We live, work and worship in a global community. Calvin's international relations program prepares students to be Christ's ambassadors in the world.

Study political systems and interactions across the globe while developing a range of related skills.

  • Comparative Politics, Governments and Globalization Concentration - Explore politics and government by studying democratization, terrorism, courts and constitutions, ethnic conflict, human rights, civil war and conflict resolution.
  • Peace, Conflict, and Diplomacy Concentration - Investigate political, economic and military interactions among states at a global level.

(33 semester hours)

  • POLS-214 Governments and Globalization
  • POLS-207 International Cooperation and Conflict
  • POLS-251 Foundations of Political Science Research
  • POLS-319 International Political Economy
  • POLS-399 Senior Seminar in Political Science
  • One course from:
    • POLS-101 Ideas and Institutions in American Politics
    • POLS-202 State Politics and American Federalism
    • POLS-212 American Public Policy
    • POLS-234 The President and Congress
    • POLS-237 Parties and Interest Groups
    • POLS-310 American Constitutional Foundations
  • One course from:
    • POLS-110 Persons in Political Community
    • POLS-240 Freedom, Justice, and Political Authority
    • POLS-306 Political Liberalism and Its Critics
  • Twelve additional hours of political science coursework (which may include one interim course and/or three hours of internship credit) or completion of one of the concentrations below
  • In addition, students complete three approved cognate courses (see Other Details tab above for a full list of courses).

Comparative Politics, Governments, and Globalization Concentration

If you are interested in exploring the politics and governments of countries around the world, the department offers an international relations major with a comparative politics, governments, and globalization concentration. Students in this concentration focus on such themes as democratization, terrorism, courts and constitutions, ethnic conflict, human rights, and civil war and revolution. This concentration is ideal for students who want to pursue careers in diplomacy, political development, trade, or intelligence, among many other opportunities. Students graduating with this concentration will also be well prepared to pursue graduate study in political science, international relations, or area studies.

(33 semester hours)

  • Three courses (at least two 300-level) from:
    • POLS-218 American Foreign Policy
    • POLS-228 Global Politics of Human Rights
    • POLS-276 Latin American Politics
    • POLS-277 Asian Politics
    • POLS-279 African Politics
    • POLS-304 International Peace and Security
    • POLS-307 Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, and Terrorism
    • POLS-309 International Organizations and Law
    • POLS-321 Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective
    • POLS-322 Global Democratization
    • An approved interim course or three hours of internship credit

Peace, Conflict, and Diplomacy Concentration

If you are interested in exploring political, economic, and military interactions among states at a global level, the department offers an international relations major with a peace, conflict, and diplomacy concentration. Students in this concentration focus on international institutions, diplomacy, trade, conflict, and foreign economic and security policy. This concentration is ideal for students who want to pursue careers in journalism, diplomacy, trade, or foreign policy, among many other opportunities. Students graduating with this concentration will also be well prepared to pursue graduate study in political science, international relations, or foreign affairs.

(33 semester hours)

  • Three courses from:
    • POLS-218 American Foreign Policy
    • POLS-228 Global Politics of Human Rights
    • POLS-304 International Peace and Security
    • POLS-309 International Organizations and Law
    • One course from:
    • POLS-218 American Foreign Policy
    • POLS-228 Global Politics of Human Rights
    • POLS-276 Latin American Politics
    • POLS-277 Asian Politics
    • POLS-279 African Politics
    • POLS-304 International Peace and Security
    • POLS-307 Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, and Terrorism
    • POLS-309 International Organizations and Law
    • POLS-321 Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective
    • POLS-322 Global Democratization
    • An approved interim course or three hours of internship credit

To graduate with honors in international relations, you must:

  • Maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses within the major
  • Complete 6 (18 hours) non-interim courses for honors credit, with a minimum of four honors courses within the major
  • Complete an honors thesis that meets the guidelines of the political science department
  • Earn at least a B+ in each political science honors course you take
  • Make a formal commitment to graduate with honors by fall of your senior year

For more information:

Internship experience

International relations majors, particularly those who do not anticipate pursuing either law school or some graduate program shortly after graduation, are encouraged to enroll in internship programs.

Students can complete an internship for a maximum of 3 semester hours in Internship in Politics and Government (POLS-380), as well as internships through our Washington D.C. semester program. Interested students should contact the department's internship director, Professor Pelz.

IR Major Cognate Requirement

Students wishing to complete an International Relations major must complete a cognate set of courses that complement the major. Students have three options to complete the cognate requirement.

Option 1

Take any three of the following courses (note that some of these courses have prerequisites):

Option 2

Complete an approved off-campus semester program (with a maximum of three credits from the program counting towards the regular, non-cognate requirements of the International Relations major).

Option 3

Complete nine credits of foreign language beyond the 202-level.

To be admitted to the international relations major you must have completed POLS-101, 110, 214, or 207 with a minimum grade of C (2.0).

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