Academic Course Catalogs

Drop Shadow

International Relations

Michael Williams, JD, PhD, CHAIR
Del Dickson, JD, PhD
Casey B. K. Dominguez, PhD
Patrick F. Drinan, PhD
Emily Edmonds, PhD
Virginia Lewis, PhD
Vidya Nadkarni, PhD
Noelle Norton, PhD
Lee Ann Otto, PhD
Michael R. Pfau, PhD
David Shirk, PhD
Avi Spiegel, JD, PhD
Randy Willoughby, PhD

The Department of Political Science and International Relations offers two majors. For information on the Political Science major, please see the Political Science section of this catalog.

The International Relations Major

The International Relations (IR) major is an interdisciplinary field of study designed for students who seek a holistic understanding of international affairs. The curriculum is rooted in political science and provides students with a strong background in international relations and comparative government. At the same time, the curriculum reflects the recognition that international political phenomena are best understood from a variety of perspectives and includes courses from disciplines such as history, economics, religious studies, fine arts and literature. In order to complement their academic training with first-hand experience in a foreign country, students are also required to complete 3 units in a study abroad program. Graduates from the IR program are well prepared for careers in government, private industry, law, education and the nonprofit sector, as well as for graduate study in political science and international affairs.

Preparation for the Major

POLS 125, 175, and 250; Any non-U.S. History course; ECON 101 and 102.

Major Requirements

33 units of upper division work to include (note: course descriptions are listed under the Political Science major):

A. Core Courses
Six Upper-Division Units (you must take both of the following courses):
POLS 350 Comparative Politics (3) (typically offered in Fall)
POLS 370 Theories of International Relations (3) (typically offered in Spring)

B. International and Comparative Politics
15 Upper-Division Units (five courses) from among the following:
POLS 306 Political Ideology (3)
POLS 307 Politics and Religion (3)
POLS 326 Comparative Law (3)
POLS 327 International Law (3)
POLS 329 Law of the Sea (3)
POLS 349 Politics and the Environment (3)
POLS 352 Comparative Politics of Developing Countries (3)
POLS 354 Revolutionary Change (3)
POLS 355 Politics in Europe (3)
POLS 357 Politics in Latin America (3)
POLS 358 Politics in South Asia (3)
POLS 359 Politics in the Middle East (3)
POLS 360 Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa (3)
POLS 361 Politics in South Africa (3)
POLS 362 Politics in the United Kingdom (3)
POLS 363 Politics in France (3)
POLS 364 Politics in Germany (3)
POLS 365 Politics in Russia (3)
POLS 366 Politics in Mexico (3)
POLS 367 Politics in Japan (3)
POLS 368 Politics in China (3)
POLS 371 American Foreign Policy (3)
POLS 374 U.S.-Latin American Relations (3)
POLS 376 U.S. National Security (3)
POLS 377 Regional Security (3)
POLS 378 Transnational Crime and Terrorism (3)
POLS 380 International Political Economy (3)
POLS 382 International Human Rights (3)
POLS 383 International Organizations (3)
POLS 480 Model United Nations (1)
POLS 485 Washington, D.C.: Directed Study in International Relations (3)
POLS 486 Washington, D.C.: Internship in International Relations (6)
POLS 487 Washington, D.C.: Class in International Relations (3)
POLS 494 Special Topics in International Relations (1-3)
POLS 498 Internship in International Relations (1-6)
POLS 499 Independent Study in International Relations (1-3)

C. Humanities and Social Sciences
Nine Upper-Division Units (three courses) with no more than three units (one course) taken from one department. The following courses are all acceptable. Other upper division courses with predominantly international or comparative content can be used upon specific approval by the department chair.

ANTH 328 Caribbean Cultures (3)
ANTH 334 South American Archaeology (3)
ANTH 335 Nautical Archaeology (3)
ANTH 339 Post Medieval Seafaring and Empire (3)
Art History
ARTH 331 Art in Public Spaces (3)
ARTH 333 Modern Art: 1780-1920 (3)
ARTH 334 Art of the 20th Century in Europe and the Americas (3)
ARTH 343 Memory, Monument, Museum (3)
ARTH 344 Biographies of World Cities (3)
ARTH 345 Avant-Garde and Mass Culture: Art and Politics in Europe 1789-1945 (3)
FINA 405 International Financial Management (3)
MGMT 309 International Comparative Management (3)
MKTG 305 Global Marketing (3)
BSCM 300 Global Purchasing and Supply Management (3)
BUSN 377 Negotiation in a Global Business Environment (3)
COMM 380 International Media (3)
COMM 480 Advanced Topics in International Media (3)
ECON 333 International Economics (3)
ECON 335 Economic Development of Latin America (3)
ECON 337 Economic Development of Asia (3)
ENGL 364 Postcolonial Studies (3)
ENGL 366 Modern European Literature (3)
ENGL 368 Modern British Literature (3)
HIST 334 European Art and Architecture in Context (3)
HIST 340 World War I (3)
HIST 341 World War II (3)
HIST 342 Birth of Two Nations: France and India (3)
HIST 345 Topics in Military History (3)
HIST 347 Topics in Modern Europe (3)
HIST 348 Modern France (3)
HIST 352 The British Empire (3)
HIST 354 Modern Spain (3)
HIST 357 Topics in Russian and East European History (3)
HIST 358 Topics in Modern World History (3)
HIST 359 Modern Middle East (3)
HIST 361 Modern Latin America (3)
HIST 362 Topics in Latin American History (3)
HIST 363 History of Brazil (3)
HIST 364 Topics in Asian History (3)
HIST 365 History of China (3)
HIST 366 History of Japan (3)
HIST 367 Women in East Asia (3)
HIST 368 History of Africa (3)
HIST 369 Issues in Modern Africa (3)
HIST 376-377 United States Foreign Relations (3/3)
HIST 384 History of Mexico (3)
HIST 387 History of Baja California (3)


