International Relations (BA)

Director: Paola Fajardo-Heyward, PhD

Introduction

The International Relations program at Canisius College is a multidisciplinary program that includes courses in political science, history, modern languages, 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, law, education, and academia. Students majoring in International Relations must also satisfy a requirement for an International Educational Experience. Completion of the major program will lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations.

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.  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.

Double Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. This decision may be based on career goals, planned graduate studies, and/or other student interests. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement.  In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the Major/Minor Declaration form. This form will be submitted electronically and reviewed and approved by each department chairperson as well as the appropriate associate dean. 

Per college policy, each additional major requires a minimum of 15 credits that do not apply to the student's first or subsequent major.  Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in other cases additional course work may be required. Please note that students will receive only one degree, regardless of the number of majors they complete. Both (all) majors appear on a student’s transcript.

Double majors have been developed between the International Relations Program and the Departments of History; Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; and Political Science. It is also possible to pursue a double major with other academic programs such as Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, and Sociology. 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 in Other Disciplines

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. To receive a minor, the student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their other credentials (i.e., majors, other minors). The complete list of minors is available on the Canisius website and in the catalog 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.

Curriculum

An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

All International Relations majors must take a core of six courses in history and political science and five electives approved by the International Relations Program Advisory Council for major credit. In addition, all International Relations majors are required to complete a language course up through the 215 level (or higher). 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 short-term program approved by the Director of the International Relations 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
PSC 245American Foreign Policy3
PSC 442Seminar in International Relations3
International Relations Electives (select 5 from the lists below)15
Foreign Language Requirement (additional detail below) 23-9
International Educational Experience (study abroad or alternative approved by the Program Director)
Total Credits36-42
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.

2

Students must complete at least one language course at Canisius College. Students are required to take courses up through the 215 level or higher and obtain a grade of C or better in each course. The number of courses required depends upon the student's background when they enter Canisius and should be decided in consultation with the Director of the International Relations Program.

Major Electives

Students must choose five courses from the Major Electives and/or Approved World Culture Electives.

International Relations Electives

FIN 460International Finance3
HIS 213Europe and the World in a Century of Conflict3
HIS 226History of Ireland3
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 335A United Kingdom? From Britons to Brexit3
HIS 345Russia and the Soviet Union in the Twentieth Century3
HIS 356Modern China3
HIS 365U.S.-Latin American Relations since 18983
HIS 394Modern Middle East3
HON 231War & Peace since 9/113
HON 247Islam: Religion, History, and Culture3
MGT 440Global Supply Chain Management 13
MKT 478Global Logistics 13
PSC 241Human Rights and Globalization3
PSC 242International Organizations3
PSC 245American Foreign Policy3
PSC 250Politics in Latin America3
PSC 345Transnational Crime After 9/113
PSC 355European Union3
PSC 360Political Economy of the Developing World3
PSC 452Politics of Identity in Europe3
1

Please note, this course has prerequisites. Please check with the Program Director if considering this elective course.

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 as IR major electives. Courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures require prerequisites and are generally taught in the language of study.

FRC 323Topics in Conversation I3
FRC 417The French and Francophone World at Work3
FRC 433L’écriture de soi--The autobiography genre in French and Francophone Literature3
HIS 220The History of Food3
HIS 331British Monarchy3
HON 247Islam: Religion, History, and Culture3
HON 248Religions of the East3
HON 357Global Pentecostalism3
PHI 271Philosophy of Human Rights3
RST 220Religions of Asia3
RST 224Islam: Tradition and Revival3
SPA 336Latinos in the US Latino Literature and Film3
SPA 405Spanish Literary Myths CARMEN femme fatale y el mito universal3
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

All International Relations majors are required to complete a language course up through the 215 level (or higher). Students must complete at least one language course at Canisius College and obtain a grade of C or better. In some 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. A complete list of sites with current articulations is available at the Study Abroad website. Students may also study at an accredited university abroad other than those with articulations. 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.

Roadmap

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

Freshman
FallSpring
PSC 140Select one of the following:
Select one of the following:
Modern Language at appropriate level
PSC 150 
Sophomore
FallSpring
PSC 245IR Major Elective
Modern Language at appropriate levelIR Major Elective
 Modern Language at 215 level
Junior
FallSpring
IR Major ElectiveStudy abroad in location where language of study is commonly spoken
IR Major Elective  
Senior
FallSpring
IR Major Elective
PSC 442

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.

Minor

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.

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
Foreign Language Requirement 23
International Relations Electives - select 1 from the list on the curriculum tab3
Total Credits18
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

All international Relations minors are required to complete a language up through  the 104 level (or higher) with a C or higher 

Minors are an important part of the undergraduate curriculum.  If students declare a minor by sophomore year, they can usually complete it in a timely manner.  Students should work with their advisor to determine if it is possible that the minor can be completed by graduation.  

To receive a minor, a student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their major(s) and from other minors, and students must complete more than 50% of the coursework required for the minor at Canisius. Please note that “ancillary/supporting” courses required for a major may still count as distinct courses as long as the remaining coursework still meets the 30 credit-hours required for a major. For more information about minor policies, please see the Declaring Majors and Minors page in the catalog.