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International Relations - B.A. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

105 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2062


The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations is the largest interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its curriculum provides a well-rounded education for students interested in global issues and the challenge of advanced foreign language coursework. The study of Spanish, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Italian is coupled with a broad exposure to the social sciences and humanities approaches to the problems facing the modern world, including human rights, economic development, ethnic conflicts and the role of supranational organizations. Students have the opportunity to study abroad and participate in internships with international organizations through Kent State’s Semester Abroad in Geneva, Switzerland.

Combined Baccalaureate/Master’s Program in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Management Leading to the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration Degrees: Students must be International Relations majors and complete their undergraduate coursework in the first three years of study. In addition, students must pass a language proficiency exam, have a cumulative GPA of 3.300 and earn a minimum GMAT score of 525 before being admitted to the M.B.A program. In the fourth year of this combined program, students take graduate business courses that are applicable to the undergraduate degree as electives and to the M.B.A degree as foundation coursework. During the final year, students take advanced graduate business coursework leading to the M.B.A degree.

Career Opportunities

While the best known career opportunity for students in International Relations is diplomacy, graduates find employment in many other fields.  A variety of governmental organizations, such as the State, Commerce and Defense Departments, Homeland Security and national intelligence and security agencies, seek out students with training in International Relations. 

International organizations, such as the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, similarly desire employees with the broad background a baccalaureate degree in International Relations provides.  Non-governmental organizations with interests in refugee assistance, economic development, fair trade, human rights and immigration regularly hire students with an International Relations degree.

Private sector positions are available in financial, research and lobbying firms and in multi-national corporations with business interests around the globe.

Recent graduates with degrees in International Relations often apply to serve in the Peace Corps, an agency of the United States government which provides economic and social development assistance to developing countries and their citizens around the world.  International organizations and corporations often seek out individuals who have had this worthwhile and rewarding experience abroad.

The undergraduate International Relations degree also prepares students for the rigors of graduate school in a wide range of areas including international affairs, political science, public policy, economic development and business management.  Additionally many graduates go on to pursue law degrees with a focus on international law

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Students most likely to be admitted and succeed at the Kent Campus are those who have graduated with at least 16 units of the recommended college preparatory curriculum in high school, who have achieved a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and whose composite ACT score is 21 or better (980 combined critical reading and math SAT score). For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for new freshmen.

General Admissions for Transfer Students: Generally, a transfer applicant who has taken 12 or more semester hours with a college cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted. An applicant who has taken fewer than 12 semester hours will be evaluated on both collegiate and high school records. For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for transfer students.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 121 total credit hours  and  42 upper-division hours for graduation. Minimum 2.000 GPA overall and 2.000 GPA in major required for graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of economics, politics, geography and history.

2. Have a minimum of fifth-semester proficiency in one modern foreign language specialization.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

Kent State University’s Semester Abroad in Geneva, Switzerland

Student Organizations

Amnesty International; International Socialist Organization, KSU Chapter

Advanced Degree Programs

Type Legend: DD Diversity–Domestic; DG Diversity–Global; ELR Experiential Learning; KAD Kent Core Additional; KBS Kent Core Basic Sciences; KCM Kent Core Composition; KFA Kent Core Fine Arts: KHU Kent Core Humanities; KMC Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning; KSS Kent Core Social Sciences; WIC Writing Intensive

Please read the sections in the University Catalog on Kent Core, diversity, writing-intensive and the experiential learning requirements.

