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International Relations

Major in International Relations

An interdisciplinary degree program at the UBC Okanagan campus.

Note: The UBC Okanagan campus offers other interdisciplinary programs, including the Major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and the Minor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies.

The International Relations (IR) Major is an interdisciplinary program which allows students to develop a solid background in related areas of political science, history, Indigenous studies, sociology, anthropology, economics, and modern languages. The IR program stresses critical thinking and essential communication skills. A bachelor's degree in IR provides a solid foundation for diverse career options, including those associated with law, business, politics and government, foreign service, teaching, international development, and most professional programs. Post-graduate programs in IR are available at many universities in Canada and around the world.

The UBC Okanagan campus IR program has a strong record of successful graduates. Via the Go Global program, students in the IR Major program are encouraged to study and travel in other countries as part of their B.A. Major requirements. Admission to the IR Major occurs in the Winter Session, Term 2, for the following academic year. Students must submit a formal application to the coordinator of the IR program. Contact the IR Program Coordinator for more information.

Requirements for the International Relations Degree Program

  • B.A. requirements;
  • Admission to the International Relations program is conditional on maintaining an average of 70% on either: a) the last three terms as a full-time student, or b) the last 30 credits as a part-time student;
  • Second Language. Students must take 12 credits in preferably one or a maximum of two languages other than English. This is in addition to the language requirements embedded within the Communications requirement of the Bachelor of Arts degree. The language(s) may be the same as those used to satisfy the Bachelor of Arts requirement, carried to a higher level, or it may be additional languages. The 12 credits may be completed in the third or fourth year, but all students are encouraged to make completion of the language requirement a priority as early as possible in their program. In approved cases students may satisfy the second language requirement by taking a proficiency exam in lieu of language courses. However, the second language credits will need to be substituted by up to 12 credits of elective courses.

First and Second Years

  • Political Science: POLI 100, and two of the following: POLI 220, 221, 222. These courses represent core courses for the IR program;
  • History: 6 credits of either a) HIST 115, 145, or b) HIST 116, 126;
  • Economics: Students must complete ECON 101, 102;
  • Note: Although there are no required first- or second-year courses for Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, and Sociology, many of the third- and fourth-year courses required for the IR program have prerequisites.

Third and Fourth Years

From three or more disciplines, students must complete 30 credits from the following list of courses:

  • Anthropology: ANTH 312, 313, 320, 345, 350, 353, 355, 375, 377, 418, 427, 429, 445, 473, 475;
  • Economics: ECON 330, 331, 339, 345, 351, 355, 356, 358, 360, 361, 371, 390;
  • History: HIST 305, 312, 317, 354, 384, 396, 397, 412, 443, 444, 452, 468, 469, 473, 494;
  • Indigenous Studies: INDG 305, 306, 307, 308, 404, 420;
  • Philosophy: PHIL 373, 435, 437;
  • Political Science: POLI 310, 311, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 323, 334, 336, 352, 362, 363, 364, 366, 371, 372, 377, 378, 382, 383, 391, 433, 435, 462, 464, 465, 472, 476;
  • Sociology: SOCI 301, 303, 415, 429, 430, 440, 465, 467;
  • Within these 30 credits, students must complete at least one fourth-year POLI seminar course.

Students must complete additional 300 or 400-level electives to satisfy the Bachelor of Arts requirement of 48 upper-level credits.

Note: Many 300 or 400-level courses require prerequisites, which vary according to the course. In choosing courses, students should not assume that the same courses will be offered two years in a row.


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