International Affairs Major (B.A.)

International Affairs Major (B.A.)
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What is international affairs?

International affairs is the study of global issues through the disciplines of political science, history, economics, geography, sociology, and anthropology. Students acquire the substantive knowledge, practical skills, and real-world experience to address critical issues in international affairs, including: war and diplomacy; trade; climate change and biodiversity; human rights; women’s rights; refugees and migration; inequality and poverty. This major provides students with theoretical approaches grounded in the study of real places and peoples. Students concentrate in one of the following areas: global development and environment; international security; global ethnic, race, and diversity studies; global health and education; regional or transnational studies.

Why study international affairs at UNH?

International Affairs faculty at UNH have expertise in crime and migration in Latin America; international security and foreign policy; gender and the military; environment and politics in the Middle East and South America; ethnic conflict in South Asia; the United Nations system; energy and environmental history; and the rise of China. All international affairs students study abroad or complete an internship with an international focus. Study abroad locations have included Costa Rica, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Switzerland, and China. Students pursue additional foreign language training or economics and quantitative reasoning, which adds tools to their skillset for studying international affairs.

Potential Career Areas

  • Foreign Policy Analyst
  • Human rights & non-governmental organizations
  • International consulting firms
  • USAID, International Rescue Committee, or other aid organizations
  • US State Dept/Government agencies
  • Researcher (think tanks)
  • International business
  • Journalism
  • Peace Corps or other service organizations

POLT/IA Advisor and Academic Department Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-1767
Office: Political Science, Horton Social Science Center Rm 312C, Durham, NH 03824

Assistant Professor & Program Director International Affairs
Phone: (603) 862-3356
Office: UNH Political Science, Horton Social Science Center, Durham, NH 03824
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Curriculum & Requirements

International affairs is the focused study of global issues drawing on approaches from political science, history, economics, anthropology, and related fields. Students acquire the substantive knowledge, practical skills, and real-world experience to address critical issues in international affairs, such as war and diplomacy, climate change and biodiversity, human rights and women’s rights, refugees and migration, and inequality and poverty. 

Students can focus their studies in one of the following thematic tracks: global development and environment; international security; global ethnic, race, and diversity studies; global health and education; regional or transnational studies in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, or Asia.  The major in IA thus provides students theoretical approaches grounded in the empirical study of places and peoples.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

All majors must complete 40 hours of IA core courses and departmentally approved IA electives, with a grade of C or better and a grade point average of 2.5 or better.

Core Courses
IA 401International Perspectives4
IA 501Global Issues in International Affairs4
IA 701Exploring International Challenges and Opportunities4
Select one introductory course from the following: 4
ANTH 411
Global Perspectives on the Human Condition: An Introduction to Anthropology
EDUC 402
Introduction to Educational Studies: Social Change and Education in Local and Global Contexts
GEOG 401
World Regions: Europe and the Americas
GEOG 402
World Regions: Asia and Africa
HIST 421
World History to the 16th Century
HIST 422
World History in the Modern Era
POLT 403
United States in World Affairs
Select one of the following options:8
Option A:
Two courses in a world language 1
Option B:
One course in Quantitative Reasoning and one course in Economics from the below
Quantitative Reasoning courses
EREC 525
Statistical Methods and Applications
MATH 439
Statistical Discovery for Everyone
POLT 595
Smart Politics
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology
SOC 402
Economics courses
ECON 401
Principles of Economics (Macro)
ECON 402
Principles of Economics (Micro)
EREC 411
Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives
Select 3 courses in a specific regional or thematic track from the below elective course list.12
Select one of the following: variable
Study Abroad
Internship with International Dimension
600/700 level course from one of the thematic tracks
Elective Course List - Thematic Tracks
Select three electives in one of the following thematic tracks below:
Regional and Transnational Studies Track
Complete three courses in a COLA interdisciplinary area studies minor. These include:
African Studies
Asian Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
Global Development and Environment Track
CMN 670
From Silicon Valley to Foxconn: Global Digital Capitalism
EDUC 520
Education, Poverty, and Development
ENGL 736
Environmental Theory
GEOG 550
Sub-Saharan Africa: Environmental Politics and Development
GEOG 560
Natural Hazards and Human Disasters
GEOG #584
Political Geography
HIST 609
Special Topics in American Legal History
HIST 690
Seminar: Historical Expl
HIST 797
POLT #546
Wealth and Politics in Asia
POLT 549
The Politics of Markets
POLT 550
Comparative Government and Society
POLT 556
Politics in China
POLT #750
Politics of Poverty
POLT #751
Comparative Environmental Politics and Policy
POLT 762
International Political Economy
SOC 693
Global Change and Social Sustainability
Global Ethnic, Race, and Diversity Studies Track
ANTH 500
Peoples and Cultures of the World
ANTH 513
Ethnographic Methods
Identities and Difference in the Ancient World: Slaves and Masters
CMN 620W
Global Media, Culture, and Power
CMN 596
Special Topics in Media Studies
CMN 772
Seminar in Media Theory
EDUC 550
Language and Linguistic Diversity in Schools
EDUC 525
Teaching Race
EDUC #797
Special Topics in Education
ENGL 581
Reading the Postcolonial Experience
HIST #444D
Slavery and Society in Pre-Colonial Africa
HIST 483
History of World Religions
HIST 588
History of Modern Africa: 1870 to the Present
HUMA #730
Special Studies
Honors/Global Justice
POLT 551
Ethnicity ,Violence, Democracy
SOC #745
Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality
International Security Track
HIST 498
Explorations of Historical Perspectives
HIST 537
Espionage and History
HIST 609
Special Topics in American Legal History
HIST 620
Foreign Relations of the United States
HUMA 525
Humanities and the Law
POLT 545
People and Politics in Asia
POLT 559
Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLT 560
World Politics
POLT 562
Strategy and National Security Policy
POLT #565
United States Policy in Latin America
POLT 566
Asian Challenge to Global Order
POLT 568
International Security
POLT 569
The Rise of China
POLT 592
Selected Topics in International Politics
POLT 740
States and Societies in the Middle East
POLT 742
Politics of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India
POLT 760
Theories of International Relations
POLT 778
International Organization
Seminar in International Politics
Global Health and Education Track
ANTH 685
Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
ANTH #695
Globalization and Global Population Health
EDUC #444B
Public Issues, Democratic Schooling & Active Citizenship in a Global Context
EDUC 520
Education, Poverty, and Development
EDUC 525
Teaching Race
EDUC 550
Language and Linguistic Diversity in Schools
EDUC 605
Educational Perspectives in Critical Times
Honors/The Mad Among Us: A Global History of Mental Disorder
Honors/Drugs and Addiction in World History
HIST 498
Explorations of Historical Perspectives
POLT 548
Drug Wars

International Affairs Language Requirement
IA majors must demonstrate functional reading, writing, and speaking ability equivalent to an intermediate II level (504). Students may take placement tests to establish proficiency. Native second language speakers are exempt from this requirement - speak to an IA advisor. Language study may be pursued at UNH; through study abroad in the summer, J-term, or academic year; or through transfer credits from other institutions with the permission of an IA advisor.

  • Apply different disciplinary approaches to the study of international affairs, including key themes and theoretical frameworks employed in these disciplines;
  • Use critical thinking skills to analyze and discuss important global issues;
  • Engage with cultural diversity and complexity through the international experience;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with different types of data and sources and their appropriate use in analyzing selected topics in international affairs;
  • Demonstrate competence in research design. Students will develop inquiry-based research questions, conduct a literature review, employ appropriate methods and data collection, and interpret their findings accurately.

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