Type Course Title Credits
  US 10097 Destination Kent State: First Year Experience 1
II.   MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (39 credits)*  Courses count in major GPA 
Type Course Title Credits
KSS ECON 22060 Principles of Microeconomics 3
KAD   22061 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
POL 10004 Comparative Politics 3
  10500 World Politics 3
      Foreign Language Requirement** 3
  Choose from the following: Economics 3
  ECON 32075 Introduction to International Trade (3) (Geneva)  
    42075 International Economic Relations (3)  
  Choose from the following: Geography Elective 3
  GEOG 37040 Geography of Africa (3)  
    37050 Geography of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (3)  
    37066 Geography of Europe (3)  
    37079 Geography of South Asia (3)  
    37084 Geography of South America (3)  
    37085 Geography of Central America and Mexico (3)  
  Choose from the following: History Elective 6
  HIST 31024 World War II (3)  
    31112 Chinese Civilization (3)  
    31125 Zionism and Israel (3)  
    31126 History of the Middle East (3)  
    31128 Late Medieval and Modern Jewish History (3)  
    31130 History of African Civilization (3)  
    31140 Modern Latin America (3)  
    31141 Early Latin America (3)  
    41020 19th Century Europe (3)  
    41024 Modern European History, 1914-1945 (3)  
    41025 Modern European History, 1945-Present (3)  
    41041 History of Germany, 1817-Present (3)  
    41044 Imperial Russia, 1689-1917 (3)  
    41045 Modern Russia, 1917-Present (3)  
    41112 History of Modern China (3)  
    41116 History of Japan (3)  
    41132 History of Africa, 1880-Present (3)  
    41135 History of West Africa (3)  
WIC   42297 Colloquium: China and Japan (3)***  
  Choose from the following: Political Science Category I 6
  POL 30511 Problems of International Organization (3) (Geneva)  
    30551 U.S. - Latin American Relations (3)  
    30820 International Organization and Law (3)  
    40840 Comparative Foreign Policy (3)  
    40930 U.S. Foreign Policy (3)  
  Choose from the following: Political Science Category II 6
  POL 30520 European Politics (3)  
    30530 Asian Politics (3)  
    30540 African Politics (3)  
    30550 Latin American Politics (3)  
    40540 Politics of Development (3)  
Type Title   Credits
  Foreign Language**** 14-20
  Kent Core Composition 6-8
  Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning 3-5
  Kent Core Humanities and Fine Arts (minimum one course from each) 9
  Kent Core Basic Sciences (must include one laboratory) 6-7
  College General Requirement (must be from Kent Core Basic Sciences)***** 3
  College General Requirement (must be from Kent Core Social Sciences)****** 3
  General Electives (15 credit hours must be upper division)
Credits required depends on meeting minimum 121 credit hours and minimum 42 upper-division credit hours

* All courses taken from the list of major program requirements are used in the calculation of the major GPA.

**One course beyond the Intermediate II level in French, German, Russian or Spanish. Students may appeal to their advisor for substitution of another language, when justified by special circumstances. Satisfactory performance in a language proficiency test covering speaking, listening, reading and writing. This requirement also may be satisfied through completion of two additional approved courses in the same or a closely related language with minimum B- (2.700) grade. Prior approval for courses used in this connection must be given in writing by student’s advisor. This course should be taken as soon as Intermediate II is completed. Students should consult with the International Director regarding the foreign language proficiency requirement while enrolled in this course.

***One course must be earned with a minimum C (2.000) grade to fulfill the writing-intensive requirement.

****The following foreign languages are approved for International Relations majors: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. Students should contact the International Relations director for approval for other languages. Students with foreign language experience should consult with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages Studies for appropriate placement. To graduate in four years, students should begin foreign language study by semester four; starting later may require summer courses or delay graduation. These courses fulfill a College General Requirement.

*****One additional course taken from the Kent Core Basic Science courses in the following Arts and Sciences disciplines: Anthropology (ANTH), Biological Sciences (BSCI), Chemistry (CHEM), Geography (GEOG), Geology (GEOL) or Physics (PHY). Students may take the courses listed in the "introductory" sequences with the restrictions noted above in the Kent Core Basic Science section. The course may not be from the student's major.

******One additional course taken from the Kent Core Social Sciences courses in the following Arts and Sciences disciplines: Anthropology (ANTH), Applied Conflict Management (CACM), Geography (GEOG), Criminology and Justice Studies (JUS), Political Science (POL), Psychology (PSYC) or Sociology (SOC). The course may not be from the student's major.

Foreign Language Note: Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Arts and Sciences must have the equivalent of Elementary I and II in any language and the International Relations major requires Intermediate I and II of the same language.

All students with prior foreign language experience should take the foreign language placement test to determine the appropriate level at which to start. Some students may begin their university foreign language experience beyond the Elementary I level and will complete the requirement with fewer credit hours and fewer courses. This may be accomplished by: (1) passing a course beyond Elementary I through Intermediate II level or (2) receiving credit through Credit by Exam (CBE), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Advanced Placement (AP) exam or credit through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program; or (3) being designated a "native speaker" of a non-English language (consult with the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office for additional information). When students complete the requirement with fewer than 14 credit hours and four courses, they will complete remaining hours with general electives.