International Relations is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that studies the interaction of actors in international politics, including states and non-state actors, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Amnesty International and other NGOs. Topics of study include foreign policy; international conflict and negotiation; war, peace, and international security; terrorism; international trade and economics; human rights, ethics, and humanitarianism; climate change and environmental issues; global health; among others. International relations’ broad scope requires an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon the fields of political science, economics, history, sociology, data science, law, foreign languages, and other fields. The IR major prepares students for careers in the government, nongovernment, and private sectors, and for admission into graduate programs, including law, international policy, business, political science, economics, and journalism.
Policies and Memos
IR Major Declaration
We are here to support you through the IR major/minor declaration process. For assistance with your course plan and guidance on connecting with a major advisor, please contact any peer advisor (or write to the irpeeradvice [at] stanford.edu (peer advisor list)), IR Student Services Officer Stephen Busse, or IR Associate Director pfesta [at] stanford.edu (Paul Festa). Please also refer to our Major Advisor Guide for helpful advice and a list of potential major advisors (the list is not comprehensive). We strongly encourage you to reach out to faculty to discuss the possibility of establishing a student-advisor relationship.
2020-21 Grading Policy
The Program in International Relations counts all courses taken in academic year 2020-21 with a grade of 'CR' (credit) or 'S' (satisfactory) towards satisfaction of major and minor undergraduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade.
Study Abroad Policy
While the program hopes that all IR majors have an opportunity to study abroad, it understands that program disruptions due to COVID-19 may make that difficult, if not impossible. The program is committed to ensuring that cancellations and travel risks due to COVID-19 do not prevent IR majors from graduating. For IR majors whose study abroad plans have been affected by program disruptions, the program will arrange appropriate accommodations, including waiving the requirement if necessary.
IR Major Capstone
Starting with the graduating class of 2025, all Stanford undergraduates will be required to complete a capstone project as part of their major. IR is currently developing its capstone project options with more information coming soon. Transfer students who enter in academic year 2022-23 or academic year 2023-24 and plan to graduate in academic year 2024-2025 or later will also be required to complete a capstone.
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