Undergraduate Program

Few universities have separate International Relations departments. As the process of globalization becomes more pervasive, preparation in this area is becoming more pertinent every year.

Flags of many nations

International Relations is becoming increasingly relevant as the world grows more and more interconnected through trade and commerce, migration, the internet and through social media, and concerns about pressing global environmental problems. A globalized world calls for academics and professionals trained to comprehend these complex interactions - promoting understanding and crafting policy and business solutions to meet the challenges of today and the future. International Relations offers a comprehensive and adaptable toolkit particularly well suited to employment in a rapidly changing world.

Courses for the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations have three objectives:

  1. To impart knowledge of basic concepts, theories and methods in international relations;
  2. To train students in research, writing, analytical, and presentation/communication skills;
  3. Use tools of critical analysis to address, identify, and analyze the sources of global social, political and economic change.

Liberal arts educational goals are emphasized but the program seeks also to develop marketable skills appropriate to the field. These include report writing, statistical and computer applications, public policy analysis, oral briefing techniques and audio-visual production.

Utilizing the extensive course offerings in the International Relations program and in other departments, students are able, on advisement, to develop individual areas of specialization within geographical, functional (e.g., international political economy), problem-oriented (e.g., arms control), theoretical/methodological and other categories.

Field work may also be part of an area of specialization. The emphasis upon elective courses of study requires that a student consult with an advisor every semester.

Degrees and Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations
  • Minor in International Relations

More information about the department is available on the SF State Bulletin.

Career Outlook

Employment possibilities for graduates in international relations exist in business, government, electronic and print journalism, teaching and private international service (e.g., U.N. Association, Red Cross, etc.). Students completing a degree find it excellent preparation for entry into highly competitive programs of advanced study or work abroad in areas of special interest or knowledge.

Some of the most likely career areas are:

  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Foreign Service officer
  • Import/export business
  • Commerce Department
  • International finance and banking
  • Corporate regulatory affairs
  • Peace Corps administration
  • Intercultural communication
  • Foreign correspondent
  • International counseling
  • United Nations staff
  • International airlines
  • Intelligence officer
  • International marketing
  • Social studies teacher
  • International lawyer
  • Policy analyst
  • Research on global issues

Explore our Alumni section to find out where an IR degree might take you!