Director:  Fr. John Sawicki, C.S.Sp., Ph.D.

The International Relations major educates students in the historical, political, and cultural forces that shape the interactions between states, international organizations, multi-national corporations, and other international actors.

Students majoring in International Relations have a variety of career paths open to them. Majors are prepared to work in a governmental, social, or business environment within an international context. Training in advanced language skills, combined with historical and political knowledge of specific regions of the world, will make International Relations majors very competitive in the job market. 

International Relations majors have the opportunity to choose elective course work from one of the eight (8) areas of concentration. The following courses are all cross listed with  History, Modern Languages and Literatures, and Political Science.When combined with an appropriate semester abroad program, these concentrations provide students with an advanced understanding or specialization in their area or field fo study.

Learning Outcomes

1. Majors are expected to be conversant with the international system, understand its rational origins, and a vision of what it does to stabilize and advance global peace.

2. Students should see, understand, and be able to participate in a global environment.

3. The curriculum has an option for an emphasis in modern foreign languages and offers a variety of area studies. Stress is placed on the ability to synthesize and analyze, and IR majors should feel confident in cross cultural situations.

4. Experiential learning, whether it is Internships, community service, or study abroad or away from Duquesne in the USA, allow for an understanding of diverse cultures and political realities. Majors are encouraged to undertake these, and can do so for academic credit.

5. Majors are challenged to be alert to the changing realities in the global marketplace, and develop their own career goals and skills to complete effectively in it.

Requirements for the Major

Students seeking to complete an International Relations major will complete 36 credits comprised of the following:

MANDATORY - 12 credits

  • IR 102 - Careers in IR
  • IR 200 - Writing and Research in International Relations
  • IR 393 - Political and Economic Geography
  • IR 499 - Advanced International Relations Theory


Must be at 300 level and above. If not choosing the foreign language option, then any six (6) hours of IR prefixed electives


  • Arabic Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • European and Russian Studies
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Operations
  • Intelligence and Security Studies
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa
  • US Foreign Policy


  • IR 145 - Global Society
  • IR 208 - Politics of Great Powers
  • IR 209 - Politics of Emerging Powers
  • IR 245 - International Relations
  • IR 254 - American Foreign Policy
  • IR 345W - Security Ethics
  • IR 491 - Internship (permission required)


Majors may elect to follow non-foreign language or foreign language paths. If non-language path is chose, then six (6) additional credits in electives are selected at the student's option. If the foreign language path is chosen, this needs to have no less than six credits at the 300 level or above in Modern Languages and Literatures, including 301W and 302W or 306W (Spanish) level courses in the chosen language of study. If students wish to develop an expertise in a second language in addition to the language requirements for the IR major, these second language credits would only be counted as elective credits. Second language credits cannot be substituted for the primary language requirements.


Mandatory Courses                                                      (12) Twelve Hours

Optional Electives or Foreign Language                      (6) Nine Hours

Concentrations                                                               (15) Fifteen Hours

IR Survey Courses                                                             (3) Three Hours

Total: (36) Thirty-Six Hours