University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

International Relations

Undergraduate Degrees

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

The International Relations major requires a minimum of 48 units. All majors should complete IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis, IR 211 International Relations: Approaches to Research, IR 212 Historical Approaches to International Relations and IR 213 The Global Economy in their first 32 total units. The 200-level courses must be completed by the time they have completed 48 total units. The 200-level courses must be completed before attempting 400-level courses.

Four semesters of a single foreign language are required. All majors are encouraged to obtain as much foreign language training as possible either through a major or a minor in a foreign language or through a study program abroad.

Beyond IR 210, IR 211, IR 212 and IR 213, international relations majors are required to take eight additional upper-division courses. Majors must choose one course from each of the four fields: Culture, Gender and a Global Society; Foreign Policy Analysis; International Political Economy; International Politics and Security Studies. In addition, students must complete one course from Regional Studies (Europe; Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia; Latin America; the Middle East and Africa; or Pacific Rim). Finally, students must complete one 400-level course of their choice. Students are encouraged to explore different professional career options within international relations by enrolling in IR 391 Directed International Relations Field Study, a 2-unit course that can be repeated for major credit. Students may receive both general education credit and major credit for the same course.

Culture, Gender and Global Society

This field explores identities and interests shaping the politics of intellectual global society. IR 303, IR 305, IR 306, IR 309, IR 310, IR 311, IR 315, IR 316, IR 339, IR 344, IR 371, IR 382, IR 403, IR 404, IR 406, IR 422, IR 424, IR 437, IR 438, IR 444, IR 449, IR 463, EALC 375, POSC 456, PPD 382, SOCI 335, SOCI 435, SOCI 445, SOCI 460 and SOCI 470.

Foreign Policy Analysis

This area examines the external relations of states, particularly the domestic and international factors that influence the formulation and implementation of national foreign policies. Factors within states (leadership, small group dynamics and domestic lobbying groups) and factors between states are stressed. IR 303, IR 311, IR 341, IR 342, IR 343, IR 345, IR 346, IR 362, IR 365, IR 368, IR 385, IR 403, IR 410, IR 440, IR 441, IR 442, IR 443, IR 445, IR 465 and IR 484.

International Political Economy

These courses focus on what used to be considered “low” politics, but which have become key issues. Money, trade, investment, development, the environment, law and foreign economic policy are examined. IR 308, IR 309, IR 311, IR 323, IR 324, IR 325, IR 326, IR 328, IR 329, IR 330, IR 331, IR 349, IR 363, IR 364, IR 425, IR 426, IR 427, IR 428, IR 430, IR 439, IR 449, IR 454, ECON 338, ECON 450, ECON 452, POSC 430 and POSC 431.

International Politics and Security Studies

War and peace are at the heart of relations among nations. These courses investigate defense analysis, arms control, peace-building and strategic studies. The domestic, technological and international factors influencing defense and arms control policies and negotiations are considered. The World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the numerous crises of the Cold War are the backdrop in these courses. IR 302, IR 303, IR 304, IR 310, IR 311, IR 313, IR 318, IR 342, IR 381, IR 382, IR 383, IR 384, IR 385, IR 386, IR 387, IR 402, IR 403, IR 404, IR 410, IR 422, IR 427, IR 437, IR 445, IR 460, IR 453, IR 483, POSC 366 and POSC 448ab.

Regional Studies

The regional studies field focuses on geographic regions, such as the Pacific Rim, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These courses test general theories of international relations within the framework of a specific region. The economic, political, ethnic and social history of a region are examined to help explain current developments and interstate and domestic policies and issues within a region.

Europe: IR 368, IR 369, IR 385, IR 389, IR 468, FREN 410, GERM 465, HIST 312, HIST 313, HIST 332, HIST 414, HIST 422, HIST 425, HIST 427, POSC 370, POSC 371, POSC 463, SPAN 320 and SPAN 350.

Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia: IR 345, IR 346, IR 438, IR 439, HIST 320, HIST 328, HIST 416, POSC 464 and SLL 330.

Latin America: IR 364, IR 365, IR 366, IR 425, IR 426, IR 465, IR 466, ANTH 425, HIST 372, HIST 374, POSC 350, POSC 430, POSC 431 and SPAN 320.

The Middle East and Africa: IR 362, IR 363, IR 367, IR 463, ANTH 327, ECON 342, HIST 383, HIST 480, POSC 351, POSC 358 and REL 402.

Pacific Rim: IR 333, IR 360, IR 361, IR 376, IR 384, IR 440, IR 442, ANTH 323, ANTH 324, EALC 340, EALC 345, EALC 350, EALC 375, EASC 360, ECON 343, HIST 333, HIST 337, HIST 340, POSC 352, POSC 355, POSC 356, POSC 377 and POSC 453.

