Studying International Relations
International Relations provides students with the tools and the knowledge necessary to understand and navigate the interconnectivity of the modern world. It challenges students to broaden their perspectives and their understanding of the forces shaping global politics. Students who major in International Relations will complete course work in specific international themed courses while focusing on one or two particular areas of the world.
Students participate in a for-credit Model United Nations course that has taken many to international competitions such as the Harvard and New York City events. International Relations students are also encouraged to study Economics as well as a foreign language to develop an appropriate base of knowledge and skill that relate directly to different areas of the world.
Critical and Transferable Skills
The skills a student learns by studying International Relations include the ability to understand and summarize complex information and gathering evidence to make good, critical arguments. Graduates from the program must learn to write clearly and directly. They are also required to gain proficiency in a foreign language and to gain a basic understanding of economics, which are both invaluable skills in today’s world. Studying International Relations also provides students with a wider perspective on and understanding of the complex global environment.
Careers and Graduate Pathways
Some of our students have gone on to work for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Another is presently studying in Japan and plans to graduate work in the politics of Japan. Other students have gone on to careers in journalism. A focus in International Relations can be useful in a number of subject areas, such as governmental and non-governmental organizations, international business, and humanitarian work.
Related Areas of Study
St. Thomas has a wealth of professors who deal with a variety of issues that have a clear international dimension or perspective. These can include courses in History, Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, and Criminology, as well as Political Science. Students interested in International Relations should seriously consider exploring foreign languages that are of interest—especially if they are interested in a particular part of the world.