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International Relations Minor

In the Einaudi Center’s international relations minor (IRM), you study the politics, economics, history, languages, and cultures of the world and gain a fresh perspective on your major field of study. The minor is open to all Cornell undergraduates and includes courses from across the university.

About the Minor

flags of many nations

IRM is an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor—not a major or a department—open to students enrolled in any of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges. In addition to your regular degree courses, you have the flexibility to take a range of courses across colleges and departments.  

Your opportunities as an international relations minor extend beyond the Ithaca campus. If you study abroad for a semester or year, you can complete some of the minor’s requirements, including the language requirement.  

IRM graduates have gone on to higher education in disciplines such as political science and anthropology, as well as to successful careers in international law, economics, agriculture, trade, finance, journalism, public policy, and government service.

Course Requirements

Your courses will reach across the university, concentrated in four groups. You must complete eight courses selected from the four groups. All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade.  

Group 1: International Economics and Development

  • AEM/ECON 2300—International Trade and Finance 
  • ECON 3545—International Finance and Macroeconomics  
  • ECON 4510—International Trade Theory and Policy

Group 2: World Politics and Foreign Policy

  • GOVT 1817—Making Sense of World Politics 

Group 3: Transnational Processes and Policies

  • DSOC 2050—International Development  
  • DSOC 3311—Environmental Governance  
  • GOVT 3867—War: Causes and Conduct

Group 4: Cultural Studies

  • ANTHR 1400—The Comparison of Cultures
  • GOVT 4365—Ethnonational Communities and Conflicts 

Course Focus and Distribution

Choose a focus on 1) politics and economics, or 2) culture. Select your eight courses around one of these focuses.  

Focus on Politics and Economics of International Relations

  • One core course from each group. 
  • One elective from each group.  

Focus on Culture

  • One core course from each group. 
  • One elective from either Group 1 or 2. 
  • One elective from Group 3. 
  • One elective from Group 4. 
  • One additional elective from either Group 3 or 4.   

Language Requirements

IRM students must achieve language skills beyond the level of proficiency. For most languages, proficiency is attained by completing a course at the 2000 level, covering basic grammar and structure of the language.  

The language requirement can be fulfilled in two ways:  

  • Demonstrated proficiency in two foreign languages, or   
  • Demonstrated facility in one foreign language (proficiency plus one course that uses the language to explore some aspect of a foreign culture, such as literature or film). 

Study Abroad

You are strongly encouraged to study abroad, which will bring a practical dimension to your expertise in international issues. To learn more about programs available for study abroad, consult Education Abroad, part of the Office of Global Learning.  

How to Apply

Email IRM to enroll in the international relations minor.  

You can attend regular IRM office hours with the administrative coordinator on Mondays from 2:00–4:00 p.m. in 156 Uris Hall.  

Contact the administrative coordinator if you have further questions. Faculty director Christopher Way is an additional resource for international relations minors.