Majoring in International Relations

International Relations Certificate

Overview

The interdisciplinary major in international relations gives you the tools to understand and tackle critical international problems like terrorism, ethnic strife and global warming. Faculty challenge you to explore global issues and articulate your thoughts through written and oral presentations. You study international politics, foreign policy, comparative politics, international economics, history and a foreign language. Within the major, you focus on a specific area, such as foreign policy analysis, international political economy, the politics of development, environmental politics, security studies, human rights, regional politics or ethnic conflict.

International opportunities and study abroad

Most international relations majors study abroad for a semester. Some take advantage of a semester-long Study Away Teach Away (SATA) program, in which a small group of students and one or two Connecticut College professors go abroad together. (The photo at the top of this page is from a SATA to Vietnam in 2013.) Other opportunities include a College-funded summer internship abroad or a one- to three-week trip for a specific course.

Special opportunities

Many international relations majors choose to double major, often in economics, history or a foreign language. Others pursue a certificate from one of the College's interdisciplinary academic centers, which allow you to enhance your major with one of four concentrations – international studies, environmental studies, art and technology or public policy and community action. You have endless possibilities for connecting international relations with another field: Students have explored renewable energy in Spain and Italy, pollution in Martinique and issues of race and ethnicity across many borders.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in International Relations?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Analyst for J.P. Morgan
  • Assistant Director of International Philanthropy for Pfizer Foundation, Inc.
  • Assistant Vice President for Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch
  • Attorney, International Antitrust Division, U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • Chief Legal Advisor for the Prime Minister of Kosovo
  • Consultant for The World Bank
  • Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State
  • History Teacher at The Loomis Chaffee School
  • Immigration and Refugee Policy Analyst
  • Lawyer
  • Investor Relations Analyst for Saigon Asset Management
  • Journalist
  • International Development Fellow for Catholic Relief Services
  • Legislative Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Policy Adviser, Middle East & Africa, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Policy Assistant, The White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Professor at Ohio State University
  • Special Agent, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Faculty

Tristan Borer, Professor of Government and International Relations, Government and International Relations Department Chair Tristan Borer, Professor of Government and International Relations, Government and International Relations Department Chair

Tristan Borer, Professor of Government and International Relations, Government and International Relations Department Chair
Human rights • Human rights and the media • Transitional justice • Gender and human rights • International relations

MaryAnne Borrelli, Professor of Government MaryAnne Borrelli, Professor of Government

MaryAnne Borrelli, Professor of Government  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
United States politics and government • Gender and United States politics • The Presidency • Congress

Wendell John Coats, Professor of Government Wendell John Coats, Professor of Government

Wendell John Coats, Professor of Government
History of Western political philosophy from Plato to the present

Jane Dawson, Virginia Eason Weinmann '51 Professor of Government and Environmental Studies, Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment Jane Dawson, Virginia Eason Weinmann '51 Professor of Government and Environmental Studies, Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

Jane Dawson, Virginia Eason Weinmann '51 Professor of Government and Environmental Studies, Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment  (On sabbatical Spring 2015)
International environmental justice • International environmental politics • Comparative environmental activism and politics

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations  (On sabbatical Fall 2014)
U.S. Foreign Policy • International Relations Theory • Democracy in Latin America

Peter Mitchell, Visiting Instructor of Government and International Affairs Peter Mitchell, Visiting Instructor of Government and International Affairs

Peter Mitchell, Visiting Instructor of Government and International Affairs
International public law (humanitarian, human rights, sea and airspace, environment) • Rule of law • International relations • The Judiciary • Law and society • Constitutional law

William M. Rose, Professor of Government and International Relations William M. Rose, Professor of Government and International Relations

William M. Rose, Professor of Government and International Relations
International politics, especially issues of war and peace • Terrorism and insurgencies: causes, consequences and policy implications • Ethnic conflict, the security dilemma, and prospects for civil war and peace • Post-Cold War and post-9/11 challenges for U.S. foreign policy

Caroleen Sayej, Assistant Professor of Government and International Relations Caroleen Sayej, Assistant Professor of Government and International Relations

Caroleen Sayej, Assistant Professor of Government and International Relations
Persistent authoritarianism in the Middle East • Contemporary Islamic social movements • Modernization and identity politics • Middle Eastern studies • Comparative politics • International relations

John Qunjian Tian, Associate Professor of Government and International Relations John Qunjian Tian, Associate Professor of Government and International Relations

John Qunjian Tian, Associate Professor of Government and International Relations
Chinese political economy • East Asian political economy • International political economy • Comparative political economy and politics

Student profile


Aditya Harnal Aditya Harnal

International relations, economics


Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: I sat in on a class and thoroughly enjoyed the rigor of discourse and the level of engagement between students and faculty.


Q: Why international relations?
A: The International Relations/ Government Department, in my opinion, is one of the strongest departments on campus. Not only are the faculty truly experts in their fields, but there are courses to satisfy everybody’s interests. Outside of the classroom, I have found the professors to be most accessible and personable. I am co-authoring a chapter in Professor Hybel's upcoming book, and it has been a tremendous learning experience and a phenomenal opportunity to work with directly with an expert on his topic.


Q: What co-curriculars do you participate in?
A: I co-founded the TEDx initiative at Connecticut College. I am also the chief investment officer of the Peggotty Investment Club that actively manages about $70,000 of the College’s endowment.


Q: Did you study abroad?
A: Yes, at the University of Oxford. I wanted to further challenge myself in a highly rigorous academic environment and was drawn to their PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) program.

Selected courses


  • International Politics
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Environmental Justice in Global Perspective
  • Women and World Politics
  • Ethnic Conflict in Europe
  • U.S. and Vietnam
  • Theories of International Relations
  • International Environmental Cooperation
  • Countering Terrorism and Insurgencies
  • Middle East Politics
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • U.N. Peacekeeping
  • Politics of Refugees

More...


Student research


Where democracy concedes: Examining environmental civil societies in China and Japan
By: Raymond Palmer '13
Advising Faculty: Jane Dawson
(Senior capstone)

U.S. Policy Towards Political Uprisings in the Middle East
By: Nicole Moomjy '12
Advising Faculty: Caroleen Sayej
(Senior capstone)

The Identity of Political Support: Personal Constituents, Gender, and Political Ambition
By: Hayley Sullivan '11
Advising Faculty: MaryAnne Borrelli

More...


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