FREN 302 Introduction to Analysis of French Literary Texts (3)
FREN 303 Cultural Backgrounds of French Civilization (3)
FREN 320 Survey of French Literature I: Middle Ages to the 18th Century (3)
FREN 321 Survey of French Literature II: 19th and 20th Centuries (3)
FREN 394 Topics in Language, Literature, or Culture (3)
FREN 403 Contemporary French Civilization (3)
FREN 410 French Theater (3)
FREN 411 French Prose (3)
FREN 412 French Novel (3)
FREN 413 French Poetry (3)
FREN 414 French Women Writers (3)
FREN 494 Topics in French Literature (3)
GERM 302 Readings in German Literature (3)
GERM 312 German Literature from 1900 to the Present (3)
GERM 394 Topics in Language, Literature, or Culture (3)
GERM 494 Topics in German Literature (3)
ITAL 320 Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture I: From the Middle Ages to the 17th
Century (3)
ITAL 321 Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to Today (3)
ITAL 403 Italian Culture through Film (3)
ITAL 410 Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (3)
ITAL 411 Studies in Modern Italian Literature and Culture (3)
ITAL 412 Studies in Contemporary Italian Literature and Culture (3)
ITAL 413 Italian Literature of Migration (3)
ITAL 420 Dante and His Times (3)
ITAL 494 Topics in Italian Literature (3)
SPAN 302 Cultural History of Spain (3)
SPAN 303 Introduction to Cultural Analysis (3)
SPAN 320 Survey of Spanish Literature (3)
SPAN 360 Survey of Latin American Literature (3)
SPAN 422 Studies in Medieval Spanish Literature (3)
SPAN 423 Studies in Spanish Literature of the Golden Age (3)
SPAN 424 Don Quijote de la Mancha (3)
SPAN 426 Spanish Literature of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (3)
SPAN 427 Twentieth-Century Spanish Literature (3)
SPAN 430 Studies in Hispanic Film (3)
SPAN 434 Theater of Early Modern Spain and Spanish America (3)
SPAN 448 The Latin American Short Story (3)
SPAN 449 Latin American Novel (3)
SPAN 451 Latin American Poetry (3)
SPAN 453 Mexican Literature and Culture (3)
SPAN 458 Jewish Latin America (3)
MUSC 331 Music History II: 1600-1830 (3)
MUSC 340 Topics in World Music (3)
MUSC 440W Topics in Ethnomusicology (3)
PHIL 321 Social Ethics (3)
PHIL 338 Environmental Ethics (3)
PHIL 340 Ethics of War and Peace (3)
PHIL 472 Studies in Modern European Philosophy (3)
PHIL 474 Studies in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (3)
PHIL 476 Studies in Asian Philosophy (3)
SOCI 351 China in the 21st Century (3)
SOCI 362 Social Change: Global Perspectives (3)
SOCI 455 Cities in a Global Context (3)
THRS 312 The Hindu Traditions (3)
THRS 313 Jewish Faith and Practice (3)
THRS 314 Buddhist Thought and Culture (3)
THRS 315 Islamic Faith and Practice (3)
THRS 316 The Daoist Tradition (3)
THRS 317 Religions of China (3)
THRS 321 Afro-Latin Religions (3)
THRS 368 Latino/a Theologies (3)
THRS 369 Liberation Theology (3)
THRS 382 The Prophetic Traditions of Israel (3)
THRS 390 The Holocaust: Death of God or Death of Humanity? (3)

D. Political Science
Three Upper-Division Units (one course). Students may take any upper division course offered by the department of political science and international relations, including: political theory, American politics, international politics, comparative politics, or internship.

E. Study Abroad
Students must take at least three units outside of the United States, as part of a study abroad experience. These units may be in any academic discipline, and may be either upper or Lower-Division Units. This requirement does not add to the overall number of units required for the major.

International Relations, Recommended Program of Study

The International Relations Minor

POLS 125, 175, and either 350 or 370, plus 9 additional Upper-Division Units of international and/or comparative politics, to be selected in consultation with an advisor from the political science/international relations faculty.

USD/Washington Center Internship Semester

University of San Diego students have the opportunity to enroll in a semester-long internship program in Washington, D.C. and earn academic credit toward their major. These internships are coordinated through the Political Science and International Relations Department and the Washington Center, a nationally recognized internship program that pioneered the development of full-time internships in the nation’s capital. The internship program combines real-world work experience with academic learning in a unique environment that fosters success and achievement. Students earn 12 semester units for participating in a full-time fall or spring semester program, and 6 to 9 units in the summer.

International Relations/Political Science Research Seminar Capstone

International relations majors have an option and are encouraged to take an international relations upper division research seminar capstone, offered each fall. This will help students to conduct research and write scholarly papers on a variety of international and/or comparative political topics.

All international relations majors who plan to go on to graduate school are strongly encouraged to enroll in the research seminar capstone course during their junior or senior year.

All students who would like to write a senior thesis, or who want to conduct independent research in international relations, should enroll in the research seminar capstone in lieu of independent study.

All honors students who are international relations majors are required to enroll in the research seminar capstone the semester before their honors thesis seminar.tation and other related resources.