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The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

The International Relations major at CSU, Chico provides students a solid basis in two Political Science subfields – Comparative Politics and International Relations. Through the major, students will gain understanding of international interactions, such as conflict and trade, as well as the politics of other nations, such as alternative government forms. Students will also be exposed to the politics of the world’s major regions through region specific courses. International Relations students excel in many professions but are especially well suited for domestic and international work in the public and non-profit sectors.

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: POLS 141, POLS 142.
This course is a culminating experience in the International Relations Program. Students use the skills and knowledge acquired in previous IR courses to conduct a semester long research project relating to either sub-field. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. Formerly POLS 441. (007559)

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 49-50 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

10 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Introduces students to concepts and theories in International Relations, with an emphasis on contemporary issues. This is a pre-requisites for upper-division International Relations courses. 3 hours lecture. (021819)
This course introduces students to concepts and theories in Comparative Politics, as well as the politics of the different regions of the world. This course is a pre-requisite for upper-division comparative politics courses. 3 hours lecture. (021810)
Prerequisite: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement.
An introduction to research methods that includes framing research questions, evaluating and using scholarly resources, and developing an appreciation for multi-disciplinary and ethics in research. Emphasizes the critique of theory and paradigms of conducting research. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. Formerly POLS 331. (007495)
This course covers use of computers and the Internet in political science research. 3 hours independent study. Credit/no credit grading. (007496)
The objective of this course is to further the student's understanding of the causes and nature of both international war and within state conflicts. The course covers the different typologies war and strategies of waging war, as well as, the evolution of arms/weapons. The final part of the course focuses on the causes and consequence of the civil conflict and the nature of intrastate organized violence. We also discuss the rationale for international bodies and individual nation's attempts to intervene and prevent wars. 3 hours lecture. (021830)
This course explores modern political phenomenon of how states and groups use international organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address pressing international problems. After reviewing the theoretical basis for cooperation, the course examines IOs and NGOs in their any forms (e.g. the United Nations, OPEC, Common Markets, the IMF, the World Bank, multinational corporations, Amnesty International and Greenpeace). Students learn the details of these different IOs and NGOs function as the basis for a discussion of two fundamental questions of international relations: Whether or not countries and/or groups can cooperate to solve international problems? And, if so, how? 3 hours lecture. Formerly POLS 442. (007561)
This course introduces students to the study of mass political behavior. The course examines how well theories if voting, partisanship, protest, and public opinion travel to other parts of the world. Students are also introduced to the forms of political participation in contexts dissimilar from our own, such as authoritarian regimes. 3 hours lecture. (021813)
Prerequisite: POLS 142.
This course introduces students to the variety of institutional arrangements found outside of the United States. The course covers both authoritarian and democratic institutions, but focuses primarily on the latter. Specifically, the course covers executive and electoral arrangements, as well as federal v. unitary systems. At the culmination of the course, students are able to assess advantages and disadvantages of each institutional arrangement. 3 hours lecture. (021803)
The classical roots of western political philosophy and their relationship to contemporary political theory. 3 hours seminar. (007279)
Prerequisites: POLS 141, POLS 142.
This course is a culminating experience in the International Relations Program. Students use the skills and knowledge acquired in previous IR courses to conduct a semester long research project relating to either sub-field. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. Formerly POLS 441. (007559)

21-22 units selected from:

3-4 units of any ARAB, CHNS, FREN, GERM, HBRW, ITAL, JAPN, PORT, RUSS, or SPAN language courses may be used towards this requirement.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A survey of Latin America since independence from Iberia, highlighting the chaotic years of post-independence state building, the region's integration into the global capitalist economy and the age of mass politics and revolutionary ferment after 1930. The final weeks focus on Latin America's experience with military dictatorship and current transitions to democracy. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004495)
This course is also offered as LAST 350 .
An interdisciplinary approach to the history and politics of Mexico. This course will introduce students to the panorama of Mexican history while delineating the roots and development of the current Mexican political system. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004558)
The political dynamics of selected developing countries. Major emphasis will be on problems of poverty, colonialism, comparative political structures and behavior, imperialism, and international relations. The course will also focus on tensions in the political culture between traditional and non-traditional values in contemporary developing societies. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (007468)
Introduction to the United Nations, its procedures and current issues on its agenda to prepare delegates to participate in the a Model United Nations Conference held during the fall semester. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007498)
Prerequisites: POLS 340A.
Individual and group research on an assigned country and its U.N. policy positions plus mock session activities to prepare delegates to represent that country at the National Model United Nations Conference held in New York City during the spring semester. Either attendance at the New York City conference or a 15-page research paper on a U.N. agenda topic is required. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007499)
Course analyzes post-World War II American foreign policy. It examines the origins and development of the cold war, with attention to nuclear capabilities, the growth of national security bureaucracy, and the impact on American society. Special attention is given to the decision-making process as well as to theories of personality, organizational behavior, and the political process as these affect the cold war basis of American foreign policy. 3 hours lecture. (007503)
Perquisite: POLS 141.
This course explores the international laws that govern the behavior of nation-states. Students in this course learn a variety of skills, including how to brief cases, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the international legal system, and conduct original research on an international legal topic of their choosing. Though this course covers the broad system of how international laws are made as well as the normative content of those laws, special attention is given to how the United States engages with the international law. 3 hours lecture. (021827)
Prerequisite: POLS 141.
Examines the intersection of the market and the polis, including the emergence of capitalism and international trade. The first part of the course focuses on the evolution of market-oriented societies by surveying classical readings in political economy including Hegel, Kojeve, Locke, Ricardo, Marx, and Polanyi. The second part examines the complex dynamics between the state and the economy with an emphasis on contemporary challenges (e.g., the politics of fiscal and monetary policy, economic integration, international trade and finance, human rights and labor issues, poverty, and inequality). 3 hours lecture. (021828)
This is a comparative politics course, exploring the concept of political development, with a focus on developing nations. Political development, or the capacity and strength of government, is an essential, but often neglected component of development. In this course, we explore different definitions and conceptions of political development, and issues associated with political development. These issues include ethnic conflict, corruption, political upheavals such as coups and revolutions, and democratization. Students read several seminal texts in comparative politics, as well as current empirical research. 3 hours lecture. (007530)
A multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary study of the historical and contemporary phenomenon of terrorism and counterterrorist policy. Focus is on terrorism as different from war, the sources and practitioners of terrorism, and the multiple rationales for its use. Study will include both domestic and international terrorism, private and state as well as national and international counterterrorist policy. Particular attention on the threat of terrorism to liberal democracy and development of liberal democratic counterterrorist policy. 3 hours lecture. Formerly POLS 448. (007575)
Recommended: POLS 141, POLS 142.
This course introduces students to the Politics of European countries, as well as the Politics of the European union. Covers both comparative politics and international relations. 3 hours lecture. Formerly POLS 417. (007539)
This is a comparative politics course, introducing students to the Politics of Asia. The course covers seminal topics in comparative politics, such as regime type, democratization, models of development, political institutions, and political behavior, using selected Asian cases to illustrate the concepts. The course draws upon cases from across Asia, including the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan. 3 hours lecture. (021812)
This is a comparative politics course, introducing students to the politics of Africa. Specifically, the course examines political and economic development, regime type and transition, ethnicity, and violence, using African cases as illustrations. 3 hours lecture. (021829)
Analyzes the foreign policies of the Middle Eastern nations. Emphasizes Arab-Israeli and inter-Arab dynamics, the impacts of Muslim culture, sectarian strife, and the roles of external forces, including the superpowers. 3 hours lecture. Formerly POLS 446A. (007565)
This course focuses on selected issues in comparative politics and international relations. The topics rotate, depending upon student demand and instructor interests. 3 hours seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007576)
Prerequisite: POLS 341 (may be taken concurrently).
This course involves an internship in selected government agencies or with an elected official, political party organization, interest group, or media outlet that is concerned with international organizations, non-governmental organizations, or domestic agencies concerned with international issues, foreign policy, or governmental action. No more than 3 units may be counted toward the major or minor. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021293)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Catalog Cycle:18