Honors Program

The honors program centers around the IR 494 Honors Thesis Seminar that culminates in a thesis based on original research. In the spring of the junior year, students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.3 submit an application, two letters of recommendation and a research proposal that identifies the thesis topic to the student affairs office. Upon admission to the program, the student identifies an appropriate faculty member to co-supervise the thesis and, in the fall of the senior year, enrolls in IR 311 to develop the formal research design and complete the literature review. Students may enroll in IR 311 in the fall of their junior year if their research interests are well specified. In the spring of the senior year, the student enrolls in IR 494. If the program is completed successfully (a B+ or better in IR 494, a major GPA of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.3 [A = 4.0]), the transcript will read “with Honors.”

Dornsife Washington, D.C. Program

The Washington, D.C. Semester program provides a unique, semester-long opportunity to study and work in the nation’s capital. The immersive program capitalizes on the D.C. experience. Courses are drawn from areas with direct policy relevance such as foreign policy, politics and the political process and economics. All students complete an internship with one of Washington’s many policy-focused organizations, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, think tanks, consulting firms and congressional offices. The Dornsife D.C. program is open to students from all majors while maintaining a focus on practical policy, both domestic and international.

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (Global Business)

The B.A. in International Relations with an emphasis in Global Business will give students the opportunity to pursue a degree in international relations and acquire specific skills in one of four concentrations in international business: international finance, international financial management, global marketing or global management. Students who have earned a GPA of 3.0 or above and a “B” average in IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis and a second 300-level or above IR course are eligible to apply during their sophomore year. In addition to the IR requirements, students need to complete the following prerequisite courses: ECON 203 Principles of Microeconomics or ECON 351x Microeconomics for Business, ECON 205 Principles of Macroeconomics or ECON 352x Macroeconomics for Business and MATH 118x Fundamental Principles of Calculus before they can begin this program. The international relations course work consists of 28 units: IR 210, a regional course, a 400-level course, an international political economy course (IR 324, IR 325, IR 326 or IR 330) and three upper-division electives.

Course work at the USC Marshall School of Business consists of ACCT 410x Accounting for Non-Business Majors or BUAD 285a Accounting Fundamentals, Financial and Managerial Accounting and 20 units in the respective areas of concentration. International finance: BUAD 215x Foundations of Business Finance or BUAD 306 Business Finance, BUAD 310 Applied Business Statistics, BUAD 350 Macroeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions or ECON 305 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, and FBE 462 International Trade, Finance and Commercial Policy; international financial management: BUAD 215x Foundations of Business Finance or BUAD 306 Business Finance, BUAD 310 Applied Business Statistics, FBE 432 Corporate Financial Strategy, FBE 436 Financial Management of Multinational Corporations, FBE 462 International Trade, Finance and Commercial Policy; global marketing: BUAD 307 Marketing Fundamentals, BUAD 310 Applied Business Statistics, MKT 450 Consumer Behavior and Marketing, and MKT 465 Global Marketing Management; global management: BUAD 304 Organizational Behavior and Leadership, MOR 431 Interpersonal Competence and Development, MOR 462 Management Consulting, MOR 402 Research Skills for Marketing Insights and MOR 492 Global Strategy.

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and the Global Economy

The B.A. in International Relations and the Global Economy (IRGE) offers students rigorous interdisciplinary training at the intersection of international relations and economics. The major prepares students for careers ranging from foreign policy and international development to international finance and political risk analysis. It is also ideally suited for students who plan to seek advanced degrees in the social sciences.

LOWER DIVISION COURSES UNITS
ECON 203 Principles of Microeconomics 4
ECON 205 Principles of Macroeconomics 4
IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis 4
IR 213 The Global Economy 4
MATH 118x* Fundamental Principles of Calculus, or 4
MATH 125* Calculus I 4

CORE SKILLS AND ISSUES UNITS
IR 330 Politics of the World Economy, or 4
ECON 350 The World Economy 4
ECON 305 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 4
ECON 317 Introduction to Statistics for Economists 4
Choose two courses (8 units):
IR 324 Multinational Enterprises and World Politics 4
IR 325 North-South Relations in the Global Economy 4
IR 326 U.S. Foreign Economic Policy 4
IR 327 International Negotiation 4
IR 329 The Global Finance and Monetary Regime 4
IR 331 The Global Economy 2030 4

REGIONAL STUDY UNITS
Choose one course (4 units):
ECON 340 Economics of Less Developed Countries 4
ECON 342 Economic Development of the Middle East 4
ECON 343 Economic Development of East Asia 4
ECON 344 Economic Development of Sub-Saharan Africa 4
ECON 346 Economics of Transition and Development: China 4
IR 363 Middle East Political Economy 4
IR 364 The Political Economy of Latin American Development 4
IR 425 The New Triangle: China, the U.S, and Latin America 4
IR 428 China’s Political Economy 4
IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia 4

