Download a PDF of this section: The Faculty of Arts Print this page Email this page

International Relations

The International Relations program offers a Bachelor of Arts. Students who wish to study International Relations at UBC at the graduate level can do this as part of their program within an established department (e.g., the departments of History or Political Science).

Students who want to go on to graduate work in International Relations after completing their Bachelor of Arts are advised to consider the special Honours programs in History (with International Relations) and in Political Science (with International Relations) or to make sure they have at least 24 credits of 300- and 400-level courses in one of the core disciplines (economics, history, political science).

Major in International Relations

Admission to the Major requires that a student has completed at least 54 credits applicable to the Bachelor of Arts.

Admission is not automatic. Students who do not have a sufficiently high average cannot be admitted to the Major.

Depending upon the number of applicants in a given year, an average of approximately 76% will be required for admission into the Major.

Admission is based on the average grade obtained for all post-secondary course work attempted, with the exception of 12 credits which may be excluded from the calculation. All courses taken in International Relations and any course taken toward the Arts writing component cannot be excluded from the average calculation.

To be eligible to apply to the IR program students need to have completed one of the following IR lower division requirements:

  1. ECON 101 and 102
  2. HIST 102 or 103
  3. POLI 260

It is strongly recommended that students complete all of these courses before applying to the program. Students may complete their language requirements in their third or fourth year. Arts One students can only count their English credits toward the IR program. They will, therefore, need to fulfill all of the lower division requirements.

Application forms will be available after February 1 online or forms can be picked up from the International Relations Program Office (Room 305, Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive).

Completed applications are due by May 15 prior to registration for third year. They should submitted online or be handed or mailed to the International Relations Program Office, Room 305, Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2.

Applicants should arrange for transcripts from all post-secondary institutions they have attended, other than UBC, to be mailed to the above address.

Applicants will be notified by June 15 whether they have been accepted, rejected, or put on a waiting list.

All courses listed below are 6 credits unless otherwise indicated.

First 60 Credits

The first 60 credits of the program require that students complete:

  • ECON 101 and 102 (or ECON 310 or 311)
  • HIST 102 or 1031
  • POLI 260 (3)
  • 12 credits of one language other than English, in addition to the Faculty of Arts language requirement (the language can be the one used to satisfy the Faculty of Arts requirement carried to a higher level, or it can be an additional language)

While it is advisable to complete all of these requirements prior to the third year, it is permissible to complete some of them in the third year.

1Arts One does not satisfy this requirement.

60 to 120 Credits

A minimum of 33 credits in International Relations. These 33 credits must include the following:

  • ECON 3551 (3) or ECON 356 (3)
  • HIST 425, HIST 432, or HIST 408 (3) and 409 (3)
  • One of POLI 360 (3/6), 361 (3/6), 362 (3), 364 (3/6), or 367 (3/6)
  • In the last 30 credits, one of the required International Relations seminars: ECON 457 (3), HIST 403 (3), the section of POLI 464 (3) reserved for International Relations Majors, or one of the other seminars that may be designated by the chair of the program2
  • 18 credits from the lists below (of these 18 credits, at least either 9 credits must be from List A or 9 credits must be from List B; the remaining 9 credits can be from Lists A, B, or C)

1The prerequisite for this course is ECON 101 and 102, or ECON 310 and 311.

2A list of designated seminars for the following year will be available from the International Relations Program Office in the spring. These seminars are not available to third-year students. With permission of the chair of the International Relations Program, students are permitted to take more than one of these seminars.

For the purposes of the International Relations Major, no course can be double-counted, i.e., used to satisfy two requirements (e.g., if POLI 360 is used to satisfy the political science requirement [see above], it cannot be counted as part of these 18 credits).

  1. International Diplomacy, Security, and Peace Studies
    1. ASIA 410 (3), 430 (3)
    2. GEOG 316 (3), 329 (3), GEOG 453 (3)
    3. GRSJ 305 (3), 326 (3)
    4. HIST 310 (3), 311 (3), 395 (3), 402 (3), 405 (3), 408 (3), 409 (3), 418 (3), 425, 432, 441 (3), 484 (3)
    5. POLI 329 (3), 334 (3), 351 (3), 360 (3/6), 361 (3/6), 362 (3), 363 (3/6), 364 (3/6), 367 (3/6), 369 (3/6), 370 (3/6), 373 (3), 374 (3), 376 (3), 460 (3/6), 461 (3), 462 (3), 466 (3)
    6. SOCI 420 (3/6), 430 (3), 461 (3/6), 470 (3/6)
  2. International Economy and Development
    1. ANTH 330 (3), 360 (3)
    2. ECON 312 (3), 313 (3), 317 (3), 318 (3), 319, 334, 335 (3), 339 (3), 341 (3), 342 (3), 343 (3), 351 (3), 355 (3), 356 (3), 371 (3), 374 (3), 387 (3), 441* (3), 442* (3), 444 (3), 455 (3), 456 (3), 471 (3), 472 (3), 487 (3)

