International Relations program

The BA (International Relations) is designed to expose students to the diversity of approaches to the study of international relations while also providing an opportunity for individualized programs that reflect student interests.

Put your education to work

Put your education to work

Graduates have gone on to find work in foreign affairs, government, the private sector, international human rights associations, information technologies, international trade, policy analysis, with not-for-profits, non-government organizations and with the United Nations.


Degrees offered

  • BA in International Relations

Co-op option available »

Degree requirements

  • BA in International Relations

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Admission requirements

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What skills will I acquire?

Today, employers are interested in “transferable skills”—those skills relevant to all sorts of work. These skills include written and verbal communication skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to plan and organize, leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to be creative or innovative. The IR program also includes mandatory training in a language other than English and statistical methods and analysis.

Through an International Relations degree, you will have the opportunity to develop all of these skills, through group projects, individual presentations, essay assignments, blog posts, simulations, interviews, book reviews—depending on the year and course.

In addition to these career-ready transferable skills, you will develop area-specific knowledge in either security and strategy, international political economy, or international institutions and governance. IR students also specialize in one region of the world (North America, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Asia-Pacific, or Europe). Many students take their language requirement in a language used in their regional specialization.

What careers might I pursue?

Our graduating students have gone on to successful careers in such fields as:

  • International Law
  • Business
  • Canadian foreign service and Department of National Defence
  • International organizations such as the United Nations and think tanks
  • International non-governmental organizations such as International Committee of the Red Cross

Where else might the degree lead?

Considering grad school? Our graduates go into global and security studies, Law, Political Science, Journalism, Public Policy or Business. Or pair your degree with a Bachelor of Education. Many of our students have found success in teaching K-12 in the public or private school systems.


As an International Relations student, you can take courses from 22 different departments and programs according to the specialization you choose. Core International Relations courses that you will be taking include Economics, Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, non-English language courses, a statistics course, and two dedicated International Relations courses:

International Relations 301:

A multidisciplinary survey of International Relations integrating the approaches applied in various social sciences disciplines.

Scroll down for Courses Constituting the Field of International Relations »

International Relations 501:

Advanced Seminar in International Relations—An integrative seminar on selected themes from the International Relations field. Prerequisite(s): International Relations 301 and third or fourth year standing. Open only to majors in the International Relations program.

For the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Relations please click here »

Please note the following:

  • The International Relations Major requires careful selection of courses to meet its requirements. Students should consult with the Program Director concerning their course selection.

  • Apart from International Relations 501, the core courses should be taken early in a student’s program. International Relations 501 is open to all students after their second year, and after they have completed 301.

  • Students may take International Relations 597 (Independent Study) or existing Departmental independent study courses from their declared clusters, but only one half-course equivalent may be counted towards the Major. Any proposed syllabus for such independent study, whether International Relations 597 or existing departmental independent study courses, must be approved by the Program Director.

  • Students may include Geography 397 (Regional Geography of Selected World Areas) and 592 (Overseas Field Studies in Social and Economic Geography) in their regional electives, with the permission of the Program Director, provided the region(s) covered are relevant to their declared group electives. Questions about requirements may be directed to the Program Director.

  • Students are encouraged to consider a Minor Field in a modern language, religious studies, or philosophy to complement the International Relations Major. The same course(s), however, cannot be used toward the Major and the Minor.


Program Director

Rob Huebert

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