International Relations

Today’s world is increasingly interdependent. The interdisciplinary co-major in international relations at Albright College provides students with the tools they need to understand, evaluate, and meet the challenges of the 21st century, including conflict, globalization, disease, and climate change.  This co-concentration is vital to developing a foundation for success in a range of fields, including public service, business, the nonprofit sector, education and law.

This program is designed to promote an understanding of international relations through a multidisciplinary approach. Program courses include those from political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and history. In addition, students gain valuable, hands-on experience through study abroad and internship opportunities.

For more information, please contact Professor Irene Langran at ilangran@albright.edu.
 
 
 
 
 

Students are required to take each of the following courses:

  • POL 202, International Relations. This course provides an introduction to international relations by analyzing the foreign policy of states, the international system, and the role of non-state actors. The aim is to teach students how to understand the multifold activities that take place in the international arena. * Political Science co-majors, please see comment course substitutions below.
  • POL 205, Comparative Politics.  The concepts of systems analysis are used in the study of structures and processes of foreign political systems. Both theoretical and case study materials are used to show the similarities as well as the differences in the ways people govern themselves. ** Political Science co-majors, please see comment course substitutions below.
  • Approved study abroad program or internship. This requirement provides hands-on experience under the supervision of experienced faculty members.
  • POL 403 or other approved International Relations Senior Seminar. This upper-level seminar provides an in-depth study of key topics in international relations.

Students are required to take one of the following courses that address issues of international law and organizations:

  • POL 242, Human Rights. Human rights represent one of the greatest challenges facing our world today. This course explores the politics of the many theoretical, historical and cultural issues surrounding the contemporary human rights debate.
  • POL 352, International Law and International Organizations.  To some observers, international law and international organizations represent the best solutions to the most critical challenges facing our world today. To others, these institutions are overly bureaucratic, undemocratic, and a threat to state sovereignty. Are such institutions our best hope or worst fear? This course introduces students to the history, theories and practice of international law and international organizations.

Students are required to take one of the following IR electives:

  • ANT 270, People of the World. This course examines the way people live from around the world. This is accomplished through ethnographies and films. All forces that may have combined to produce a particular way of life are incorporated in the analysis. These include ecology, history, politics, economics, etc. The groups selected for analysis are predominantly of non-Western origins. Students should emerge with a broader and more sophisticated understanding of humans and their cultural diversity and universality.
  • IDS 273, Globalization. Globalization represents one of the most important forces shaping our world today. While some argue that it brings people closer together, others view it as a source of fragmentations and destruction. This course explores the economic, political and social impacts of globalization in historical, economic, political and cultural contexts. The topics in this course are examined from a range of perspectives. Students are encouraged to draw their own conclusions on the positive and negative impacts of globalization.
  • HIS 315, World War II Era. The World War II era witnessed transformations in social, political, and economic orders across the globe. This course traces the domestic and international developments of the era and assesses the war’s legacy. Though to a certain extent military events frame the chronology of events, the course will not focus exclusively on military history. The course will also highlight global events like the rise and fall of fascism, the Holocaust, the rise of anti-colonialism and movements of national independence, the rise of superpowers, and the emerging Cold War while considering the wider political, social, economic, and cultural historical developments and transformations. Through the careful, critical consideration of the stories that participants told themselves about the war as they experienced it, and the stories that historians and the public have created and told since in order to explain the significance of the event, this course will provide a forum in which you will gain a deeper understanding of the era as well as the practice of history itself.
  • SOC 305, Terrorism. This course examines the concept of terrorism through a comprehensive overview of the many disciplines the subject crosses. Various positions on issues of controversy, fear and prevention are examined. Illustrations of cultural, historical, tactical factors and social causes of some of the major forms of terrorism will be addressed. An integrated approach to the subject will include domestic and international issues as well as the importance of security techniques and intelligence gathering. Case studies of terrorist groups and their activities will be presented.

Students are required to take one of the following upper-level economics courses:

  • ECO 233, Comparative Economics. An important aspect of the trend toward the globalization of markets is that economic decisions and their outcomes are becoming increasingly intertwined and interdependent. This growing interdependence requires knowledge of the rules and institutional mechanisms by and with which other economies operate. Such knowledge has become a crucial economic resource, the use of which economic policymakers, industrial leaders, and individual firm managers can no longer do without. This course examines the various approaches and methods used to solve economic problems in a number of societies, both past and current, with a special emphasis on today’s key European and Asian economies. It analyzes the principles and institutions by which these economies have sought to improve their objectives of better resource allocation, technological progress, income distribution, and growth. Prerequisite: ECO 105.
  • ECO 234, Economic Development. This course deals with economic development problems in the third world among the less-developed countries. Topics will include characteristics of underdevelopment, theories of development, poverty and population pressures, international trade, third world debt and foreign aid. Prerequisite: ECO 105.
  • ECO 301, International Economics and Finance. This course is a study of international economics and finance. Topics covered include a survey of the major theories of international trade, foreign exchange systems and markets, international money and capital markets, and international banking. Special attention will be paid to these topics as the framework within which the financial managers of multinational corporations operate. Prerequisite: ECO 105.

