International Relations Major

To declare IR as your major, log into AXESS and indicate that you want to declare the IR major. Read over the major requirements and policies below, then complete and return the following forms:

Your proposal will be reviewed by the Program Director. When it is approved you will be declared as an IR major and notified by email. You should try to declare by the first quarter of your junior year, including those declaring a secondary or double major.

IR majors are required to

  1. Undertake a set of Core Courses in Political Science, Economics, History and Statistics.
  2. Complete a Primary or Secondary Specialization.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.
  4. Compete a quarter of study overseas through the Bing Overseas Studies Program or a pre-approved non-Stanford program.

Check the Stanford Bulletin for course availability.

International Politics (5 units)
. Political Science 1

Comparative Governance (5 units)
One of the following courses
. Political Science 4
. History 102

American Foreign Policy (5 units)
One of the following courses
. Political Science 110C
. Political Science 110D

Introductory Economics (10 units)
Two of the following lower division Economic Courses
. Economics 1A
. Economics 1B
. Economics 50
. Economics 51
. Economics 52

Applied Economics (5 units)
Approved upper-division economics courses.

Skills Class (5 units)
At least one of the following courses
. Political Science 150A
. Statistics 60
. Econ 102A

Complete 20 units in a primary specialization and 15 units in a secondary specialization from the list below.

  • International Security
  • Economic Development/World Economy 
  • Comparative International Governance    
  • Social Development & Human Well-Being
  • Africa        
  • East & South Asia        
  • Latin American & Iberian Studies
  • Europe (East and West) and Russia        
  • MECA (Middle East and Central Asia)


  • At least one course must