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The Curriculum

UPDATE: PENN'S "NEXT GENERATION STUDENT SYSTEMS"

Please note, Penn has phased out 3-digit course listings in favor of 4-digits and has introduced attribute tags to organize its courses. Our curriculumn has been updated to reflect these changes.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

There are three components to the IR Major.

  1. The core curriculum
  2. The electives in the major
  3. The senior thesis

All IR majors are required to complete a core-curriculum consisting of international relations theory, history, security, international economics, and research methods. In addition, IR majors are required to complete a series of electives in the major chosen from a list of courses approved by the IR program. Finally, all IR majors are required to successfully complete an independent senior thesis project.

 

The INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS major totals 14 C.U. of instruction to include:

THEORY & METHODS (5 C.U.)
  • PSCI 0400, Introduction to International Relations
  • INTR 3500, "Praxis" Course (Research Methods in International Relations)
  • International History (Choose 2): Courses with AIRH attribute, which include but are not limited to, HIST 1711; HIST 3920; HIST 3921; HIST 1190; HIST 1191; HIST 1759; HIST 1760
  • ECON 0500, International Economics or PSCI 1402, International Political Economy 
    • Economics double-majors may take ECON 4800 to satisfy this requirement 
ELECTIVES (7 C.U.)
  • International Political Economy Elective (1 C.U.): Coded with attribute AIRP
  • Foreign Policy / International Security Elective (1 C.U.): Coded with attribute AIRS
  • Five Free Electives (5 C.U.): Coded with attributes AIRE; AIRH; AIRN; AIRP; AIRS
CAPSTONE (2 C.U.)
  • INTR 4197, Senior Seminar for Thesis Research (Part I), AND INTR 4297, Senior Seminar for Thesis Research (Part II)
    • All IR majors enroll during their senior year in a two-semester seminar during which they develop an original thesis topic, review the relevant theory and method, then research and write a substantial thesis based on primary and secondary documentation.
BREADTH REQUIREMENT

Students must take at least one course unit among the above in non-Western politics, economics, or history. Courses fitting this description are coded as AIRN

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR HONORS IN IR

The university graduates its students cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum luade according to its own standards. However, independent of College honors students may earn their BA "With Distinction in International Relations" by meeting certain requirements set by the International Relations Program, which are:

  • Minimum 3.60 GPA in the 14 courses (12 C.U. of coursework and 2 C.U. of senior thesis seminar) required for the major
  • A 3.50 GPA overall
  • Grade of "A" or "A-" on the senior thesis
    • This is the grade on the paper itself, and may be different from the grade you receive for your performance in the senior thesis seminar.
  • Attendance AND presentation in the annual IR student research conference for seniors
  • At least one (1) foreign language C.U. beyond the minimum College language requirement, or otherwise demonstrated advanced proficiency in a non-native tongue

Honors status will be determined automatically by the Program upon completion of the senior thesis in the spring of your senior year. Those meeting the requirements will be notified of their status accordingly.

 

TOTAL COURSE UNITS FOR GRADUATION

Students completing the International Relations Major will need a total of thiry-four (34) course units of earned credit, including College requirements, in order to graduate.

 

PRE-REGISTRATION

The courses relevant to International Relations are many and varied. Most courses approved as electives in the major are drawn from political science, history, and economics, but courses in other departments that have a clearly international dimension may also be approved by way of petition.

 

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Students may also petition to receive IR credit for Independent Study (IR 2999/4198) or graduate-level courses. Such course work must be done under the supervision of a professor, and students must demonstrate, with a syllabus and/or research essay, the relevance of the subject to their IR studies. Students with advanced foreign language skills are especially encouraged to make use of them in such independent or graduate-level courses.  Unless a student can make a compelling academic case, students are limited to one independent study in the IR major.  (This does not mean that a student prohibited from engaging in more than one independent study with a faculty member.  It simply means that only one such independent study will count towards the major.)

 

SENIOR SEMINAR

As noted, all majors are required to take INTR 4197 and INTR 4297. This seminar is the "capstone experience" in the program, requiring students to submit a research essay on a topic of their own special interest. The Senior Seminar is conducted as a research seminar, emphasizing research design, application of theory, generation of data and other skills that are essential to the conduct of independent research by the student.

 

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

To achieve a minor in IR, a student must do passing work in six (6) courses. Only one non-College course may be applied to the minor. These courses cannot be taken Pass/Fail. They may be double-counted for other majors.

  1. PSCI 0400
  2. International History (Choose 2): Courses with AIRH attribute, which include but are not limited to, HIST 1711; HIST 3920; HIST 3921; HIST 1190; HIST 1191; HIST 1759; HIST 1760
  3. ECON 0500, International Economics or PSCI 1402, International Political Economy (Economics majors may take ECON 4800 to satisfy this requirement)
  4. Two Free Electives (2 C.U.): Coded with attributes AIRE; AIRH; AIRN; AIRP; AIRS