SENIOR EMPHASIS UNITS
Choose one course (4 units):
ECON 450 International Trade (pre-req: ECON 303) 4
ECON 452 International Finance 4
IR 426 Trade Politics in the Western Hemisphere 4
IR 427 Seminar on Economics and Security 4
IR 430 The Politics of International Trade 4
IR 454 The International Political Economy of Development 4

Total: 12 courses, 48 units

*Prerequisite required

Bachelor of Arts in Central European Studies

The major in Central European studies combines background in relevant languages (Russian plus either German or Polish, or more intensive study of Russian) with course work in international relations and the history, culture and politics of the region.

No longer an imperial backwater, Central Europe has risen from its Cold War stasis to become one of the world’s most dynamic and important regions. Stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Balkan Peninsula, and from the Eastern lands of Germany to the Western regions of Russia, this onetime great-power battleground is now a vital trade and energy corridor, a mosaic of languages and cultures, a place of both successful state-building and persistent ethnic frictions, and a promising but still-precarious bridge between the former Soviet Union and the West. Central Europe rivals the Far East and Southwest Asia as one of the world’s most strategically important regions — now, and over the coming decades. Those who master its history and politics, its economic, cultural and linguistic diversity, will be well positioned for fellowships, graduate work, business or analytical careers centered on this fascinating region.

The objectives of this interdisciplinary major are to provide students with: 1) the historical background and linguistic-cultural skills necessary for in-depth study of Central Europe; 2) knowledge of its main post-Cold War political, ethnic, and economic trends; and 3) understanding of current issues from nationalism and immigration to trade, military-diplomatic and alliance politics.

Requirements

The fundamental linguistic background of the major is Russian (12 units).

Required courses Units
SLL 120 Beginning Russian I 4
SLL 150 Beginning Russian II 4
SLL 220 Intermediate Russian I 4

Beyond the second year of Russian, students may choose from among three options: further work on Russian; or a year of German; or a year of Polish (8 units).

courses Units
Russian
SLL 250 Intermediate Russian II 4
SLL 310 Advanced Russian in Popular Culture, or
SLL 340 Intercultural Communication in Russian 4
German
GERM 101 German I 4
GERM 102 German II 4
Polish
SLL 122 Elementary Polish I 4
SLL 152 Elementary Polish II 4

Required upper-division courses in international relations: two courses must be chosen from among the following (8 units):

REQUIRED COURSES, UPPER-DIVISION UNITS
IR 345 Russian and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy 4
IR 346 Communism and Post-Communism: Eastern Europe and the Balkans 4
IR 385 European Foreign Policy and Security Issues 4

In addition three electives are required from among the following. At least one course must be at the 400 level. With prior approval, IR 490x, Directed Research (4 units) or SLL 490x, Directed Research (4 units) may be substituted for one of these courses (12 units):

ELECTIVE COURSES UNITS
HIST 320 Russian and Soviet Rebels: The Moral Dilemma and the Continuity of Dissent 4
HIST 323 The Holocaust in 20th Century Europe 4
HIST 324 Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union 4
HIST 328 Poland and the Western Tradition 4
HIST 365 The Second World War 4
HIST 414 Contemporary Europe 4
HIST 416 History of Imperial Russia: 1689–1917 4
HIST 417 History of Soviet Russia: 1917–1991 4
HIST 422 European Intellectual and Cultural History: the 20th Century, 1920 to the Present 4
HIST 427 The German Question: Nation and Identity in Modern Central Europe 4
IR 369 Post-War European Relations 4
IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia 4
IR 468 European Integration 4
POSC 366 Terrorism and Genocide 4
POSC 371 European Political Thought II 4
POSC 463 European Politics 4
POSC 464 Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe 4
SLL 302 Modern Russian Literature 4
SLL 303 Contemporary Russian Literature 4
SLL 330 Russian Thought and Civilization 4
SLL 397 Literature and Film in Eastern European Historical Experience 4
SLL 465 Seminar in Russian Studies 4

Bachelor of Science in Global Health Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Global Health Studies is a multidisciplinary degree of the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine. Students complete course work in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies. For degree requirements, see Preventive Medicine.

Progressive Degree Program in International Relations

This progressive degree program permits superior students to complete all requirements for both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees in international relations in five years. Students may apply on completion of 64 units of course work, but not later than the end of their junior year (or the completion of 96 units). To be eligible for admission, students must have at least a 3.5 overall GPA and a 3.75 major GPA and must have completed IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis and IR 211 International Relations: Approaches to Research, or equivalent courses, as well as at least two upper-division IR courses with at least one at the 400 level. The application for admission to a progressive degree program must be accompanied by an approved course plan proposal and letters of recommendation from two USC faculty members in the School of International Relations. The requirements for both the B.A. and M.A. degrees must be satisfied. Further details about progressive degrees can be found here.

