May 27, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

International Relations (BA)

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The International Relations major requires a minimum of 48 units. All majors should complete IR 210gw International Relations: Introductory Analysis , IR 211g 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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