Universities with International Relations Programs: How to Choose

As technology advances and global communication becomes easier, the study of international relations becomes increasingly relevant. Areas of study within international relations include journalism, law, business, human rights, politics and education. Aspiring students may opt for bachelor's or master's degrees. Master's degree holders may also pursue a doctoral degree in international relations or a related area.

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Students who want to study international relations can find bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in the field. These are generally interdisciplinary and may be within the international studies departments of 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools for International Relations

The following public institutions offer degree programs in international relations:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Doctoral $10,037 (In-state) $27,365 (Out-of-state)
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,560 (In-state) $36,360 (Out-of-state)
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $6,507 (In-state) $21,673 (Out-of-state)
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,388 (In-state) $33,741 (Out-of-state)
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $9,348 (In-state) $20,268 (Out-of-state)
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,170 (In-state) $25,950 (Out-of-state)
San Diego State University San Diego, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $6,976 (In-state) $18,136 (Out-of-state)
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,736 (In-state) $20,856 (Out-of-state)
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $15,188 (In-state) $25,494 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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  • International Relations, General

University Selection Criteria

Students interested in international relations programs should consider the following when searching for a school to attend:

  • Think about which sub-genre of the field most interests you, and what educational path you desire to see which program most closely aligns with these interests.
  • Students may be required to learn a foreign language in bachelor's degree programs, but those applying to graduate-level programs are typically required to already possess intermediate or advanced fluency in at least one foreign language for admission.
  • Programs may require international learning opportunities that require a minimum of eight weeks spent studying abroad. Make sure you only apply to such programs if you're able to fulfill that commitment.
  • With study abroad opportunities, students may need to consider the additional financial costs and what financial aid resources are available at a particular institution.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Relations

A B.A. in International Relations is a 4-year liberal arts course of study. They often involve a semester or year of study abroad. Graduates may continue to advanced degree programs or begin entry-level work in a variety of settings.

Master of Arts in International Relations

This usually takes four semesters to complete, generally culminating in a critical thesis. Prerequisites usually include a bachelor's degree, fluency in a foreign language and an applicable score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in International Relations or International Affairs

The Ph.D. is the most advanced degree available within the field of international relations and is designed to produce academic researchers and professors. Entrance is extremely competitive, and common prerequisites include several years work experience, a master's in a related field and fluency in at least one foreign language.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in international relations are available at 4-year schools across the country. Due to the international focus of the program, students should consider additional program requirements regarding foreign language fluency and studying abroad when selecting a program.

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