Students enrolled in a progressive degree program are encouraged to pursue minors in either foreign language, economics, public policy or regional studies to attain regional and functional expertise in addition to their training in international relations.

Minor in International Relations

The minor in international relations allows students to develop a specialty in the field without a full major. Requirements are: IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis and four upper-division courses including at least one regional course and one 400-level course. Students planning to minor in international relations should see the School of International Relations advisers in Von KleinSmid Center 301.

Minor in Global Communication

The rise of global firms and international changes that followed the end of the cold war raise new opportunities and challenges. This minor provides students from fields such as business, journalism, engineering and political science an understanding of the dynamic nature of global relations, communications and technology. The global communication minor consists of six 4-unit courses, three from International Relations and three from Communication.

Required International Relations Course units
IR 305 Managing New Global Challenges 4

International Relations Regional Courses (select one) units
IR 303 Leadership and Diplomacy 4
IR 325 North-South Relations in the Global Economy (departmental approval) 4
IR 326 U.S. Foreign Economic Policy 4
IR 327 International Negotiation 4
IR 330 Politics of the World Economy 4
IR 333 China in International Affairs 4
IR 345 Russian and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy 4
IR 360 International Relations of the Pacific Rim 4
IR 361 South and Southeast Asia in International Relations 4
IR 362 The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East 4
IR 363 Middle East Political Economy 4
IR 365 Politics and Democracy in Latin America 4
IR 367 Africa in International Affairs 4
IR 368 French Foreign Policy: 1945 to the Present (offered in Paris only) 4
IR 369 Post-War European Relations 4
IR 383 Third World Negotiations 4
IR 384 Asian Security Issues 4
IR 385 European Foreign Policy and Security Issues 4
IR 403 Transnational Diplomacy and Global Security 4
IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia 4
IR 442 Japanese Foreign Policy 4
IR 468 European Integration 4

IR Elective
Select one 300- or 400-level IR course

Required Communication Course units
COMM 487 Communication and Global Organizations 4

Communication electives (select two) units
COMM 324 Intercultural Communication 4
COMM 339 Communication Technology and Culture 4
COMM 345 Social and Economic Implications of Communication Technologies 4
COMM 371 Censorship and the Law: From the Press to Cyberspace 4
COMM 385 Survey of Organizational Communication 4
COMM 414 Communication and Social Change in China 4
COMM 430 Global Entertainment 4
COMM 431 Global Strategy for the Communications Industry 4

Total units: 24

Minor in International Policy and Management

The minor in international policy and management brings together courses from the School of International Relations, dealing with the new global challenges, specific regions of the world and international organizations and policies, and the USC Price School of Public Policy dealing with core management skills and public policy processes. Students will gain an understanding of the changes and challenges transforming the world and a taste of the policy and management skills to deal with them. To increase their understanding of the context and application of these concepts, students must complete a semester-long internship either in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles with an organization that has an international focus.

Students take three courses in international relations, including the gateway course, IR 305 Managing New Global Challenges, three courses in public policy and management, and an approved internship through the School of International Relations (IR 491x).

Required Courses from International Relations: IR 305; one regional course selected from: IR 333, IR 345, IR 358, IR 360, 361, IR 362, IR 363, IR 365, IR 367, IR 369, IR 383, IR 385, IR 439, IR 442, IR 468; one course from either the regional course list or the following: IR 306, IR 307, IR 310, IR 315, IR 316, IR 318, IR 323, IR 324, IR 325, IR 326, IR 327, IR 330, IR 341, IR 343, IR 344, IR 381, IR 382, IR 427, IR 441, IR 444.

The public policy component requires the completion of the following three options:

From Public Policy: PPD 225; two additional courses from the following: PPD 357, PPD 371, PPD 373, PPD 476 or PPD 482; or from Public Management: PPD 402; two additional courses from the following: PPD 313, PPD 407, PPD 411a, PPD 476.

Internship

Each student is required to complete an approved internship with an international focus. Students take a two-unit internship through the School of International Relations (IR 491).

Interdisciplinary Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism Minor

See the USC Price School of Public Policy.

Interdisciplinary Russian Area Studies Minor

See Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Advisement

Advisement is required for all majors and minors. Students are encouraged to meet with School of International Relations advisers at least once a semester to review the direction of their individual programs. Students are also encouraged to seek the advisement of faculty members whose specializations are appropriate to their programs of study.

Academic Specialization

Students majoring in international relations who wish to develop their own specialization or emphasize a particular regional area may establish with a faculty adviser, or with School of International Relations advisers, an academic program that will accomplish the students’ objectives.