International Relations

Program Option

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a major in International Relations

Political Science department web site


Program Overview

The Department of Political Science administers two programs, a major in Politics and an interdisciplinary major in International Relations as well as a minor in Politics. Our programs offer the rigor and depth of disciplinary training with interdisciplinary breadth that is grounded firmly in the liberal arts tradition. 

We seek to provide a learning environment that can produce liberally educated citizens who are fluent in the language of politics and political analysis and thereby have the foundation for both citizenship in a democratic society and successful training in a job, in a graduate school, or in a professional school.

Our degrees prepare students for graduate school in political science, international relations, and related fields. Our degrees also prepare students for careers in government (at the local, state, national and international levels), political campaigns, law, political journalism, business, non-profit organizations, and academics. Courses in the department offer students opportunities to integrate experiential learning with their academic coursework. We encourage our majors to complete internship experiences, and a multitude of internships are available, including opportunities in state government, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations and internships related to international issues or multicultural affairs.


B.A. Degree Requirements

The undergraduate B.A. degree in International Relations includes coursework that is designed to train students for responsible global citizenship and entry into internationally related jobs in business, government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The curriculum is designed to provide greater breadth than is possible by majoring in a single discipline, yet permit sufficiently focused study in international affairs to prepare the student for direct entry into the field of international work or continued post-graduate study.

Students begin their course of study with a set of required core courses in politics, economics, language, geography and history. Students also take a required number of elective coursework involving comparative and thematic perspectives on international relations. Students should work closely with their advisors to select courses that are most compatible with their academic and professional goals.

Course Credits
Required Language Study* Variable
Basic Core  
POLS 065 - Comparative Politics 3
POLS 075 - World Politics 3
POLS 126 - Political Economy of Globalization 3
POLS 170 - International Law 3
POLS 1xx - International Security 3
POLS 192 - Senior Seminar in International Relations 3
Specialized Tracks  
Regional - choose six credits in a single regional area  
Africa  
HIST 060 - Africa in World History 3
HIST 067 - Sustainable Development in Africa 6
HIST 140 - Africa's Colonial Movement 3
HIST 161 - Africa, Africans, and Atlantic Slavery 3
Asia  
HIST 129 - Modern China 3
HIST 130 - Twentieth Century China 3
HIST 132 - Modern Japan 3
POLS 139 - Comparative Asian Politics 3
POLS 162 - Government and Politics of China 3
POLS 163 - Government and Politics of Japan 3
Europe  
HIST 099 - European Women's History 3
HIST 134 - Contemporary Europe 3
POLS 128 - Nationalism/Politics of Eastern Europe 3
POLS 160 - Modern Europe Political Systems 3
POLS 161 - Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union 3
POLS 171 - Political Integration of Europe 3
Latin America  
HIST 123 - Modern Mexico 3
HIST 126 - Modern Latin America 3
Middle East  
POLS 133 - The Middle East Through Film 3
POLS 134 - History, Politics, and Society of Modern Egypt 3
POLS 135 - Islam in the 21st Century 3
POLS 136 - The Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
POLS 174 - Politics in the Middle East 3
Cross-Regional - choose six credits  
POLS 129 - Transitions to Democracy 3
POLS 137 - Comparative Law & Courts 3
POLS 165 - Government and Politics of Developing Nations 3
POLS 166 - Comparative Political Parties 3
POLS 168 - Politics & Parliaments 3
SCSG 003 - Human Geography 3
Thematic Perspectives - choose six credits  
ECON 130 - International Economics 3
ECON 175 - Developing Economies 3
ENG 166 - Literature of War 3
HIST 113 - U.S. as a World Power 3
HIST 139 - World War I 3
HIST 168 - U.S. Interventionism 3
HIST 169 - U.S. and Origins of the Cold War 3
POLS 121 - U.N./Global Security 3
POLS 124 - Revisiting Vietnam 3
POLS 125 - Post-Conflict Justice 3
POLS 127 - Global Health 3
POLS 158 - Expressions of Sovereignty 3
POLS 173 - Human Rights/World Powers 3
POLS 176 - Gender/International Relations 3
POLS 178 - U.S.-East Asian Relations 3
POLS 179 - American Foreign Policy 3
PSY 134 - Ethnopolitical Conflict 3
REL 155 - Liberation Theology 3
SCSR 112 - Rhetoric & War 3
SCSS 072 - Global Social Change 3
SCSS 155 - Global Youth Studies 3
SCSS 173 - Global Citizenship 3
WLC 148 - Intercultural Communication 3
TOTAL 36**

*Students are required to complete two years of coursework or credits in a single language or demonstrate equivalent competence. Options for fulfilling this requirement include bilingual competence due to family background or life experience, high school training, college coursework by transfer from another institution, study abroad and coursework through Drake’s World Languages and Cultures program.

**The number of total credits does not include the foreign language requirement given that student coursework for fulfilling this requirement is variable.


2017-2018 Drake University Undergraduate Catalog
Today at Drake
07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
University News
November 15, 2017
Nicholas Roth, professor of piano at Drake University, will present the next concert in the Keys to Excellence series. The Nov. 27 concert also features Drake senior Pablo Valladeras.
×