International Relations

Director: Jonathan DiCicco, PhD

Introduction

The International Relations program at Canisius College is a multidisciplinary program that is anchored in History, Modern Languages, and Political Science but also includes courses in international business, economics, religious studies, philosophy, and other academic disciplines. The goals of the program are to provide the International Relations major with a basic understanding of the issues, functions and theories of the international system and to cultivate skills in research, writing, critical thinking, analysis, and oral presentation that are necessary for success in a career in the fields of international affairs, international business, law, education, and academia. Students majoring in International Relations must also satisfy a requirement for an International Educational Experience. Each student’s program is structured to maximize options after graduation. Completion of the major program will lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic, and co-curricular opportunities please go to the International Relations website.

Qualifications

The International Relations major and minor are open to any student who has completed PSC 140 (Introduction to International Relations) with a minimum grade of C. A minimum overall average of 2.00 in all courses taken to complete the major or the minor, and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, is required for program completion.

Advisement

All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Major advisors are normally assigned in the sophomore year, but may be requested in the freshman year to supplement a student's freshman advisor (their GRIF 101 facilitator). Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Note:  Advisement is the responsibility of the Director of the International Relations Program, who may share this responsibility with other members of the International Relations Advisory Council. All International Relations majors and minors are expected to consult with their advisor in the program at least once each semester.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.

Double majors have been developed between the International Relations Program and the Departments of History; Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; and Political Science as well as with the programs in European Studies, Latin American Studies, and International Business. It is also possible to pursue a double major with other academic programs such as Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, and Sociology/Anthropology. For further information on double majors, contact the director of the International Relations Program. Students pursuing a dual major in International Relations and another major may double count as many courses as possible toward the satisfaction of International Relations major requirements.

Minors

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

All International Relations majors must take a core of nine courses in history, political science and economics, including an upper-level course in international business, and seven electives that have been approved by the International Relations Program Advisory Council for major credit. In addition, all International Relations majors must demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language through the Intermediate High level according to guidelines established by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages, which at Canisius College typically requires successful completion of at least one 300-level foreign language course. All International Relations majors must also satisfy an international experience requirement that includes but is not limited to study abroad in a foreign university or an approved short-term program.

Select one of the following three regional history course groupings:6
History of Modern Europe to 1815
and History of Modern Europe since 1815 1
History of Asia to 1800
and History of Asia Since 1800
Latin American History to 1830
and Latin American History since 1830
PSC 140International Relations3
PSC 150Comparative Government and Politics3
HIS 300Historical Geography3
ECO 101Principles of Macroeconomics3
International Business (300- or 400-level, approved by the International Relations Director)3
HIS 399U.S. Foreign Relations since 18983
or PSC 245 American Foreign Policy
PSC 442Seminar in International Relations3
7 approved International Relations major electives (see list below; including no more than 2 world culture electives)21
Foreign Language Requirement (see text below)
International Educational Experience (study abroad or alternative approved by the International Relations Director)
Total Credits48
1

 Students may substitute HIS 213 or HIS 230 for HIS 108. If students use one of these courses to fulfill the general requirements for the major, the same course may not be used as a major elective course.

Major Electives

All students must successfully complete a 300 or 400-level course in a modern foreign language (3 credits) as well as seven courses (21 credits)  chosen from approved list in Economics, Finance, History, International Business, Modern Languages, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Approved Major Elective Courses

ECO 460International Trade3
ENT 312International Entrepreneurship3
HIS 213Twentieth Century Europe3
HIS 229The Violent Century in Films3
HIS 230The Holocaust in Historical Perspective3
HIS 260Canada and the World3
HIS 263Wars of Latin America3
HIS 280The Making of Modern Africa3
HIS 309World War I3
HIS 338Britain's Global Empire3
HIS 339Nazi Germany, World War II and the Holocaust, 1933-453
HIS 342The Global Cold War3
HIS 345The Soviet Union and After3
HIS 346The Age of European Fascism, 1919-19453
HIS 347The History of Marxism3
HIS 348Twentieth Century Marxism3
HIS 356Twentieth Century China3
HIS 365U.S.-Latin American Relations since 18983
HIS 394Modern Middle East3
HIS 399U.S. Foreign Relations since 18983
HON 231War & Peace since 9/113
HON 247Islam: Religion, History, and Culture3
IBUS 301Fundamentals of International Business3
MGT 380International Business Seminar3
MGT 440Global Supply Chain Management3
MGT 472Comparative Management Systems3
MGT 475Doing Business in Latin America3
MKT 375International Marketing3
MKT 478Global Logistics3
PSC 241Human Rights and Globalization3
PSC 242International Organizations3
PSC 244War: Causes and Consequences3
PSC 245American Foreign Policy3
PSC 249Protest, Politics, & the State3
PSC 250Politics in Latin America3
PSC 345Transnational Crime After 9/113
PSC 346National Security Council3
PSC 355European Union3
PSC 360Political Economy of the Developing World3
PSC 370Domestic Conflicts & Peace3
PSC 452Politics of Identity in Europe3

Approved World Culture Electives

International Relations Majors are encouraged to satisfy their Core Curriculum requirements in Fields 1, 2, and 3 by taking courses that provide a cultural dimension to the study of international relations. Under the current IR major curriculum students may take one or two of these courses — depending upon the particular track they may be following — as IR major electives. Courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (e.g., FRC, GER, SPA) require prerequisites and are generally taught in the language of study.

FRC 433Survey of French and Francophone Literature3
FRC 437French and Francophone History and Culture Through Film I3
FRC 452Tour de l'Amerique du Nord: Following the French in North America3
FRC 453War and Memory3
FRC 454Heritages Francophones3
GER 467Germany since 1871 - Political System and Form of Government3
PHI 271Philosophy of Human Rights3
GER 441The Young Generation and Civil Courage - 1848 to today3
GER 445German Customs and Traditions3
GER 453German Literature after 19453
GER 455The Weimar Republic: Culture and Literature3
GER 4651968 in the European Context3
GER 472Contemporary German Film3
GER 475The History of German Film since Weimar3
HIS 226History of Ireland3
HIS 331British Monarchy3
HIS 358Traditional Japan3
HIS 387Representations of the Holocaust in Film, Literature, Art and Music3
HON 248Religions of the East3
HON 357Global Pentecostalism3
RST 220Introduction to Eastern Religions3
RST 222African Religions3
RST 224Islam: Tradition and Revival3
RST 327Modern Global Christianity3
SPA 405Spanish Literary Myths3
SPA 406History & Politics in Cuba3
SPA 420Personal Narrative: Understanding Reality and the Self in Contemporary Spanish Narrative.3
SPA 453Almodóvar and La Movida: The Films of Pedro Almodóvar3
SPA 455Spanish Short Fiction3
SPA 456Cuban Cinema of the Revolution3
SPA 459The Body Erotic/The Body Politic: Sexuality as Political Discourse in Latin America and Spain3
SPA 460Lorca and his Époque3

Foreign Language Requirement

The modern foreign language requirement in the International Relations major is not a course but a proficiency requirement that at Canisius is normally satisfied by successfully completing ML 215-216/217 plus at least one course at the 300 level or above. If students are not placed at the 215-216/217 level when they enroll at Canisius, it will take them two extra semesters in the foreign language to meet this requirement. In other cases students may already have taken the equivalent of these courses in high school and therefore do not have to take them at Canisius but should continue their language preparation with a 300-level course in the language they have studied in high school. Students who study abroad in a country where the spoken language is a language other than English and take courses in that language as part of their study abroad experience may use this to satisfy the modern language requirement in the International Relations major.

International Educational Experience

All students majoring in International Relations must satisfy a requirement for International Education Experience. The most popular, but by no means the only way in which this requirement is satisfied, is by studying abroad. The International Relations Program strongly encourages its majors to fulfill the international experience requirement by spending at least one semester abroad studying at a foreign university. The Director of the International Relations Program works closely with the Director of Study Abroad at Canisius College to set up and monitor study abroad programs for Canisius students at a wide range of universities throughout the world. Canisius students may study at the following institutions under articulation agreements that have been approved by Canisius College and the host university abroad: the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia; the University of Antwerp in Belgium; Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the Universidad Federal Do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; La Casa in San Salvador, El Salvador; the Catholic University of Lille, the IÉSEG School of Management of Lille and Paris, and the Ecole de Management of Strasbourg in France; the University of Dortmund, the Catholic University of Eichstaett, and the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany; the National University of Ireland in Galway; Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence and Rome in Italy; Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan; the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru; the University of Oviedo, the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, and the Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS) of Barcelona in Spain; Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea; and London Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. Students may also study at an accredited university abroad other than those listed above. Students doing this have recently studied at universities in Egypt, Jordan, Poland, and Senegal. Students who spend a semester abroad at a foreign university may count up to three courses as International Relations major electives as long as these courses have been pre-approved by the director of the International Relations Program. Students who spend a year studying at a foreign university may be able to count more than three courses as International Relations major electives, but this will require special permission from the director of the International Relations Program. As a general rule, students must complete the International Relations Core of nine courses at Canisius College. Exceptions to this rule may be approved by the International Relations Program Advisory Council.

Under some circumstances a short-term study abroad experience may be desirable. Recent examples of opportunities available include programs in Argentina, Canada (Québéc), Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Puerto Rico, and Spain, among others. Majors interested in these experiences should inquire with the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (or other sponsoring programs) for more information. Students also may inquire with the Study Abroad Office for summer programs at The Catholic University of Lille, France; IÉSEG, Paris, France; the Berlin School of Economics and Law, the Catholic University of Eichstaett, and the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany; the National University of Ireland, Galway; Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence and Rome, Italy; the Universidad de Oviedo and the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Spain; and the Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico.

All International Relations majors and minors planning international educational experiences, whether short-term or traditional Study Abroad, must consult in advance with the Study Abroad office, the Director of the International Relations Program, the Chair or Director of all relevant academic programs, and the student’s Associate/Assistant Dean to discuss whether courses completed abroad may satisfy academic requirements at Canisius College. Language credit may be awarded but this requires prior approval from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Additional Course Considerations

Within the International Relations major a student may pursue one of four distinct tracks in International Business, International History, International Politics, and Language and World Culture. A student may also opt to pursue none of these tracks but fulfill the program major requirements listed above without concentrating in any particular area of the program. If a student chooses to pursue one of these four tracks, this will affect his or her choice of major electives. A student pursuing one of these tracks would still be required to take a modern foreign language through the Intermediate High level (including at least one 300-level course in that language) and to satisfy the international experience requirement. For further information, contact the director of the International Relations Program. For further information on each of these tracks, please go to the International Relations website.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

Freshman
FallSpring
PSC 140PSC 150
Select one of the following:Select one of the following:
Modern Language at appropriate levelModern Language at appropriate level
ECO 101 
Sophomore
FallSpring
PHI 101IR Major Elective
Modern Language 300-levelIR Major Elective
HIS 399 or PSC 245 
IR Major Elective 
Junior
FallSpring
HIS 300IR Major Elective
IR Major ElectiveIR Major Elective or 300-400 level Business
IR Major Elective or 300-400 level Business 

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

International Relations Majors will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the components and dynamics of the international system.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Demonstrate an understanding of the issues, functions, and theories of the international system;
  • Objective B: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of history in international affairs;
  • Objective C: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of geography in international affairs;
  • Objective D: Demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences in political systems and economies;
  • Objective E: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the United States in the international system.
 

Student Learning Goal 2

International Relations majors will develop competence in the skills that are appropriate to the discipline and that are necessary for success.

Students will:
  • Objective A:  Demonstrate competence in the techniques of scholarly research in the field of International Relations;
  • Objective B: Demonstrate competence in the techniques of scholarly writing in the field of International Relations;
  • Objective C: Demonstrate competence at the ACTFL intermediate-high level in the use of a modern foreign language;
  • Objective D: Be able to analyze an international problem or issue in a manner that demonstrates global or regional understanding and sensitivity to cultural difference.

A minor in International Relations consists of nine courses, of which two may be used to satisfy requirements in Fields 4 and 5 of the Canisius College core curriculum. A student pursuing a minor in International Relations must also demonstrate intermediate competence in a modern foreign language. Generally this proficiency is demonstrated by successful completion of a modern language through the 215 level.

International Relations Minor curriculum

Select one of the following three regional history course groupings:6
History of Modern Europe to 1815
and History of Modern Europe since 1815 1
History of Asia to 1800
and History of Asia Since 1800
Latin American History to 1830
and Latin American History since 1830
PSC 140International Relations3
PSC 150Comparative Government and Politics3
HIS 300Historical Geography3
International Business course (300- or 400-level approved by the International Relations Director)3
Foreign Language requirement (see text above)
3 International Relations electives 29
Total Credits27
1

Students may substitute HIS 213 or HIS 230 for HIS 108. If students use one of these courses to fulfill the general requirements for the minor, the same course may not be used as an elective course.

2

International Relations minors must choose three courses from the list of Approved Major Elective Courses in the curriculum section of the major.