International RelationsWestern Social Science

Course Information

The IR program is intended to provide a solid grounding in the study of International Relations from two perspectives – History and Political Science. Students are required to take courses at four different levels, each building upon the one below.

The first year courses in History and Political Science provide introductions to the disciplines and introduces students to important concepts. They also allow students to begin developing university-level research and writing skills.

The 2200 level courses are surveys of International Relations from both the History and Political Science perspectives. Material covered in these courses is more detailed than in first year or 2100 courses. Expectations and assignments are also more rigorous; essay writing and oral communication skills are expected to develop beyond the introductory level, where appropriate.

Courses at the 3000 level build upon what has been learned in History and Political Science courses at lower levels. These courses provide students with an opportunity to delve deeper into more specific topics and include an emphasis on research methods in both fields. The assignments and readings are more demanding than at the 2200 level, with an emphasis on developing higher-level writing and argumentation skills.

Courses at the 4000 level (including IR 4701) are intended to be capstones for the program. These courses are unique, small seminars that are focused on intriguing topics.Student participation is highly emphasized in these courses and students are given the opportunity to synthesize and more thoroughly develop their knowledge and skills in their course work.