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Department of History & Political Science

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International Relations Major

International relations jobs range from government agencies to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and research organizations to international organizations. At UIndy, courses give you a broad understanding of the political, social and economic evolution of the international system in the 20th century. You can expect to learn about the power, both relative and economic, that international states have, the role of organizations, and the existence and resolution of conflict in both the past and current times. You'll also be encouraged to experience international relations first-hand for a more in-depth learning experience.

“International Relations is not just about the international, but also about the interaction with the local — how international events and processes influence and impact local structures.”
Jyotika Saksena, Associate Professor of International Relations and director of the University of Indianapolis Graduate Program in International Relations.

Program strengths

  • Broad range of courses that cover topics such as power, economics, and conflict on the international scale
  • Development of skills necessary for in-depth research into international issues
  • Courses in history and political science built into curriculum for a more rounded educational experience
  • Opportunities for first-hand experience with local organizations dealing with international issues
  • Chances to study abroad or through the Lugar Academy Washington Semester program

International relations majors have interned or worked for:

  • Exodus Refugee
  • Horizon International
  • Amnesty International
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Central Intelligence Agency

Potential careers in international relations

With an international relations degree, you will be prepared to work and serve in a variety of careers. A degree in international relations provides students with research skills, cultural understanding, knowledge of international politics, understanding of the world economy, and insight into conflict resolution. Here are a few paths you may want to consider:

  • Diplomat: Students who have studied international relations in the U.S. State Department may find a role as a diplomat to represent government interests and policies.
  • Journalist or media analyst: If you are interested in analyzing current political or economic situations, then you might consider becoming a journalist. 
  • International organizations and NGO worker: Whether you are interested in the UN or the Peace Corps, there are plenty of international organizations, both government sponsored and non-government sponsored, that seek out international relations graduates.
  • International business: Your understanding of international economics upon graduation will make you a great candidate for MBA programs or international business positions within multinational corporations.
  • Lawyer: Studying international relations with a pre-law concentration can help you enter law school and become a specialized lawyer.
  • Graduate school: If you enjoy the academic life and want to learn more, graduate school may be the right option for you.
UIndy’s International Relations graduates have found jobs in NGOs around the country, ranging from positions like ethics specialist at the USDA to women’s protection and empowerment manager at the International Rescue Committee in Washington, DC. Three UIndy International Relations grads have successfully launched their own nonprofit organizations. One student co-founded a fair trade non-profit called The Village Experience and another founded and is currently the CEO of Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis. Another is the co-founder of Collaborosity, a consultancy of entrepreneurial leaders. Two former students have now been named to the Indianapolis Business Journal "40 under 40" cohort in Indiana: Kelly Campbell in 2011, and Cole Varga in 2017.

International relations might be for you if:

  • You enjoy learning about and discussing international politics
  • You have a desire to be a politician
  • You wish to work for the government in a foreign country
  • You want to have a broad understanding of foreign relations
  • You enjoy discussing international conflicts and resolutions
  • You are interested in study abroad
  • You enjoy researching various topics

Curriculum Guides

These curriculum guides outline the different classes you will need to take as an international relations major. The general education guide provides a list of all the classes you need in order to fulfill UIndy’s general education requirements. The international relations guide lists the classes you'll need to take to fulfill the major’s requirements. Be sure to take a look at both guides in order to get a complete picture of what your classes will look like at UIndy.