College of Arts and Sciences

International Relations

Program Options

Political Science department web site

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2022-2023 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

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

We provide a learning environment that produces liberally educated citizens who are fluent in the language of politics and political analysis both within the United States and abroad 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. We offer students opportunities to integrate experiential learning with their academic coursework. Examples include Model United Nations, European Union and Arab League simulations, mock trial, study abroad and internships with Federal and state governments, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations in Central Iowa or overseas.


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 government, business, 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 international security, international law, international political economy and language. 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 Courses
POLS 065 - Comparative Politics 3
POLS 075 - World Politics 3
POLS 122 - International Security 3
POLS 126 - Political Economy of Globalization 3
POLS 170 - International Law 3
POLS 192 - Senior Seminar 3
Comparative Perspectives (3 courses required)
ECON 175 - Developing Economies 3
HIST 060 - Africa in World History 3
HIST 123 - Modern Mexico 3
HIST 125 - Colonial Latin America 3
HIST 126 - Modern Latin America 3
HIST 129 - Modern China 3
HIST 130 - Twentieth Century China 3
HIST 132 - Modern Japan 3
HIST 134 - Contemporary Europe 3
HIST 140 - Africa's Colonial Movement 3
HIST 161 - Africa, Africans & Atlantic Slavery 3
HIST 167 - Sustainable Development in Africa 3
POLS 131 - Nationalism and Ethnicity in Eastern Europe 3
POLS 132 - The Politics of Inequality 3
POLS 139 - Comparative Asian Politics 3
POLS 160 - Modern European Political Systems 3
POLS 161 - Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union 3
POLS 162 - Government & Politics of China 3
POLS 163 - Government & Politics of Japan 3
POLS 165 - Government and Politics in Developing Nations 3
POLS 166 - Comparative Political Parties 3
POLS 167 - Supreme Courts and Elections 3
POLS 168 - Politics & Parliaments 3
POLS 172 - Japan and the World: Issues of War and Memory 3
POLS 1XX - Intelligence Agencies 3
Global Perspectives (3 courses required)  
ECON 130 - International Economies 3
POLS 121 - The U.N. and Global Security 3
POLS 123 - Transnational Advocacy Networks 3
POLS 124 - Revisiting the Vietnam War 3
POLS 125 - Transitional Justice 3
POLS 127 - Global Health 3
POLS 128 - Simulating Crisis Decision-Making in U.S. Foreign Policy 3
POLS 129 - Transitions to Democracy 3
POLS 133 -  Case Studies in Comparative and Transnational Human Rights 3
POLS 136 - Racial Justice & Human Rights in the United States after World War II 3
POLS 137 - U.S. and Iran 3
POLS 138 - U.S. - China Relations 3
POLS 168 - Politics & Parliaments 3
POLS 173 - Human Rights & World Politics 3
POLS 174 - Global Migration 3
POLS 175 - Human Trafficking 3
POLS 176 - Gender and International Relations 3
POLS 177 - Gender and War 3
POLS 178 - U.S.-East Asian Relations 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.


International Relations Minor

Minors must complete a minimum of 21 credits in International Relations in the following manner.

Course Credit
Two introductory-level courses 6
POLS 065 - Comparative Politics 3
POLS 075 - World Politics 3
Three upper-level courses 9
POLS 122 - International Security 3
POLS 126 - Political Economy of Globalization 3
POLS 170 - International Law 3
One upper-level elective 3
Must be approved by advisor
Language course 3
Language course taken at Drake or through an affiliated institution abroad

Minors must have a minimum 2.00 G.P.A. in all courses counted toward the minor.  Only POLS 065 and POLS 075 may count as credits toward both an International Relations minor and a Politics major or minor.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.