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Degree Overview: Bachelor Degree Programs in International Affairs

Majors Overview February 1, 2015

Bachelor’s degree programs in international affairs will prepare students to handle international issues, including cultural boundaries, economics, or politics. Graduates may seek professional careers within government settings or nonprofit organizations.

Information on International Affairs Degree Programs

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in international affairs are provided fundamental knowledge in geography, culture, economics, and international politics. The program has a diverse plan of study, including courses such as labor economics and the study of chiefs and tribes, among others.

Students may be allowed to select a specialization area from numerous choices, including socio-economic processes and global public policy. Proficiency in a foreign language is also expected of incoming students to the program. While most programs include a final research project, an internship is required in some.

It takes students approximately four years to complete these degree programs. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Apart from core coursework, students are required to complete general education classes, including history, natural science, and mathematics.

Those that complete the program may seek jobs in non-profit agencies, the military, or government. Many opt for continuing education and earn graduate degrees. Students may choose various concentration choices, including international development, global security processes, global public health, and conflict resolution.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Programs in International Affairs

Students enrolled in some programs may also be provided with the opportunity to concentrate their studies on geographical regions, such as Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to the program to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Successful completion of the program will give students a strong grasp of the basics of geography, politics, and economics. A combination of program coursework, internship opportunities, and cultural experiences is devised to help students gain a grasp of world politics, make connections between geographical regions, and showcase awareness of global dynamics, such as gender, religion, ethnicity, and race. Students can also hone numerous global skills, including proficiency in a foreign language, administrative competency, and communication skills.


Coursework exposes students to numerous subjects, including history, economics, anthropology, and political science. Foreign language coursework opportunities may include Russian, Spanish, German, Arabic, and Chinese. Core coursework may include various topic areas, such as:

•Environmental law
•Research in social science
•International political economy
•Social research methods
•International systems
•International relations theory
•Comparative government
•Socio-cultural anthropology
•World history
•Public policy

Career Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program in international affairs can seek jobs in a government setting, such as the Peace Corps or the military, foreign service, policy analysis, journalism, or nonprofit organizations. They may aspire for career options such as:

•Campaign manager
•Civil servant
•Global strategist

Continuing Education Choices

Those that graduate from the bachelor’s degree program may choose to continue their education by earning a master’s degree in international affairs or a related area, which would enable them to pursue careers in academia. A master’s degree program in law would suit the requirements of those wishing to enhance their knowledge in the field of political science.

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