International Relations Major | Everything You Need to Know About Becoming One.

International Relations Major

The International Relations avails students the opportunity and qualifying base for positions in the government (both national and international level respectively), non-governmental organizations and companies with interests in fostering strong relationship bond and peacekeeping to provide enabling environment for various business sectors both at the national and international level.

What is International Relations Major?

International Relations major can be simply referred to as the systematic study of interrelations between nations and governmental and non-governmental agencies. International relations major deals with the study of security, economics, and politics and its impact on relations between nations.

The world is becoming increasingly complex as ideological wars seem to be taking the center of human existence. In other to maintain cordial relationships through these all, there is a need for skilled professionals to handle those relations and create an atmosphere for tolerance and mutual understanding while promoting political, economic, and security of nations.

An international relations major is all-encompassing in nature. It includes but not limited to politics, history, security studies, economics, and its impacts on global ethics, the political atmosphere of nations, human rights, poverty, globalization, and professional ethics.

Aside from the aforementioned, international relations now extend to cover research into issues of utmost importance to create podiums for mutual tolerance between people of different nations, races, and religions.

The Purpose of International Relations Major in the Emerging Society

  1. Inter and intranational conflicts and wars and the maintenance of peace and security
  2. The nature of power and the machinery for its applications vary from one nation to another.
  3. The character of the polity of nations within the global system
  4. The key actors in the international system and the various roles in creating an environment of mutual tolerance and understanding.
  5. The rationale behind the activities of national and international policymakers

READ ALSO: International Studies Major | Everything You Need To Know About Becoming One.

Significance of International Relations

The impact of international relations on nations cannot be overemphasized. The importance among other are:

  1. It enhances the understanding of culture, politics, history, and economics and their impacts on relations of nations.
  2. It promotes dialogue and mutual understanding between nations
  3. It enhances the understanding of trade and economic strategies of nations.
  4. It enhances interrelations between nations.
  5. It enhances policy development and diplomatic relations
  6. It changes nations to co-exist mutually and pool resources to sustain their development at every level.
  7. It enhances the understanding of the past and its impacts on current issues of diplomacy and policy.
  8. International relations major aid the training of diplomats and strategists.

What can I do with a major in International Relations?

You may be asking; “what can I do with international relations major?” We will be looking at some of the things one will be able to do with the degree.

International Relations major is good for different jobs and careers in diplomacy promotion, policy strategy, and conflict resolutions. Below are the summations of jobs for international relations majors.

#1. A Career in Diplomacy:

Diplomacy engages other nations, institutions, organizations, and agencies on behalf of their clients or nations to fashion a scope that promotes trade and economic relations, policy and strategy, cultural interactions, and diplomatic relations.

Core Objectives

As core objectives, a career in diplomacy makes you a mediator between your nation and another, creating an atmosphere for tolerance that will, in turn, enhance political and economic relations and development.

A career in diplomacy places you in a position where you will serve as a secret agent for your country, collecting and reporting secret albeit, salient information. It also places you in a position where you can meditate and negotiate issues of trade, wars, culture, commerce, and culture.

#2. A Career in Secret Intelligence:

With a major in international relations, you can work as a secret agent either in the police or the military or for private established military agency gathering intelligence that will aid the security of your nation or the agency you represent.

Core Objectives

  • Collect and analyse operational intelligence data
  • Create mission reports, using data, maps and charts
  • Evaluate results and prepare reports, statistics and graphics
  • Maintain intelligence databases, libraries, and files

#3. A Career in Political Strategy and Analysis:

With a major in international relations, you can secure a job as a political strategist. Since you are schooled in the history and international relations, it will be easier to understand various political ideologies and how they fit into a particular system at a certain point in time.

As an alternative, you can secure a job as a political analyst or just build a career in the same. As a political analyst, you will be called upon by media outfits or research institutions to offer constructive opinions on various political developments and their impacts on national security, economics, and policy.

You will also forecast electoral tempo, developments, party activities, media influences, and their impacts on the voting psychology of electorates

Core Objectives

  • Inform about and interpret various political developments
  • Analyse laws, public policies, and government decisions
  • Advise government officials, political parties, or the media
  • Forecast political trends and election results
  • Put events into historical context

#4. A Career as a Professional Lobbyist:

With an International Relations Major, you can secure and establish a career in lobbying. Here, a professional is hired by the government, agency, professional body, or private individual to water the ground for a reception and acceptance of a particular ideology.

