpreting the sources, processes, and outcomes of global change; and the ability to express concepts concisely and forcefully through both written and oral communication. They will be familiar with the best practices associated with research in the field of international relations and prepared to enter graduate programs and careers in international relations and related fields.
Professional Development: Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete a PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and submit a PDE 401 Professional ePortfolio prior to graduation. Each student will complete assignments in the Senior Research Seminar (either HIS 480 or POL 480) that help her explore careers in the major.
Integrative Experience: Each student will complete either HIS 480 or POL 480 Senior Research Seminar. In this capstone course, international relations majors will complete a significant research project in which they make connections among the various parts of their course of study and employ sound methodology.
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