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International Relations

Explore the how’s and why’s of world politics

What explains why some countries fight, while others are able to make peace?  What explains different political systems and outcomes?  And how do domestic and international systems matter for our ability to respond to the enduring and contemporary challenges and opportunities facing countries and societies?  

The International Relations major offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of comparative and world politics.  Drawing on insights from political science, history, economics, geography, and anthropology, among others, students develop concentrated areas of knowledge in national security, diplomacy, comparative economic development, and the varied politics of the world’s different cultural zones.  Courses develop skills in critical thought, oral and written communication, and analytic reasoning, as well as the comparative and global knowledge necessary to navigate a complex world.  Together, these skills prepare students with the analytic tools necessary for careers and opportunities that are increasingly global and/or related to global issues.   The major also offers opportunities to connect with alumni and pursue internships.   


  • Development and Political Economy
  • Diplomacy and Global Order
  • Societies and Beliefs
  • U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security


  • International organizations and agencies
  • Business
  • Foreign service
  • National security
  • Government Agencies
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Nonprofits
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Humanitarian Relief
  • Journalism


  • Political Science
  • International Business
  • Military Sciences
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Public Policy
  • Public Administration


What’s special about this program?


The department’s award-winning faculty covers a wide range of national and international specialties. You can combine a solid overall preparation in the liberal arts with the opportunity to individualize your experience by participating in study abroad programs on four continents and in Washington, D.C.; internships with government offices, law firms, non-governmental organizations and more, inside and outside of Delaware; career advisement; and add a minor in political communication or politics and social justice.

Get Involved

Model United Nations


Students in the Public Interest

POSCIR Ambassadors

Phi Sigma Alpha

Iota Rho


Center for Political Communication

Students Against Human Trafficking

Area Studies

Women’s Studies

Sample curriculum

As an interdisciplinary program, all majors are required to complete six core courses:  Introduction to Global Politics, Introduction to American Politics or  Introduction to Comparative Politics, one economics course, one history course, one geography course, and an advanced language course. Beyond the core courses, you will choose one topical concentration in development and international political economy, diplomacy and global order, societies and beliefs, or U.S. foreign policy and national security, and one regional specialization in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East. International relations can complement your many other interests including a second major, or minors, and prepares you to engage an increasingly complex world.


POSC 240 (Core 1/6) (Breadth Requirement: Group C (1/3))

POSC 150 or 270 (Core 3/6) (Breadth Requirement: Group C (3/3))

ECON 101 (Core 2/6) (Breadth Requirement: Group C (2/3))

Foreign Language (2/3)

MATH 114, 115, 117, or other

Breadth Requirement: Group A (1/3)

Foreign Language (1/3)

Breadth Requirement: Group B (1/3)

ENGL 110

Breadth Requirement: Group D (1/3)

UNIV 101


Credits: 17

Credits: 16


HIST 102 or 104 (Core 4/6) (Breadth Requirement: Group B (2/3))

One Languages, Literatures and Cultures course beyond the intermediate level taught in the relevant language (Core 6/6)

GEOG 102, 120, or 203 (Core 5/6) (Multicultural Requirement)

Breadth Requirement: Group A (3/3)

Foreign Language (3/3)

Breadth Requirement: Group B (3/3)

Breadth Requirement: Group A (2/3)

Breadth Requirement: Group D with lab (2/3)

Free Elective

Free Elective

Credits: 16

Credits: 16


POSC 362* (Concentration 1/5)

POSC Concentration course* (Concentration 3/5)

POSC Concentration course* (Concentration 2/5)

Concentration course* (Concentration 4/5)

Breadth Requirement: Group D (3/3)

Discovery Learning Experience

Free Elective

Free Elective

Free Elective

Free Elective

Credits: 15

Credits: 15


Concentration course* (Concentration 5/5)

Specialization course** (Specialization 2/3)

POSC Specialization course** (Specialization 1/3)

Specialization course** (Specialization 3/3)

Second Writing

1 credit Capstone

Free Elective

Free Elective

Free Elective

Free Elective


1 credit Free Elective

Credits: 15

Credits: 14

Go Global at UD

This major is eligible for the following programs: