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Field of Study: International Relations


International relations is the study of foreign politics and institutions. This program is sometimes called international affairs.



In international relations students learn to compare the customs and governments of other countries. They study international law and diplomacy.

International relations programs include topics such as:

  • Foreign policy analysis
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Business
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • International law and organization
  • Foreign language

A few community colleges and other 2-year schools offer associate degree programs in international relations. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in international relations. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in international relations. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree. A PhD prepares people to teach at colleges or universities or work as international policy analysts.