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How to Declare


To declare International Relations (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 the following forms (below) and submit them to an IR Peer Advisor during drop-in office hours. The IR Peer Advisors, and their posted office hours, can be found on their page here.



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.

Helpful Documents to Declare:

 List of Suggested IR Faculty Advisors

IR Information Handbook 2018-2019



1.     Complete a set of Core Courses in Political Science, Economics, History and Statistics. To view the Core courses, click here.

2.     Complete a Primary and Secondary Specialization. To view the Specialization courses, click here.

3.     Demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.

4.     Complete a quarter of study overseas through the Bing Overseas Studies Program or a pre-approved non-Stanford program.

Students majoring in International Relations must complete a minimum of 70 total units (30 units of core courses as well as 40 units of specialization courses). As part of the core curriculum, you must take Introductory Economics. 



  • At least one course must be an upper division, seminar or colloquium.
  • At least one course must be designated by the IR Program as writing intensive (WiM).
  • All courses counting toward the major must be taken for a LETTER GRADE and receive a “C” or better (with the exception of foreign language courses used to satisfy the 2-year language requirement, which may be taken for C/NC). Transfer courses from universities outside Stanford must receive a B- or better to count toward the degree.
  • Up to five units of Directed Reading can be counted towards your IR major requirements.
  • Up to three non-Stanford courses, for a maximum of 15 units, may be counted toward the IR major. A minimum grade of B- is required for transfer credit. Petitions for credit must be submitted to the IR office.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language may be demonstrated by (a) completing two years of university-level instruction, or (b) passing a proficiency exam administered by the Language Center.
  • Advanced Placements units do not fulfill the foreign language requirement.
  • Foreign language units do not count towards the major.
  • At least one quarter of academic study overseas through the Bing Overseas Studies Program or a pre-approved non-Stanford program.
  • If double majoring, courses used to fulfill the requirements for the second major cannot be counted towards the IR major.
  • For additional policies and requirements, please see theIR Information Handbook 2018-2019



If you are interested in meeting with a Peer Advisor to learn more about the IR program or to declare, visit their page here or send a message to