By extension, a lobbyist performs tasks of monitoring and carry out extensive analysis of the impacts of legislation and policy. They also reach out to governments and agencies on programs and their impacts on the people.

Core Objectives

  • Monitor, research and analyse legislation
  • Attend congressional hearings
  • Reach out to government policymakers
  • Use communication tools to promote ideas to the public

#5. A Career as a Communication Professional:

With a degree in international relations, you can start a career as a communication expert for governmental and non-governmental agencies. Here you will function in creating effective inter and intra communication strategies that will help the agency you work for in effective work delivery.

By extension, this may involve content creation for media outlets for the promotion of an idea or a product.

Core Objectives

  • Creating effective communication strategies
  • Handling internal communications
  • Writing content for media and social networks

#6. Human Rights Activists:

With the knowledge of International Relations, you can become a human rights activist fighting for the protection and upholding the human rights of people irrespective of race and gender. A career in human rights activism will open you up for jobs with international organizations such as Amnesty International

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Core Objectives

  • Issuing of press releases
  • Studies of possible violations or abuses of human rights
  • Reports, statements as country visits institutional events and trials observed.

#7. A Career in Public Policy:

International Relations major opens you up for jobs as a public policy strategist and analyst. Here you will assess the impacts of governmental policies on the people and also work out a considered modus operandi for better ones.

Core Objectives

  • Identify issues
  • Undertake research and analysis
  • Consult with a range of stakeholders to develop and implement policy programs.

Other fields you can function with knowledge of international relations involve but are not limited to:

  • Children’s Rights Advocate
  • Community Worker
  • Corporate Responsibility Officer
  • Diplomat
  • Economist
  • Editor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Foreign Business Advocate
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Historian
  • Immigration OfficerInternational Business Advisor
  • Industrial Relations Consultant

Schools Offering an International Relations Major

See the list of schools that offer international relations majors below:

Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT#5 in National Universities
University of ChicagoChicago, IL#6 in National Universities
Pomona CollegeClaremont, CA#4 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wellesley CollegeWellesley, MA#5 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Butler UniversityIndianapolis, IN#1 in Regional Universities Midwest
Carroll CollegeHelena, MT#1 in Regional Colleges West
High Point UniversityHigh Point, NC#1 in Regional Colleges South
Rollins CollegeWinter Park, FL#1 in Regional Universities South
Taylor UniversityUpland, IN#1 in Regional Colleges Midwest
Trinity UniversitySan Antonio, TX#1 in Regional Universities West

READ ALSO: Criminology Courses Offered By The Best Criminology Schools.

Even with the long list of possible jobs you can go into with an international relations major, it is not a guarantee that you will find a job easily. It is advisable you do a post-graduate degree to boost your chances of getting a job.

Best Countries to Study International Relations

Although almost all countries offer International relations, here are some of the best countries abroad to study International relations.

  1. USA
  2. Hungary
  3. Spain
  4. Morocco
  5. Germany
  6. Turkey
  7. Switzerland
  8. Italy
  9. UK
  10. Netherland

Some of these countries like Germany also offer scholarships to International relations students. Some of the scholarships are fully funded while others are not. If you are looking to apply for such scholarships, you will need to find out the details of such scholarships and adhere to the requirements to qualify.


International Relations have become important for day-to-day interaction with other states. Especially now that the world has become a global village and interaction between countries has become a necessity.

The present day economic and security situations the world over has played a big role in making the study of international Relations more popular.

Frequently Asked Questions on Intenational Relations Major

Anyone interested in a career relating to international relations can apply to study for a major in international relations.

It takes four years to earn a degree. However, you may want to know how long it takes to get a master’s degree

Although International relations are a good option, however, you can go for a major in sociology, political science, foreign policy to become a diplomat

An international relations degree can be put to use in government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, politics, business, law, education, media, international affairs, research, foreign trade and agriculture.

It is worth it to major in International relations as it is a good major for students interested in learning about important issues on a global scale and the demand for people with this degree continues to grow, especially as the world experiences unprecedented changes and events

As an International Relations major in international affairs, most respondents reported earning between $50,000 and $94,999, with the largest number reporting a salary of between $50,000 and $54,999.

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