*POL/IR co-majors should take one of the following courses as a substitute for POL 202: HIS 215, US/Latin American Relations; HIS 237, Gender, Women and Power in the Global South; HIS 315, World War II Era; SOC 305, Terrorism; POL 242, Human Rights; or POL 273, Globalization.

**POL/IR co-majors should take one of the following courses as a substitute for POL 205: POL 345, Latin American Politics; POL 260, The Politics of Russia and Neighboring States; HIS 211, African History; HIS 220, Pirates, Plantations and Sugar: History of the Caribbean; HIS 228, Dictators and Revolutionaries in Latin America; HIS 232, Russia and the Soviet Union; HIS 242, East Asia from 1800 to the Present; HIS 256, Introduction to the Modern Middle East; or HIS 267; Twentieth-century Europe.


Careers and International Relations

There are many careers that benefit from a background in international relations. Indeed, with the increased pace of globalization, it is difficult to find a career that does not have an international element! This co-concentration is vital to developing a foundation for success in a range of fields, including public service, business, the non-profit sector, education and law.

 


The chart below lists some of the careers that benefit from this field of study. Please note that some of these careers may require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Community Relations Director Diplomatic Officer United Nations Worker
Security Adviser Foreign Services Officer Teacher/Instructor/Professor
Legislative Aide Customs Inspector FBI/CIA Agent
International Lawyer Legislative Correspondent Foreign Travel Escort
Interpreter/Translator International Relations Officer Intelligence Research Specialist
International Account Executive International Media Planner International Restaurant Manager
International Bank Manager International Stock Broker International Job Analyst
International Consultant International Purchasing Agent International Travel Agent
International Real Estate Agent/Broker International Financial Analyst International Quality Control Auditor
International Commodities Trader International Bookkeeper International Economist
International Finance Writer International CEO International Appraiser
International Loan Officer International Sales Analyst Foreign Exchange Trader
International Account Representative International Advertising Executive International Marketing Specialist
International Correspondent Import/Export Coordinator Foreign Affairs Analyst
International Financial Planner International Buyer International Product Manager

How should I prepare for these careers?

  • Serve internships with government agencies or officials.
  • Join student or local political organizations.
  • Become familiar with current events in the world.
  • Earn leadership positions on campus.
  • Combine concentration in education and teaching certification if your goal is work in educational field.
  • Practice language skills by conversing with native speakers.
  • Consider co-concentration in communications and gain experience working with radio or print media within local media industries.
  • Pursue graduate degree.
  • Learn about current trends and hot topics in international relations.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competency, sensitivity and tolerance.
  • Gain experience in communications with people from other countries. Get to know international students on your campus.
  • Live and/or work abroad while in school.
  • Commit to a continuous study of host country’s language
  • Develop a good understanding of etiquette and business practices in target country.
  • Obtain daily papers in target city to determine international and national news, business features, real estate markets, and community calendars.
  • Enhance traits, such as creativity, initiative, tenacity, a willingness to take risks, an adventurous spirit and a sense of humor.

Related Major Skills:

Oral & written communication Organizational numerical analysis
Interpretation problem-solving teamwork Marketing
Computer literacy Creative thinking
Critical thinking Planning and budgeting
Decision making Analytical skills
Time management Management (people and activities)
Reading/writing another language Work independently and on a team
Understanding cultural diversity Public speaking
Communicating between cultures Problem-solving ability
Active listening skills Strong work ethic

Additional Resources

For specific job outlook information, see www.bls.gov/oco.
Resources Available at Albright College Career Development Center’s Resource Library

  • Careers for Born Leaders and Other Decisive Types, by Blythe Camenson
  • Careers for Courageous People and Other Adventurous Types, by Jan Goldberg
  • Careers for Foreign Language Aficionados and Other Multilingual Types, by H. Ned Seelye and J. Laurence Day
  • Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types, by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler
  • Careers for Patriotic Types and Others Who Want to Serve Their Country, by Jan Goldberg
  • Careers for Talkative Types and Others with the Gift of Gab, by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler
  • Careers for Travel Buffs and Other Restless Types, by Paul Plawin
  • Opportunities in Federal Government Careers, by Neale Baxter
  • Opportunities in Foreign Language Careers, by Wilma M. Rivers
  • Opportunities in International Business Careers, by Jeffrey S. Arpan
  • Opportunities in Overseas Careers, by Blythe Camenson
  • Opportunities in State and Local Government Careers, by Neale Baxter
  • Opportunities in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, by Blythe Camenson
  • Opportunities in Travel Careers, by Robert Scott Milne and Marguerite Backhausen

External Resources

Disclaimer
Links to Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by Albright College or the Career Development Center.

Links found at http://www.uncwil.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/index.htm
Job and Internship Search Links

Career Planning Links

Professional Associations Links

Miscellaneous

What Can I do With a Major in
International Relations