INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (IR)

 

Area of Focused Interest Requires an Additional 36 Credit Hours

Course Requirements are: BS 421; EC 431; PL 311; SC 311; 2 elective 300-400 level course in either
HS/PL/SC; plus 12 hours of a foreign language.

Links to sources for jobs, career options and graduate study are listed below:   

Globalization, increasing rates of worldwide poverty, global warming, the impact and speed of telecommunications, establishing effective relations between and among varied nations and their respective citizens are among the many challenges that confront the world community in the 21st Century. In its simplest form, International Relations (IR) is considered a study of the relationships between individuals, groups and/or formal institutions of different nation-states. In addition to the interdisciplinary core requirement of 60 credit hours for the B.A. degree, BHS students who choose a minor field concentration in IR are required to complete an additional concentration of 36 credit hours. Included in these 36 credit hours are 12 hours (1 year) of a foreign language.

This requirement is ideally effective for students entering EWU as of the Fall Quarter 2012. BHS students taking PL 381 (International Relations) make an annual visit and conduct research at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. This is done under the auspices of the “International Human Rights Association of American Minorities” (IHRAAM). IHRAAM is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) of the U.N. The Department Chairman, Dr. Farid I. Muhammad, serves as a member of the International Directorate of IHRAAM.  

What Careers Options are Available in International Relations?

In addition to courses in a foreign language, students with a concentration in IR will take course work that will include comparative economic and political theory, history, business, sociology and international law. A Bachelor’s degree in BHS with a minor field concentration in IR, like other liberal arts degrees, does not give you immediate entry into a specific field. However, it does provide you with a broad knowledge base that you can use to excel in a variety of occupations. These occupations include, but are not limited to the following:

Archivist
Demographer
Diplomat
Foreign Affairs Analyst
Foreign Affairs Specialist
Foreign Service Officer
Immigration Specialist
Intelligence Specialist
Journalist
Language Specialist
Market Research Specialist

Such positions are available but they are more difficult to get into and advance in an interesting career with only a B.A. degree. Therefore, the Department encourages its graduates to pursue graduate or professional education. It is not uncommon for people in international relations to move from one type of career to another, from government to business or vice versa, for example. For those completing the B.A. degree the following resources give information on how to obtain a job overseas, or provide actual international job listings, or internship listings: http://careerplanning.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm (look under careers and internships at the bottom and then jobs). Examples of other major career/employment/internship options include:

American Foreign Service Association
One Small Planet
The Peace Corps
United Nations Internships & Careers
U.S. State Department Career Opportunities
International Volunteer
International Education
Internships Abroad
International Jobs Databases
Job Sites Global

For those students who might plan to continue their studies in IR and/or seriously pursue a career in this expanding and much demanded area, here are some options to check out:

Foreign Service (www.state.gov/m/dghr/hr)
United Nations (www.un.org)
Private Sector (Non-Profit) e.g. Crossroads Africa, Oxfam, Emergency Relief Services, etc.(www.interaction.org/index.html and www.cie.uci.edu/iop)

University and High School Teaching (many public and private schools are increasingly looking for applicants for their “international studies programs”)
International Experience (www.peacecorps.gov)
Human Rights Advocacy (www.ihraam.org)
Alternative Educational Tracks (www.career.vt.edu/GRADSCH/Applying.htm)

Law Schools, Graduate Business Schools, Political Science Graduate Programs,      
International Affairs Schools (check with the Department for more information).

Through its affiliation with IHRAAM as a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the U.N., the Department of BHS also maintains contact with the following international, regional and national organizations (student internships can be explored for qualified students):

United Nations Department of Public Information
United Nations Human Rights Commission
United Nations Working Group on Minorities
Organization of Islamic Conference
Organization of Security & Cooperation in Europe
World Council of Churches (Switzerland)
Amnesty International
International Bar Association
International Progressive Organization
National Conference of Black Lawyers
National Bar Association (International Section)
Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (Netherlands)

 

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