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 Latin American Studies, the Major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and the Minor in Gender and Women's 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, 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. 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 Faculty of Arts requirement for an approved second language. The language(s) may be the same as those used to satisfy the Faculty of Arts requirement, carried to a higher level, or it may be an additional or 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: any two of the following, although all three are strongly recommended: 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;
  • Sociology and Anthropology: Although there are no required first- or second-year courses, many of the third- and fourth-year Sociology/Anthropology courses required for the IR degree have prerequisites. For some third- and fourth-year Sociology courses, the prerequisite is SOCI 111, 121; for Anthropology it is ANTH 100. These courses are recommended for students in the IR Major and may fulfill the electives component of the B.A. requirements.

Third and Fourth Years

Students must fulfill the requirements of Categories A (15 credits) and B (18 credits). In choosing courses, students should not assume that the same courses will be offered two years in a row. When selecting courses for third year, students are advised to take as many required courses as possible especially Category A courses.

Category A

  • Anthropology: one of ANTH 313, 320, 375, 377, 473, 475; or Sociology: one of SOCI 301, 440, 445, 450, 463; or Indigenous Studies: one of INDG 305, 306, 307, 308, 420;
  • Economics: one of ECON 331, 339, 355, 356, 358;
  • History1: one of HIST 402, 412, 468 (or POLI 433), 469;
  • Political Science: one of POLI 334, 336, 362, 364, 366, 462, 464 and one Political Science seminar course.

1The History Department requires 12 credits of History as a prerequisite for most upper-level History courses.

Category B

In addition to Category A requirements, students are required to take 18 additional credits, with no more than 9 credits from any one discipline. These may come from Category A (that is, from the courses not used to fulfill Category A requirements), or from the list below, for a total of 33 credits.

  • Anthropology: ANTH 350, 355, 429, 490; or Sociology: SOCI 303, 415, 430, 467;
  • Economics: ECON 330, 332, 333, 345, 361, 371, 390;
  • History1: HIST 305, 312, 317, 353, 354, 396, 397, 408, 436, 443, 444, 450, 452, 464, 471, 472, 473, 494;
  • Political Science: POLI 310, 311, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 323, 352, 363, 371, 372, 377, 378, 382, 383, 391, 433, 435, 464, 465, 472, 476.

1The History Department requires 12 credits of History as a prerequisite for most upper-level History courses.

Note: the total number of upper-division credits required from Categories A and B is 33. This covers the upper-division credit total of the IR Major. Students must, however, have 15 additional upper-division elective credits for a grand total of 48 upper-division credits in order to meet the B.A. requirements.

Page last updated: April 21, 2021

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