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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fulfill the IR Introductory Economics core requirement if I am doing an Economics double major or minor?

The School of Humanities and Sciences permits double counting certain introductory courses with no prerequisites. The IR Program can permit double counting ECON 1 towards the Introductory Economics core requirement. 

Can I double count STATS 60 towards my double major or minor to fulfill my IR Skills Class core requirement?

The School of Humanities and Sciences permits double counting only introductory courses with no prerequisites. The IR Program will therefore double count STATS 60 to fulfill the IR Skills Class core requirement. Note: ECON 102A cannot be double counted for the IR Skills Class core requirement because it has a prerequisite and therefore is not considered an introductory course in this context. 

How do I fulfill the language requirement?
  • Complete the 2nd year, 3rd quarter class in the language of your choice.



  • 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 a letter to the IR Office detailing your living and educational experience in your first language—e.g., where you were raised outside of the U.S., how many years of schooling you received in your first language, and any other information relevant to demonstrating your native proficiency in your first language.

Do I have to take language courses for a grade?

Language courses may be taken for CR/NC. Please note that if you plan to double major or minor in a foreign language, the respective department may require you to complete language courses for a letter grade.

Does sign language at Stanford satisfy the IR two-year foreign language requirement?

No. Currently Stanford only offers American Sign Language (ASL), which is not considered a foreign language. 

Can the study abroad requirement be waived?

Yes, if you are an international student who was raised abroad at least into High School. You must submit to the IR Office the IR Study Abroad Waiver Petition explaining where you lived outside of the U.S., what kind of school you attended (e.g., international school) and the language of instruction used, and the age through  which you attended school while living abroad. There are other study abroad waiver considerations—e.g., varsity athlete—but typically we might at most reduce the required time studying abroad rather than approve an exemption.  

When should I study abroad?

You should ideally try to study abroad during sophomore or junior year.  Study abroad during senior year is not advisable, especially if you need to complete a senior thesis.

Can I go abroad with a non-Stanford study abroad program to fulfill the IR study abroad requirement?

Yes, but non-Stanford programs MUST be pre-approved by the IR office prior to enrolling in the program; please submit the IR Non-Stanford Overseas Studies Petition Form. Upon return, you will need to provide the IR office with a transcript for verification of program participation. Please keep in mind that approval of a study abroad program does not imply course credit approval.  To count courses from the program towards IR degree requirements, please submit an IR Course Petition Form for each course. You will also need to have the course(s) approved by the Stanford Transfer Credit Office.

How do I transfer course credit from another university or non-Stanford study abroad program?

Transfer credit must be approved first through the Office of the University Registrar.  Once approved by the Registrar, you may request review for approval to satisfy IR major or minor requirements by submitting to the IR Office the IR Course Petition Form along with a copy of the syllabus and the transfer credit documentation (note that for AY20-21, there is no specific sequence, so you can first request IR approval—see the Registrar's website for details). Transfer courses from universities outside of Stanford must receive a 'B-' or better to count towards IR degree requirements. Up to three non-Stanford courses, for a maximum of 15 units, may be counted towards IR degree requirements. 


Can I count a non-preapproved course towards my IR major?

Very possibly. Please fill out the IR Course Petition Form and include a course syllabus.

How do I find an IR major advisor?

Please read the IR Major Advisor Guide. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to an IR Peer Advisor, the IR Associate Director, or IR Director. We are always here to help!

What do Stanford IR majors do after graduation?

Stanford IR majors pursue careers in government, NGOs, the non-profit sector, and business or go on to graduate studies in international law, international policy, political science, business, journalism, and economics.   

IR Alum of Stanford Job Titles