      *Students who have taken ECON 440 cannot take ECON 441 or 442 for IR Credit
    3. FNH 355 (3), FNH 455 (3)
    4. FRE 306 (3), 340 (3), 420 (3)
    5. FRST 439 (3)
    6. GEOG 310 (3), 311 (3), 312 (3), 321 (3), 352 (3), 353 (3), 361 (3), 362 (3), 364 (3), 410 (3), 423 (3), 457 (3), 468 (3), 496 (3)
    7. GRSJ 306 (3)
    8. HIST 423 (3)
    9. IHHS 300 (3)
    10. PHIL 335 (3/4), 435 (3/4)
    11. POLI 316 (3), 329 (3), 364 (3/6), 366 (3), 463 (3)
    12. SOCI 301 (3/6), 360 (3/6), 361 (3/6)
  3. Area Studies
    1. Africa: AFST 351 (3), 352 (3); ANTH 308 (3/6), HIST 309 (3), 312 (3), 313 (3), GEOG 496 (3)
    2. Asia: ANTH 302 (3/6), 307 (3/6), 315 (3/6), 350 (3/6), 351 (3/6), 402 (3/6), 416 (3/6); ASIA 309 (3), 310 (3), 315 (3), 319 (3), 330 (3), 331 (3), 337 (3), 338 (3), 339 (3), 379, 380, 390 (3), 411 (3), 418 (3), 422, 434, 438 (3), 456 (3), 480, 484 (3), 488 (3); GEOG 380 (3), 468 (3), 481 (3), 484 (3), 485 (3); HIST 342 (3), 376, 380 (3/6), 383, 385, 386 (3/6), 389, 480, 482 (3), 483 (3); POLI 321 (3/6), 322 (3/6), 323 (3/6), 324 (3/6), 330 (3), 365 (3/6), 368 (3); SOCI 315 (3/6), 416 (3/6)
    3. Canada and the Americas: AFST 450 (3/6); ANTH 304 (3/6), 353 (3); ECON 336, 337 (3); GEOG 395 (3), 495 (3); GRSJ 311(3); HIST 302, 332, 338 (3), 339 (3), 357 (3), 358 (3), 396 (3), 411 (3), 412, 444 (3), 450 (3/6), 451 (3), 453 (3), 456 (3), 466, (3), 468 (3), 469 (3), 485 (3); LAST 301 (3), 303 (3); POLI 309 (3), 320 (3/6), 332 (3/6)
    4. Comparative, Cross-Regional, Global, and Varying Topics: ANTH 303 (3/6), 403 (3/6), 404 (3/6), 415 (3), GEOG 390 (3/6), 497 (3), IHHS 409 (3), POLI 310 (3), 316 (3), 335 (3/6), 336 (3), SOCI 303 (3/6), 435 (3/6), 460 (3/6)
    5. Europe and Eurasia: CENS 404 (3); GEOG 391 (3), 493 (3), 494 (3); HIST 315 (3), 318 (3), 319 (3), 346, 349 (3), 350, 351, 354, 368 (3), 369 (3), 370 (3), 434, 439 (3); ITST 345 (3); POLI 325 (3), 326 (3), 327 (3)
  4. Variable Topics Courses - Students interested in the courses below should contact the IR Chair prior to registering to determine into which list they fall depending on the topic of the requested session.
    1. GEOG 461 (3), POLI 333 (3), 328 (3/6)

Minor in International Relations

A Minor consists of at least 30 credits, but not more than 42 credits, selected from the courses listed as part of the International Relations Major, of which at least 18 must be numbered 300 or above. At least 12 credits of the following must be included among the courses taken: ECON 101 and 102 (or ECON 310 and 311), HIST 102 or 103, and POLI 260.

In accordance with the Faculty of Arts restrictions, no more than 6 upper level credits may be double counted between a student's major and the IR minor. Students are also required to take at least 6 credits in one language other than English, in addition to the Faculty of Arts language requirement. The language can be the one used to satisfy the Faculty of Arts requirement carried to a higher level, or it can be an additional language. Students undertaking a Minor in International Relations do not need to submit an application or secure permission to do so. Language courses do not count toward the required 30 to 42 credits in International Relations.

Honours in International Relations

The International Relations program does not offer an honours program. However, students wishing to do an Honours degree in International Relations can do so in conjunction with the Honours programs of the Departments of History or Political Science. Students must apply directly to one of these departments for admission into the Honours program during their second year.

Students may not count more than 60 credits of International Relations courses (i.e., required courses and those on Lists A, B, and C [see above]) toward the Bachelor of Arts. (Language courses do not count as part of these 60 credits.)

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia