Guide to Academic Planning 2017-2018

International Relations

Eleven (11) courses distributed as follows:

  • 4 Introductory and Methods courses from:
    • POLI 100 Issues in Politics
    • POLI 201 Normative Research Methods or POLI 202 Empirical Research Methods
    • POLI 250 History of the International System or POLI 274 Contemporary Global Issues
    • POLI 303 Analyzing Politics
  • 1 Political Economy course from:
    • POLI 349 Normative Political Economy
    • ECON 363 Comparative Political Economy
  • 1 Advanced Theory course from
    • POLI 355 Advanced International Relations
    • POLI 376 Democracy, Development and Violence
  • 4 subfields courses, to include:

  • One Foreign Policy/Security Studies course from:
    • POLI 281 U.S. Foreign Policy
    • POLI 282 Foreign Policy Analysis
    • POLI 331 Contemporary Security Studies
    • POLI 369 U.S. National Security State
  • One Institutions and Governance course from:
    • POLI 250 History of the International System
    • POLI 283 Model UN
    • POLI 325 International Law & Organizations
    • POLI 326 International Human Rights
    • POLI 341 World of Elections
  • One Comparative Politics course from:
    • POLI 272 Politics of Central & Eastern Europe
    • POLI 273 Contemporary Global Issues
    • POLI 371 Politics of Latin America
    • HIST 243 Modern Middle East
    • HIST 244 Modern China
    • HIST 246 Modern Japan
    • HIST 280 Contemporary Africa
    • HIST 281 Aid, Humanitarianism and Development in Africa
    • HIST 310 The Iraq War
    • HIST 341 The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • One elective from the above lists, also to include:

    1 Research Capstone course

    • POLI 497 Senior Research Seminar


    study abroad requirement

    All international relations majors must complete at least one study abroad experience that earns at least one Hendrix course credit. Most students complete this requirement through a traditional one-semester abroad program during the sophomore or junior year. Students planning an entire year abroad need to plan very carefully. There are summer alternatives to consider as well. In all cases, students should work closely with an advisor in the Department to plan their course of study in light of this requirement. With the approval of the Department, study abroad credits may substitute for one or more of the requirements listed above.


    7 courses distributed as follows:

    • 2 Introductory courses from
      • POLI 250 History of the International System OR POLI 274 Contemporary Global Issues
      • POLI 355 Advanced International Relations OR POLI 376 Democracy, Development and Violence
    • 1 Political Economy course from:
      • POLI 349 Normative Political Economy
      • POLI 364 Comparative Political Economy
    • 4 subfield courses to include at least one each in Foreign Policy/Security Studies, Institutions and Governance, and Comparative Politics (see major, above) 


    POLI 100, 201/202 and 250/274 are considered foundational courses and should, ideally, be taken before 300-level courses (see the catalog for relevant prerequisites). It is especially important that POLI 201/202 be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Even though each POLI 100 course is on a different issue, only one POLI 100 course may be taken for credit. The table below outlines ideal sequencing for the IR major.

    The Department strongly recommends students tailor their academic program, as well as supporting coursework, to their interests and career goals in consultation with an advisor in the Department. Moreover, we strongly encourage students to pursue additional foreign language training beyond the College’s basic foreign language requirement and to complement the major by taking relevant courses in Economics, History, Sociology/Anthropology, and/or Religious Studies.



    First and Second Years (five courses)
    • POLI 100 Issues in Politics
    • POLI 201/202 Research Methods
    • POLI 250/273 History Int’l System or Contemp. Global Issues
    • Two other 200-level courses
    • (Study abroad)
    Third Year (three courses)
    • POLI 303 Analyzing Politics
    • POLI 349/363 Political Economy
    • One other course (to include Advanced Theory)
    • (Study abroad)
    Fourth Year (three courses)
    • POLI 497 Senior Research Seminar (Fall only)
    • Two other courses


    NOTE: Because of course sequencing/prerequisites and the study abroad requirement, students who have not completed at least four courses in the major by the end of their sophomore year – especially including POLI 201/202 -- will find it extraordinarily difficult to complete the major in four years.