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International Affairs Major


Program Description

The International Affairs major prepares students for success in an interconnected global society. Undergraduate study of International Affairs includes comparative politics, international relations, and US foreign policy, along with additional regional and thematic political science courses. These courses introduce the concepts, events, issues and institutions that shape international affairs, while providing analytical and communication skills that readily apply to occupations in the private and public sectors. This major integrates the information, techniques and skills of political science with economics, history, geography, religion and modern languages to study and understand the complexity of the international environment. Students frequetly study abroad and have internship opportunities both in the US and abroad. 

Advisor: Dr. Roger Murphy

Location: Grise Hall, Room 308

Phone:  Phone Number:270-745-2890

Fax: 270-745-2945

E-mail Contact: Roger.Murphy@wku.edu

Major Requirements 

The major in international affairs (reference number 702) requires a minimum of 45 semester hours and leads to a bachelor of arts degree. At least 23 hours must be at the 300-level or above. A minor or second major is required.


The requirements for a major include the following: 21 hours of core courses:

A. PS 250 (International Politics)

B. PS 260 (Introduction to Comparative Politics)

C. PS 357 (U.S. Foreign Policy)

D. PS 497 (Senior Seminar in International Affairs)

E. HIST 102 (World History Since 1500)

F. ECON 202 (Principles of Economics-Micro) or ECON 203 (Principles of Economics-Macro)

G. GEOG 110 (World Regional Geography)

Students are advised to take all core courses before enrolling in PS 497.

In addition to the 21 core hours students are required to take 12 hours of Political Science course from the following list:

PS 200 (Latin American Society: Past and Present), 299 (Contemporary Topics in Political Science), 301 (Research Methods in Political Behavior), 303 (Politics and Film), 350 (Political Terrorism), 352 (International Relations of the Middle East), 355 (International Organization and Law), 360 (Government and Politics of Britain and Canada), 361 (Government and Politics of Western Europe), 362 (Latin American Government and Politics), 363 (Politics of Developing Nations), 365 (Government and Politics of the Middle East), 366 (Government and Politics of East Asia), 368 (African Government and Politics), 369 (Central European Politics), 449 (International Political Economy), 450 Selected Topics in International Relations), 457 Theories of War and Peace in International Relations), and 460 Selected Topics in Comparative Politics). Students may also enroll in PS 403 (Field Studies in Politics), 405 (Washington Internship and Academic Seminars), or 407 (Directed Studies in Government) for a total of three hours.

(Note: PS 200 is cross-listed as HIST 200, GEOG 200, and SPAN 200 and can be taken only once.)

The remaining 12 hours of electives should be chosen from the following courses with no more than 6 semester hours from one academic discipline.

AFAM 343 (Communities of Struggle), ANTH 120 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology), ANTH 360 (Applied Anthropology(, COMM 463 (Advanced Intercultural Communication), ECON 380 (International Economics), FIN 433 (Financial Markets and Institutions), FIN 436 (International Financial Management), GEOG 330 (Introduction to Cultural Geography), GERM 202 (Intermediate German II), HIST 299 (Introduction to Military History), MGT 303 (International Business), MGT 316 (International Management), MKT 324 (International Marketing), RELS 305 (Christianity), SOCL 240 (Global Social Problems), SPAN 373 (Spanish Civilization and Culture). Other courses may qualify for this requirement with approval from International Affairs faculty.

(Note: Students should consult the appropriate department and course catalog for prerequisites.)

Additional baccalaureate degree requirements for students pursuing a major in international affairs:

Students are required to take a modern language through the intermediate level (201 and 202). For modern languages not taught at Western Kentucky University, students should consult with the Department of Modern Languages for transfer and testing information

Students pursuing a degree in international affairs are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program or an international internship experience.
 Examples of Careers in International Affairs:
  • Activist, Advocate/Organizer
  • Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit
  • Archivist, Online Political Data
  • Budget Examiner or Analyst
  • Attorney
  • Banking Analyst or Executive
  • CIA Analyst or Agent
  • Corporate Analyst
  • Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
  • Corporate Economist
  • Corporate Manager
  • Corporate Information Analyst
  • Customs Officer
  • Financial Consultant
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Immigration Officer
  • Information Manager
  • Intelligence Officer
  • International Agency Officer
  • International Research Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Mediator
  • Plans and Review Officer, USIA
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Commentator
  • Public Affairs Research Analyst
  • Public Opinion Analyst
  • Publisher
  • Research Analyst
  • Survey Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • University Administrator
  • University Professor


The Model Assembly course involves participation in the American Model United Nations Conference.  Previous Model UN confrences have attracted over 1,200 students from 87 Colleges and Universities representing 137 UN member states.  Students will work in pairs representing a particular UN member and a particular UN committee.

Participation in this course involves the writing of position papers, the drafting of resolutions and research into each student’s particular country and committee topics prior to the conference in November.  At the conference students will be expected to represent their country in an authentic and professional simulation.







 Your Future Begins Here

The International Affairs program prepares students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders in their communities and around the world by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism. 

Start your application now.


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We believe in the importance of the quality of education. Graduates have gone on to serve in a variety of local, state, federal and nonprofit organizations. Show your support by gifting to our program and students. 

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 Last Modified 1/9/20