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Studying International Relations

Students concentrating on International Relations as a first field are required to take four courses to qualify to take the comprehensive examination. Two of these courses make up the substantive political economy core and the other two courses constitute the conflict core. Students concentrating on International Relations as a second field are required to take three of these four courses.

These four courses are:

Political Economy

  1. Political Economy of Conflict. A substantive overview of social scientific research on the theories, microfoundations, and economic dimensions of conflict and political violence.
  2. International Political Economy. An overview of research about the politics of international economic exchange, international organizations, and the political economy of development.

Conflict

  1. Interstate Conflict. A survey of cutting edge research and methods on interstate war and other topics related to interstate conflict.
  2. Intrastate Conflict. A survey of cutting edge research and methods on civil war, terrorism, and insurgency.

In addition to these required courses, students choosing International Relations as a first field are required to complete the following courses in the methods sequence: Statistics 1, Statistics 2, and Statistics 3.

First field International Relations students are also strongly encouraged to complete the formal theory sequence which includes Formal Theory 1, Formal Theory 2, and Formal Models of International Relations.

Other graduate courses on topics related to conflict include Political Violence, International Security, and the Politics of Human Rights, which students may take depending on their interests and availability.

Students will take the International Relations comprehensive examination at the end of their second year. During their third year, students are required to take a two-course dissertation project sequence which is designed to assist students in developing a dissertation project. Students are expected to complete and defend a dissertation prospectus at the end of their third year. In addition, students are encouraged to take additional international relations and methods courses during their third year.