Major

Major Student Learning Objectives - Students graduating with an International Relations major from Agnes Scott College will be able to:

  • understand the evolution of major concepts of international relations and how they are contested/debated within the discipline. These concepts (though not exhaustive) include globalization, interdependence and dependence, power, hegemony, conflict, cooperation, equality, justice, and human rights;
  • understand and evaluate the major theories and approaches to international relations, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, Marxism, feminism, and post-colonialism and use the theories to explain, analyze, and predict events in the international system;
  • identify and explain the [changing] roles of key actors in the international system including states, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, transnational networks, transnational corporations, global civil society, and individuals in creating and shaping international relations;
  • analyze international relations topics through the use of international relations theory in conjunction with other related and important fields including history, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, women's studies, and cultural studies;
  • demonstrate strong reading and analytical skills in engaging with theoretical and popular writing in international relations;
  • write well-organized, persuasive, and original essays and research papers, using appropriate citations;
  • participate actively and thoughtfully in class discussions.8. Demonstrate progress in speaking a second language and in linking cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity to learning in the international relations major.

Requirements for the International Relations Major

  • A minimum of 11 courses
Required Introductory Course:
  • POL-103 - Intro to World Politics
Required Foundational Courses:
  • POL-226: Approaches to Politics and International Relations
  • ECO 104: Microeconomics
  • ECO 105: Macroecnomics
  • One 300-level comparative/regional history course selected from the following: 
    • HIS 312: Russia and the Soviet Union in the 20th Century
    • HIS 313: Europe in the Era of the World Wars
    • HIS 314: From Cold War to EU
    • HIS 352: Chinese Revolutions
    • HIS 360: World War II in Asia
Required International Relations Theory Course:
  • POL326: Approaches to International Relations
Required Senior Capstone Course:
  • IR 400: Senior Seminar in International Relations

Student Selected International Themes:

In addition to the courses described above, students should select three courses (two of which must be at the 300-level or above) to be taken from one of the following thematic groups:
  • International Economics and Development
    Course Options: ECO 334: Economic Development
    ECO 351: International Trade
    ECO 352: International Finance
    ECO 353: International Economic Institutions
    POL 322: Theories of Development and Anti-Development
  • Global Gender Issues
    Course Options: WS/ANT 245: Marriage, Sexualtiy, and Power in Cross-Cultural Perspective
    WS 260: Gender,Work, and the Global Economy
    HIS/WS 220: European Women since the Middle Ages
    HIS 354: Chinese Women on Film
    WS 360: Global Feminism
    WS/REL 334: Sex, Gender, and Embodiment in Buddhism
    POL 313: Gender Politics
    SOC/WS 356: Comparative Black Feminisms
  • Post-Colonial Studies
    Course Options: ENG 317: The Colonial Imagination
    ENG 321: Romanticism (when topic applies)
    ENG 352: Studies in Post-Colonial Literature
    ENG 215: Literature of Ireland
    WS/ENG 217: Topics in Literature and Empire
    GER 340: History, Literature, and Culture of Afro-Germans
    FRE 243: Intro to Francophone Literature and Culture
    SPA 365: Black Literature in Cuba and Puerto Rico
    POL 329: Politics of International Migration

  • War and Peace
    Course Options: POL 282: US Foreign Policy Since 1945
    POL 392: Manifest Destinies in a Global World
    POL 337: Politics of the European Union
    HIS 313: Europe in the Era of the World Wars
    HIS 314: Europe from the Cold War to the European Union
    HIS 318: The Holocaust
    HIS 230: The Vietnam Wars
    HIS 360: World War II in Asia

  • Asian Studies
    Course Options: HIS 113: Intro to Japanese History
    HIS 115: Modern Chinese History
    HIS 230: The Vietnam Wars
    HIS 352: Chinese Revolutions
    HIS 354: Chinese Women on Film
    HIS 360: World War II in Asia
    HIS 362: Literature and Film in 20th Century China
    REL 233: Tibet Through Film and Literature

  • European Studies
    Course Options: HIS 102: Europe in Modern Times
    HIS 220: European Women since the Middle Ages
    HIS 312: Russia and the Soviet Union in the 20th Century
    HIS 313: Europe in the Era of the World Wars
    HIS 314: Europe from the Cold War to the European Union
    HIS 318: The Holocaust
    POL 337: Politics of the European Union
    FRE 355: Topics in Francophone Literature and Culture (when topic applies)
    FRE 390: Special Topics in French Literature and Culture (when topic applies)
    GER 200: Intro to German Cultural Studies
    GER 340: History, Literature, and Culture of the Afro-Germans
    GER 351: Contemporary German Life and Thought
    SPA 206: Spanish Culture in Spain
    SPA 207: Civilization and Culture of Spain
    SPA 361: 20th Century Spain 

Foreign Language Requiremen:

Each major is expected to acquire proficiency in a foreign language. For French, Spanish, and German, students should take at least one class beyone 202. For Chinese and Japanese, students should take through 202 plus one Asian Studies course. Please consult with the IR Program Director if you wish to pursue a language other than those listed above. 

Study Abroad:

Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad. A suitable course of study should be chosen with the help of the student's adviser. Courses taken abroad often count toward the IR major requirements but these must be approved by the IR Program Director.