Online International Relations Degree

The field of international relations is where political science and global studies intersects. If you are interested in helping to maintain positive relations between countries, you may be intrigued at the idea of earning an international relations degree online. Degree programs are offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and there are even some programs that offer certificates. No matter the level, the common goal of education programs is to provide you with an education in pivotal global topics and implementing positive change in the global community.

 Professional Insight: 

"Earning an international relations degree in NATO-Warsaw Pact relations gave me a solid foundation during the time I served in the Army, as well as a greater appreciation for and understanding of global issues during my subsequent civilian career."

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-Steve Naru, Managing Director at Burson Marsteller

Examples of Common Courses for International Relations Degree Programs

Your specific coursework for your online international relations degree program is likely to depend on whether you’re earning a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Course examples at the undergraduate level may include[i] :

  • Ancient and modern political philosophy
  • Comparative foreign policy
  • Contemporary global problems
  • Economic development and political economy

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and desire to earn a graduate degree in international relations, you may learn about[ii]:

  • International policy
  • Sovereignty issues
  • Political philosophy
  • Middle East laws and policy
  • Introduction to geopolitics and international diplomacy

Depending on the program, there could also be a field experience requirement. This experience is designed to provide you with hands-on experience that allows you to put your learned knowledge to the test.[iii]

International Relations Program Concentration Options

You may also want to hone the focus of your international relations studies by choosing a concentration. If you already have an idea of the specific area of international relations in which you’re most interested, it’s best that you check to ensure a program has that concentration before you enroll. Examples of these concentrations include:

  • Middle East Affairs[iv]
  • Advanced International Affairs[v]
  • Global Affairs[vi]
  • International Development[vii]

What’s more is that a school could offer different international relations program options. By enrolling in a Master of International Service program, you may have the opportunityto build on your current international relations knowledge as you take advantage of networking opportunities and hands-on learning experiences. With the Master of Arts in International Relations program option, your studies might be more focused on providing you with leadership and intercultural skills. This particular concentration may help you better understand how a nation’s beliefs, values, and world views influence its behavior[viii].

What Industries May Employ People Who Earn an International Relations Degree Online?

Examples of career paths commonly pursued by those with education backgrounds in international relations include journalism, foreign policy analysis, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. Earning an online international relations degree may be a good option if you live far away from the program or school of your choice, or if you’d like to possibly save money and time on traveling back and forth from classes. By pursuing your degree, you can use your passion for international relations and political science to create positive changes throughout the world.

[i] government/ir_intl/ir_intl_req.cfm [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii]