International Relations, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

Ethan Scheiner, Ph.D., Program Director

Major Office

469 Kerr Hall; 530-754-8098; International Relations

Problems of security, development, ethnic conflict, human rights, health, and the environment are increasingly confronted at a global rather than a national level. With its theoretical models and real-world application, the study of international relations is an exciting and highly relevant interdisciplinary major.

The Major

Graduation with a major in international relations requires completion of introductory courses in political science, economics, statistics, and history. The major also requires fluency in English and a working knowledge (approximately 24 to 30 units of course credits or equivalent fluency) of one other modern language. Students choose one of four tracks that encompass major topical areas in combination with an area studies emphasis:

  • World Trade & Development
  • Peace & Security
  • Global Environment, Health, & Natural Resources
  • Peoples & Nationalities

    Upper division coursework for Tracks I, II and III is composed of twelve courses. Students choosing Track IV, Peoples and Nationalities, are required to study or work abroad for a minimum of one quarter; upper division course work is reduced to nine classes in recognition of the experience gained through education abroad.

Programs, Internships, & Career Alternatives

One program of special interest to international relations majors is the Education Abroad Program, which provides insights into the life and culture of other countries. At UC Davis, the Internship and Career Center assists students in obtaining legislative, legal, and business internships. In addition, the UC Davis Washington Center and UC Center Sacramento arrange internships and run a full-credit academic program in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento respectively with a full range of opportunities for International Relations majors (see also UC Washington Center (UCDC). International Relations graduates are prepared for employment in government agencies (such as the Foreign Service), state agencies, international or non-governmental organizations (such as the United Nations), foundations, and companies having interests in international business, trade, or finance. The stringent language requirement of the major program enhances career prospects in jobs which demand knowledge of the language and culture of other countries.

International Relations Abroad

International Relations strongly encourages all students to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program; those who choose to study Track IV, Peoples and Nationalities, must study or work abroad for a minimum of one quarter. A maximum of five courses taken abroad may be applied toward the International Relations major. Courses are selected with the approval of an advisor for the International Relations program.

Major Advisor

Consult department office.

Preparatory Subject Matter
ECN 001APrinciples of Microeconomics4-5
or ANT 002 Cultural Anthropology
HIS 004CHistory of Western Civilization4
or HIS 010C World History III
POL 003International Relations4
ECN 001BPrinciples of Macroeconomics4
POL 002Introduction to Comparative Politics4
POL 051Scientific Study of Politics4
Choose one:4-5
Data Visualization in the Social Sciences
Elementary Statistics
Introduction to Social Statistics
Note: Preparatory Subject Matter does not cover all potential prerequisite courses for upper division curriculum.
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal28-30
Foreign Language
One of the following series in a single language, or certified fluency at the highest level required below:0-30
Elementary Arabic 1
and Elementary Arabic 2
and Elementary Arabic 3
Intermediate Arabic 21
and Intermediate Arabic 22
and Intermediate Arabic 23
Elementary Chinese
and Elementary Chinese
and Elementary Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
Accelerated Intensive Elementary Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers I
and Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers II
and Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers III
Accelerated Written Chinese I
and Accelerated Written Chinese II
and Accelerated Written Chinese III
Elementary French
and Elementary French
and Elementary French
and Intermediate French
and Intermediate French
Elementary German
and Elementary German
and Elementary German
Intermediate German
and Intermediate German
Elementary Hebrew
and Elementary Hebrew
and Elementary Hebrew
Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
and Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
and Intermediate Modern Hebrew III
Elementary Hindi/Urdu I
and Elementary Hindi/Urdu II
and Elementary Hindi/Urdu III
Intermediate Hindi/Urdu I
and Intermediate Hindi/Urdu II
and Intermediate Hindi/Urdu III
Elementary Italian
and Elementary Italian
and Elementary Italian
Intermediate Italian
and Intermediate Italian
Elementary Italian
and Elementary Italian
and Elementary Italian
Italian Conversation
and Italian Conversation
Elementary Japanese
and Elementary Japanese
and Elementary Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
Accelerated Intensive Elementary Japanese
Intermediate Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
Elementary Portuguese
and Elementary Portuguese
and Elementary Portuguese
Intermediate Portuguese
and Intermediate Portuguese
Elementary Russian
and Elementary Russian
and Elementary Russian
and Intermediate Russian
and Intermediate Russian
Elementary Spanish
and Elementary Spanish
and Elementary Spanish
Intermediate Spanish
and Intermediate Spanish
Intermediate Spanish for Native Speakers I
and Intermediate Spanish for Native Speakers II
and Intermediate Spanish for Native Speakers III
Note: The language curricula are subject to change; please check with an advisor for the major. A language not listed above may be substituted only with prior written approval of the International Relations Program Committee.
Foreign Language Subtotal0-30
Depth Subject Matter
Tracks I, II & III: Twelve upper division courses.
Track IV: Nine upper division courses.
Choose one track:36-48
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal36-48
Area Studies Requirement
Choose four: Courses must incorporate at least two of three groups (History, Social Analysis, Culture and Literature); we encourage students to take all four courses from one region, but will accept a minimum of three from one region and one from a different region. Tracks I, II and III students who choose to take advantage of an Education Abroad experience may fulfill the Area Studies requirement by completing three courses instead of four; all three courses must be from one region.16
Area Studies Requirement Subtotal16
Total Units80-124


Track I: World Trade & Development

Emphasizes contemporary economic relations of industrialized and developing countries.

For Advanced Industrialized Focus

ECN 100AIntermediate Micro Theory: Consumer & Producer Theory4
ECN 101Intermediate Macro Theory4
ECN 160AInternational Microeconomics4
ECN 160BInternational Macroeconomics4
POL 123The Politics of Interdependence4
Choose two from Group A.8
Choose one from Group B.4
Choose four to fulfill Area Studies Requirement.16
Total Units48

For Developing Countries Focus

ECN/ARE 115AEconomic Development4
ECN/ARE 115BEconomic Development4
ECN 162International Economic Relations4
POL 123The Politics of Interdependence4
POL 124The Politics of Global Inequality4
Choose two from Group A.4
Choose one from Group B.8
Choose four to fulfill Area Studies Requirement.16
Total Units48
Group A; Advanced Industrialized Countries
ARE 138International Commodity & Resource Markets4
ANT 127Urban Anthropology4
CRD 118Technology & Society4
CRD 141Organization of Economic Space4
ECN 102Analysis of Economic Data4
ECN 110BWorld Economic History Since the Industrial Revolution4
IRE/SOC 104The Political Economy of International Migration4
POL 130Recent U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 140AComparative Political Institutions: Electoral Systems 4
POL 140BComparative Political Institutions: Parties 4
POL 140CComparative Political Institutions: Legislatures4
POL 140DWhen Institutions Fail4
POL 140EPolicy-Making Processes4
SOC 138Economic Sociology4
SOC 139Corporations & Society4
SOC 141Industrialization & Social Change4
Group B; Developing Countries
ANT 122AEconomic Anthropology4
ANT 122BCapitalism & Power4
ANT 126AAnthropology of Development4
ANT 126BWomen & Development4
ANT 127Urban Anthropology4
CRD 153AInternational Community Development: Asia4
CRD 153BInternational Community Development: Europe4
CRD 153CInternational Community Development: Africa4
CRD 180Transnational Community Development4
ECN 110BWorld Economic History Since the Industrial Revolution4
IAD 103Social Change & Agricultural Development4
IRE/SOC 104The Political Economy of International Migration4
POL 124The Politics of Global Inequality4
POL 126Ethnic Self-Determination & International Conflict4
POL 142AComparative Development: Political Development in Modernizing Societies4
SAS 121Global Poverty: Critical Thinking & Taking Action4
SOC 138Economic Sociology4
SOC 141Industrialization & Social Change4
SOC 145ASociology of Third World Development4
SOC 145BGender & Rural Development in the Third World4

Track II: Peace & Security

Focuses on political and security relationships among states and non-state actors, examining questions of war, peace, alliances, and diplomacy.

Choose five courses spanning two disciplines:20
International Economic Relations
World War I
World War II
War, Prosperity, & Depression: United States, 1917-1945
The United States Since World War II, 1945 to the Present
Theories of International Politics
Scientific Study of War
Recent U.S. Foreign Policy
National Security Policy
Choose three additional courses from at least two departments:12
War & Peace in Literature
Theory of Games & Strategic Behavior
War & Revolution in Europe: 1789-1918
Europe in the 20th Century
Europe in the 20th Century
Human Rights
Political Philosophy
Contemporary Democratic Theory
International Law
The Politics of Global Inequality
Ethnic Self-Determination & International Conflict
Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy
Comparative Political Institutions: Electoral Systems
Comparative Political Institutions: Parties
Comparative Political Institutions: Legislatures
When Institutions Fail
Policy-Making Processes
Origins of Modern Sociological Theory
Political Sociology
Social Conflict
Choose four courses to fulfill Area Studies Requirement.16
Total Units48

Track III: Global Environment, Health & Natural Resources

Familiarizes students with new sources of global interdependence such as biodiversity, natural resource conflicts, population growth, and world health. Note: Some courses shown below have additional prerequisites.

ECN 162International Economic Relations4
POL 123The Politics of Interdependence4
ESP 161Environmental Law4
or ESP 162 Environmental Policy
Choose one:4
Ecology, Nature, & Society
Ecology & Politics
Environmental Ethics
Choose two:7-8
Resource & Environment Policy Analysis
Natural Resource Economics
Environmental Economics
Indigenous Peoples & Natural Resource Conservation
Environmental Analysis Using GIS
Community Development Perspectives on Environmental Justice
Economic Development
Energy Economics
Program Development for International Agriculture
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Physics & Society
Environmental Politics & Administration
Science, Technology, & Policy
Sociology of the Environment
Choose two from one of the following groups:4-8
Atmospheric & Marine Environments
Modern Climate Change
Air Pollution
Air as a Resource
Global Environmental Interactions
Water Science & Management
Land Use & Energy Supply
Cultural Politics of the Environment
Rural Change in the Industrialized World
Trees & Forests
Energy Policy
Non-Renewable Natural Resources
Environmental Geology & Land Use Planning
Agriculture & the Environment
Trees & Forests
Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management
Agroforestry: Global & Local Perspectives
The Politics of Energy
Health & Human Populations
Special Topics in Medical Anthropology
Health & Medicine in a Global Context
Ecology & Politics
Population Ecology
Principles of Environmental Toxicology
Infectious Diseases of Humans
Introduction to Nutrition & Metabolism
Recommendations & Standards for Human Nutrition
Community Nutrition
Choose four courses to fulfill Area Studies Requirement.16
Total Units43-48

Track IV: Peoples & Nationalities

Examines social and cultural foundations of national development and international relations.

Choose two:8
Resistance, Rebellion, & Popular Movements
Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Political Sociology
Social Movements
Choose one each from three of the following four groups:12
The Mixing of Peoples
Migration & the Politics of Place & Identity
Race, Class, Gender Systems
Comparative Ethnicity
Human Rights
The Political Economy of International Migration
Ethnic Self-Determination & International Conflict
Women & Development
Gender & Sexuality
Gender & Rural Development in the Third World
Globalization, Gender & Culture
Religion in Society & Culture
Buddhism in Global Culture
Philosophy of Religion
Christianity in the Contemporary World
Modern Islam
Modern Islam: Authority & Tradition In Process
Sociology of Religion
Development & Its Impact on Social Cleavages
Capitalism & Power
Anthropology of Development
Women & Development
Transnational Community Development
The Politics of Global Inequality
Comparative Development: Political Development in Modernizing Societies
Global Poverty: Critical Thinking & Taking Action
Sociology of Third World Development
Gender & Rural Development in the Third World
Four courses to fulfill Area Studies Requirement.16
Education/Internship Abroad for a minimum of one quarter.0
Total Units36

Area Studies Requirement—Regions

Africa & the Middle East

HIS 113History of Modern Israel4
HIS 115AHistory of West Africa 4
HIS 115BHistory of East Africa & the Indian Ocean4
HIS 115CHistory of Southern Africa from Exploration to the Rainbow Nation4
HIS 115DPostcolonial Africa4
HIS 115FHistory of Modern North Africa, 1800 to the Present4
HIS 116African History: Special Themes4
HIS 193BHistory of the Modern Middle East, From 19144
HIS 193CThe Middle East Environment: Historical Change & Current Challenges4
HIS 193DHistory of Modern Iran, From 1850 to Present4
Social Analysis
AAS 107CAfrican Descent Communities & Culture in Asia4
AAS 107DAfrican Descent Communities & Cultures in Europe4
AAS 110West African Social Organization4
AAS 111Cultural Politics in Contemporary Africa4
AAS 156Language & Identity in Africa & the African Diaspora4
AAS 176The Politics of Resources4
AAS 177Politics of Life in Africa4
ANT 140ACultures & Societies of West & Central Africa4
ANT 140BCultures & Societies of East & South Africa4
ANT 142Peoples of the Middle East4
CRD 153CInternational Community Development: Africa4
HMR 136Human Rights in the Middle East4
POL 135International Politics of the Middle East4
POL 136The Arab-Israeli Conflict4
POL 146APolitics of Africa: Issues in Contemporary African Politics4
POL 146BPolitics of Africa: Development in Africa4
RST 163Social Life of Islam4
WMS 184Gender in the Arab World4
WMS 185/MSA 150Women & Islamic Discourses4
Culture & Literature
AAS 153/COM 154African Literature4
AAS 157Literature & Society in South Africa4
AAS 162Islam in Africa & the Americas4
AHI 150Arts of Subsaharan Africa4
COM 147Modern Jewish Writers4
COM 166Literatures of the Modern Middle East4
DRA/AAS 155AAfrican American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean4
FRE 124Post-Colonial & Francophone Literature4
JST 111Israeli Writing Since 19604

East & South Asia

HIS 191EThe Chinese Revolution4
HIS 191FHistory of the People's Republic of China4
HIS 194CModern Japan4
HIS 194DBusiness & Labor in Modern Japan4
HIS 194EEducation & Technology in Modern Japan4
HIS 195BHistory of Modern Korea4
HIS 196BModern India4
Social Analysis
AAS 107CAfrican Descent Communities & Culture in Asia4
ANT 143AEthnology of Southeast Asia4
ANT 147/MSA 131B/CTS 146BModern South Asia Cinema4
ANT 148ACulture & Political Economy in Contemporary China4
CRD 153AInternational Community Development: Asia4
ECN 171Economy of East Asia4
POL 148AGovernment & Politics of East Asia: China4
POL 148BGovernment & Politics in East Asia: Japan4
POL 148CGovernment & Politics in East Asia: Southeast Asia4
RST 157Hindu Women & Goddesses4
RST 165Islam in Asia4
SOC 147Sociological Perspectives on East Asia4
SOC 188Markets, Culture & Inequality in China4
Culture & Literature
ANT 145Performance, Embodiment, & Space in South Asia4
AHI 163CEarly Modern Chinese Painting4
CHN 101Chinese Film4
CHN 103Modern Chinese Drama4
CHN 104Modern Chinese Fiction (in English)4
CHN 105Western Influences on 20th-Century Chinese Literature (in English)4
CHN 110Great Writers of China: Texts & Context (in English)4
CHN 132Readings in Modern Chinese Poetry4
COM 110Hong Kong Cinema4
DRA 154Asian Theatre & Drama: Contexts & Forms4
EAS 113Cinema & Society in China4
JPN 103Japanese Literature in Translation: The Modern Period4
JPN 104Modern Japanese Literature: War & Revolution3
JPN 105Modern Japanese Literature: Hero & Anti-Hero4
JPN 106Japanese Culture Through Film4
JPN 131Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1920-19454
JPN 132Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1945-19704
JPN 133Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: 1970-Present4
JPN 135Readings in the Humanities: The Modern Period4
JPN 136Readings in Japanese Newspapers4
RST 156Religion & the Performing Arts in India4

Latin America

HIS 159Women & Gender in Latin American History4
HIS/HMR 161Human Rights in Latin America4
HIS 162History of the Andean Region4
HIS 163BHistory of Brazil4
HIS 164History of Chile4
HIS 165Latin American Social Revolutions4
HIS 166BHistory of Mexico since 18484
HIS 167Modern Latin American Cultural & Intellectual History4
HIS 168History of Inter-American Relations4
Social Analysis
AAS 107AAfrican Descent Communities & Culture in the Caribbean & Latin America4
AAS 180Race & Ethnicity in Latin America4
ANT 144Contemporary Societies & Cultures of Latin America4
CHI 130United States-Mexican Border Relations 4
NAS 120Ethnopolitics of South American Indians4
NAS 133BEthnohistory of Native Peoples of Mexico & Central America 1500 to 20004
POL 143ALatin American Politics4
POL 143BMexican Politics4
Culture & Literature
AAS 163African Religions in the Americas4
AHI 151Arts of the Ancient New World4
CHI 160Mexican Film & Greater Mexican Identity4
COM 152Literature of the Americas4
COM 165Caribbean Literatures4
DRA/AAS 155AAfrican American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean4
NAS 184Contemporary Indigenous Literature of Mexico4
POR 16320th C Masters in Brazilian Literature4
SPA 149Latin-American Literature in Translation4
SPA 153Latin American Short Story4
SPA 154Latin American Novel4
SPA 155Mexican Novel4
SPA 156Latin American Literature of the Turn of the 20th Century4
SPA 157Great Works of Latin American Literature/Culture4
SPA 158Latin American Poetry: From Vanguardism to Surrealism & Beyond4
SPA 159Special Topics in Latin American Literature & Culture4
SPA 160Latin American Women Writers in Translation4
SPA 170Introduction to Latin American Culture4
SPA 172Mexican Culture4

Russian & East/Central Europe

HIS 138BReform & Revolution in Tsarist Russia, 1825-19174
HIS 138CRussian History: The Rise & Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917 to Present4
HIS 143History of Eastern Europe & the Balkans4
Social Analysis
POL 144APolitics of Post-Communist Countries: East European Politics 4
POL 144BPolitics of Post-Communist Countries: Russia4
Culture & Literature
RUS 12420th-Century Russian Literature4
RUS/FMS 129Russian Film4
RUS 130Contemporary Russian Culture4
RUS 133Post-Soviet Literature4
RUS 142Women in Russian Culture4
RUS 150Russian Culture4

Western Europe

HIS 141France Since 18154
HIS 142AHistory of the Holocaust4
HIS 144BHistory of Germany since 17894
HIS 145War & Revolution in Europe: 1789-19184
HIS 146AEurope in the 20th Century4
HIS 146BEurope in the 20th Century4
HIS 147BEuropean Intellectual History: 1870-19204
HIS 147CEuropean Intellectual History: 1920-19704
HIS 151DIndustrial England4
Social Analysis
AAS 107DAfrican Descent Communities & Cultures in Europe4
CRD 153BInternational Community Development: Europe4
POL 137International Relations in Western Europe4
POL 147AWest European Politics4
POL 147BWest European Politics: British Politics 4
POL 147CWest European Politics: French Politics4
POL 147DWest European Politics: German Politics4
Culture & Literature
FMS/ITA 121New Italian Cinema4
FMS/GER 176AClassic Weimar Cinema4
FMS 176BPostwar German Cinema4
FRE 107The Making of Modern France4
FRE 108Modern French Culture4
FRE 120Modern French Thought4
FRE 12120th-Century French Novel4
FRE 133Gender & Politics in French Literature & Culture4
GER 112Topics in German Literature4
GER 114 From Marlene Dietrich to Run, Lola Run: German Women & Film4
GER 115German Literature Since 19454
GER 117After the Catastrophe: Jews & Jewish Life in Post-1945 Germany4
GER 118BWeimar Culture: Defeat, the Roaring Twenties, the Rise of Nazism4
GER 118CGermany Under the Third Reich4
GER 118EContemporary German Culture4
GER 120Survey of German Culture4
GER 126Modern German Literature4
GER 129Postwar Women Writers4
GER 141The Holocaust & its Literary Representation 4
GER/FMS 142New German Cinema4
GER 143Language Through Media4
GER 168Multiculturalism in German Literature4
GER 185The Age of Bismarck4
ITA 107Survey of Italian Culture & Institutions4
ITA 108Contemporary Issues in Italian Culture & Society4
ITA 120AItalian Literature of the 20th Century: The Novel4
ITA 120BItalian Literature of the 20th Century: Poetry & Drama4
SPA 137N20th-Century Spanish Fiction 4
SPA 138NModern & Contemporary Spanish Poetry4
SPA 139Modern Spanish Theater4
SPA 140NModern Spanish Essay4
SPA 141Introduction to Spanish Culture4
SPA 142Special Topics in Spanish Cultural & Literary Studies4
SPA 148Cinema in the Spanish-Speaking World in Translation4
SPA 157Great Works of Latin American Literature/Culture4
SPA 170Introduction to Latin American Culture4