International Relations

The field of International Relations encompasses the study of the interactions of persons from one nation with those of another. Traditionally, the substantive core of international relations study has been the interaction of governments of sovereign states (international politics). Today, this core includes the relations of non-state actors (for example, guerrilla organizations, multinational corporations, and civil society organizations working at the global level). The subfields of International Relations include international security affairs, international law and organizations, political economy, human security and political violence, and United States foreign policy.

The specific concerns of the field include the following:

  • Peace research, including coercive bargaining and war between and among nation-states;
  • The conditions that threaten and advance the protection of human rights;
  • International governance through formal and informal institutions;
  • The operation of the international political economy; and 
  • The use of terrorism and counterterrorism as political strategies. 

The Political Violence and Human Security cross-cutting area examines the causes and consequences of various forms of political violence and conflict, as well as the political implications of structural and natural forces that impact the security and survival of peoples across the globe. This includes the study of phenomena such as military conflict, police brutality, racial and ethnic violence, environmental degradation, violence against women, terrorism, and civil war, among many other topics.

Research and Faculty


  • Bachelor of Arts | Undergraduate
  • Human Right minor | Undergraduate
  • International Securities Certificate | Undergraduate
  • Master of Arts | Graduate
  • Doctor of Philosophy | Graduate


  • POL 13000 - Introduction To International Relations
  • POL 23000 - Introduction To The Study Of Peace
  • POL 23100 - Introduction To United States Foreign Policy
  • POL 23200 - Contemporary Crises In International Relations
  • POL 23700 - Modern Weapons And International Relations
  • POL 43000 - Selected Problems In International Relations
  • POL 43100 - Selected Problems In International Law
  • POL 43200 - Selected Problems In World Order
  • POL 43300 - International Organization
  • POL 43400 - United States Foreign Policy, Central America And The Caribbean
  • POL 43500 - International Law
  • POL 43900 - United States Foreign Policy Making
  • POL 63000 - Proseminar In International Relations 
  • POL 63100 - Research Seminar In International Relations 
  • POL 63200 - Research Seminar In Peace And World Order Studies 

Course content and offerings are subject to change. The University Course Catalog is the official source for all academic requirements. Archived syllabi are available on Course Insights.


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