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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

International Relations

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The International Relations brochure is currently being revised, and this is a draft version.  Please go to the International Relations Program web page for current information.

Degree Requirements For B.A.

A major in International Relations consists of 42 semester hours. To prepare a program of study suitable to the needs and interest of the individual student, the International Relations major is required to consult with an advisor. The student's individualized program will be placed on file with the Department of Government and the awarding of a degree will depend upon fulfillment of that program. The program may be revised during the course of the student's studies with the help of an advisor. A minor is required.

Required for Major

  • International Experiential Learning (6-15 credits)

The international experiential learning component consists of a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 15 credits. Wherever possible, students are encouraged to satisfy this requirement by undertaking study at a university abroad. However, under exceptional circumstances, a student may be allowed to satisfy the requirement through an approved internship.

In consultation with their academic advisers, students will design the international experiential learning component of their major. The proposed study abroad or internship must be approved in advance by the advisor and by other relevant university authorities prior to undertaking the courses or internships in question, and students must earn the equivalent of a grade of C or better for these credits to be counted toward the IR major.

The credits earned under this requirement may not be used to satisfy the major common core requirements, which must be fulfilled at MSU. However, they may be used to satisfy the student’s chosen major concentration or as major elective credits. Note that the student may not use credits from language courses to satisfy his or her major concentration or as major elective credits and that no more than 6 credits taken for POL 491 (Internship) count toward the International Relations major.

Officially registered international students are exempt from the study abroad requirement. 

(Core of 12 Credits)

POL 231: World Politics (3)
POL 241: Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)
POL 431: International Relations (3)
POL 300-400: Any Comparative Politics course (3)

Required for Major
(Emphasis for 15 Credits)

With the advice and consent of an International Relations advisor, each International Relations major will build an emphasis in one of the following areas from approved course lists:

  1. International Norms & Institutions
  2. Security and Peace
  3. International Political Economy
  4. Regional Studies

Required for Major
(Electives for 15 Credits)

With the advice and consent of an International Relations advisor, each International Relations major will select the remainder of his/her credits from an approved list of International Relations degree electives.

Required for Major
(Foreign Language for 8 Credits)

A year's sequence in foreign language is required, unless waived by examination or because English is the student's second language and the student can provide evidence of suitable proficiency in another language where such evidence is required. Foreign language credits do not count as part of the 42 credits needed for the major.

Why International Relations?

The International Relations major enables students to develop a rich interdisciplinary perspective on world affairs. International Relations majors enjoy great flexibility in designing their own program in consultation with an advisor. This flexibility allows majors to center their work in an area of interest which might cross several fields, including anthropology, art, economics, English, geography, history, international business, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology.

In consultation with an advisor, International Relations majors will choose an area of emphasis, which will become an organizing device for their studies. For example, one option is to select one of the general topics of International Relations, such as Global Policy Issues (i.e., International Norms & Institutions, Security and Peace, and International Political Economy). The other option is to choose Regional Studies, broadly covering Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Russia and the Neighboring States.

Whatever your specialized area may be, by choosing International Relations as your major you will enjoy a unique academic experience that will help you understand the rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world. This background, which can be enhanced by the experience of living and studying abroad, constitutes a distinct advantage in future employment or in pursuing further advanced study in law school, graduate school, or business.

Career Opportunities

International Relations graduates who develop early contacts with prospective employers and acquire prior internship experience can be very successful on the job market. Language expertise, analytical skills, study abroad and foreign travel also provide considerable advantages in seeking employment. Graduates can target the federal government, including the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and other federal agency positions such as the intelligence agencies, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice. Students can also consider careers in international governmental organizations, including the United Nations system. Some of these employers may require advanced degrees; however, nonprofit international agencies such as Red Cross, Amnesty International and various church sponsored groups often accept applicants with bachelor degrees. International Relations graduates who are native speakers of English may be in demand overseas as teachers of English as a second language. American schools abroad frequently hire U.S. nationals to teach K-12 in a number of countries. American businesses with foreign subsidiaries or markets are also potential employers of Inter- national Relations majors.

Plagiarism Policy

Departmental Plagiarism Policy (Adopted on February 15, 2013)

  • All faculty members in the Department of Government agree to inform students in their classes that our department has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic dishonesty and that these types of violations of academic conduct can result in serious consequences, including the maximum penalty of failing the course, expulsion from the program, and/or referral to the Office of Student Affairs for further action at the university level.  The manner and format of this announcement remains at the discretion of each individual faculty member.
  • Each faculty member retains full discretion as to the initial determination of whether or not plagiarism occurred and which sanction(s) to use against the student found in violation of this policy.
  • If a faculty member determines that plagiarism took place and makes a decision to fail the student in the course and/or expel the student from the program, he/she should also notify the department chair.  The department chair will keep this information on record for future reference and/or appeal, if necessary.

Graduate Study

Many graduates choose to pursue advanced degrees in Law, International Relations, Political Science, or other areas in the Social Sciences. Recent graduates were admitted to such universities as University of Minnesota, DePaul University, American University, Syracuse University, among others.

IR Advisors

Abdalla M. Battah, Ph.D.

Tomasz Inglot, Ph D.

Eiji Kawabata, Ph.D.

Jackie Vieceli, Ph.D.

Department Mission Statement

Reflecting the values, principles, goals, and objectives contained in our university and college mission statements, the MSU Department of Government is dedicated to providing high quality, multi-perspective education that prepares students for professional and intellectual leadership and life long learning in a democratic society within an interdependent global community. The department has the special responsibility to contribute to the vitality of our region, country, and world through the development of responsible citizenship, through the preparation of students for professions and careers in public affairs and law, through research and by direct service activities.For more information about the Department of Government or the IR major, please contact the Department Office Manager:

Judie Bjorling
(507) 389-2721 (V)
(800) 627-3529 (MRS/TTY)
Fax: (507) 389-6377


For general information about the MSU and admission requirements, please contact the Admissions Office:
Toll free at:

(800) 722-0544

(507) 389-1822 (V)

(800) 627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY)


Department of Government - International Relations Program
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Morris Hall 109
Mankato, Minnesota 56001Phone: (507) 389-2721
(800) 627-3529 (MRS/T~Y)
Fax: 507-389-6377



MSU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity University.
This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the Department of Government at (507) 389-2721 (VJ) or (800) 627-3529 (MRS/TTY).