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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How do I fulfill the International Relations (IR) econ requirement if I’m doing an Economics double major or minor?

The IR and Econ Departments will “double count” the lower division Econ skills classes (i.e.- ECON 1 (formerly ECON 1A and 1B)) towards both the IR and Econ majors. However, you still MUST take an upper-division IR economics courses to fulfill the major requirement (this cannot be double-counted). 


If I’m doing another major that requires statistics, do I need to take another stats course for the IR Major?

IR will “double count” the lower division Skills Class (STATS 60 or ECON 102A). However, you MUST check with your other major department to see if they will also “double-count”.


How do I fulfill the language requirement?

a)  Complete the 2nd year, 3rd quarter class in the language of your choice.


b)  Arrange for a proficiency exam with the Language Center.


Can the language requirement be waived?

Yes, if English is your second language. You must submit an official letter to the IR Office detailing that English is your second language, which language is your first, and where you lived outside of the U.S.


Do I have to take language courses for a letter grade?

Courses used to fulfill the 2 year foreign language requirement for IR may be taken for Credit/No Credit. However, please note that if you plan to also major or minor in your foreign language, that Language Center may require you to complete these courses for an actual letter grade. Please refer to the Language Center for further guidance. 


May I take sign language at Stanford to satisfy the 2 year foreign language requirement?

No. Currently Stanford only offers American Sign Language (ASL), which is not considered a foreign language. ASL will not satisfy the IR major requirement for 2 years of foreign language proficiency. 


Can the overseas requirement be waived?

Yes, if you are a foreign student who has been raised abroad through High School. You must submit an official letter to the IR Office detailing where you lived outside of the U.S. and age was your last year of schooling was while living abroad.


When should I go overseas?

You should try to go overseas during your sophomore or junior year. It is not advisable to go overseas during your senior year, especially if you are writing an honors thesis.


Can I go abroad with a non-Stanford overseas program to fulfill the overseas studies requirement?

Non-Stanford programs MUST be pre-approved by the IR office before a student enrolls in the program. Please keep in mind that you can have an overseas program approved, but then not have the course credit approved.  Upon your return, you will need to provide us with a transcript for verification of program participation as well as the annotated transcript reviewed by BOSP and the Registrar’s office. If you are pursuing course credit, submit an  IR Overseas Course Petition Form 2018-2019 along with a copy of the syllabus for each course.


How do I transfer credit from another university or another overseas program?

See the Transfer Credit Office or refer to this website

After you receive the credit, you should complete either the  IR Course Petition Form 2018-2019 or the  IR Overseas Course Petition Form 2018-2019 form and turn it in along with a copy of the syllabus and the transfer credit documentation to the IR Office for possible major approval.


What if I took a non-approved Stanford course that I want to count toward my major?

Fill out an  IR Course Petition Form 2018-2019 and include a syllabus and your transcript.


How do I find an advisor?

Check out the suggested  List of Suggested IR Faculty Advisors (PDF) from the IR Program Office to help get you started. Or, approach a faculty member you have previously taken courses with and feel would be suitable. Make an appointment or drop in during office hours with a faculty member to discuss the IR major and being your IR advisor.


What do IR students pursue after graduating from Stanford?

Many IR students pursue careers in government, non-governmental organizations, and business or go on to graduate school in law, business, economics, or political science. Connect with IR on LinkedIn to network with former and current students. Here is a list of 100 current job title for IR Alum as self-reported on LinkedIn:   100 Job Titles of IR Alum