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international political meeting
Bachelor of Arts in
International Politics

Courses

The Bachelor of Arts in International Politics degree requires students to complete a minimum of 123 credits. A grade of "C" or better is required for all courses in the major.

Foundational Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the American democracy by looking at the dynamic interaction between the founding ideals of the United States government, the institutions established by the Constitution, and the ongoing contest for power within and through those institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to study of comparative government and politics: normative/empirical theories; government functions in modern societies; representative structures and processes.

  • 3
    credits

    Critical analysis of contemporary political ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, feminism, and environmentalism.

  • 3
    credits

    Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace.

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to the politics and governing institutions of European countries through a historical and comparative perspective.

Advanced Courses (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    The transnational politics of trade, investment, aid, raw materials, and the environment; nation-states, multinational corporations, and the U.N.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102, ECON 104, or IB 303

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or PLSC 14 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

Supporting Courses (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to various methods of analyzing strategic behavior using social choice and game theories.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 , PLSC 3 , or PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    The transnational politics of trade, investment, aid, raw materials, and the environment; nation-states, multinational corporations, and the U.N.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102, ECON 104, or IB 303

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or PLSC 14 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Social forces and processes, governmental institutions, foreign policies of major states of Latin America.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 3 or PLSC 200N

  • 3
    credits

    The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14 or HIST 181

Program Options (12 credits)

Choose one of the following program options. Courses for each program option will be determined in conjunction with your academic adviser.

International Relations

History

    • 3
      credits

      In-depth study of the origins and conduct of World War II. Political and economic aspects as well as military.

Geography

    • 3
      credits

      This course uses parks and protected areas — both in the U.S. and globally — as a framework for exploring broad themes of sustainability, conservation, and socio-ecological systems.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduces students to the multiple connections of people and the environment through the dynamics of food and the places where it is produced, processed, and consumed.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduction to the relationships between humans and the natural environment, in addition to the theories and methods that geographers employ in addressing them.

Economics

    • 3
      credits

      Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

History/Geography/Economics

    • 3
      credits

      Contemporary economic, social, and political aspects of the United States and its role as a world power since 1945.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Focuses on the political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; explores the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      • Note

        This course will fulfill the Global History requirement at the 400 level.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A selective overview of the history of imperialism and nationalism in Africa.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      The human use of resources and ecosystems and social causes and consequences of environmental degradation in different parts of the world; development of environmental policy and management strategies.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Designed for students to understand the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity and quality, for all types of freshwater surface, groundwater, rivers, lakes, wetlands.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Human dimensions of global environmental change: human causes; human adaptations; and policy implications of global warming.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Why nations trade, barriers to trade, balance of payments adjustment and exchange rate determination, eurocurrency markets, and trade-related institutions.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A survey of the major aspects of international business environment and operations with an emphasis on the cultural dimension.

National Security

  • 3
    credits

    Theory and research concerning behaviors and lifestyles viewed as significant departures from a group's normative expectations.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 12

  • 3
    credits

    This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides overview of nature, scope, and seriousness of threats to security as a result of terrorism and crime.

    • Prerequisite

      SRA 111

    • 3
      credits

      In-depth study of the origins and conduct of World War II. Political and economic aspects as well as military.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Contemporary economic, social, and political aspects of the United States and its role as a world power since 1945.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Focuses on the political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; explores the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      • Note

        This course will fulfill the Global History requirement at the 400 level.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A selective overview of the history of imperialism and nationalism in Africa.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Why nations trade, barriers to trade, balance of payments adjustment and exchange rate determination, eurocurrency markets, and trade-related institutions.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A survey of the major aspects of international business environment and operations with an emphasis on the cultural dimension.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This course uses parks and protected areas — both in the U.S. and globally — as a framework for exploring broad themes of sustainability, conservation, and socio-ecological systems.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduces students to the multiple connections of people and the environment through the dynamics of food and the places where it is produced, processed, and consumed.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduction to the relationships between humans and the natural environment, in addition to the theories and methods that geographers employ in addressing them.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      The human use of resources and ecosystems and social causes and consequences of environmental degradation in different parts of the world; development of environmental policy and management strategies.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Designed for students to understand the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity and quality, for all types of freshwater surface, groundwater, rivers, lakes, wetlands.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Human dimensions of global environmental change: human causes; human adaptations; and policy implications of global warming.

International Political Economy

Economics

    • 3
      credits

      Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

Economics or International Business

    • 3
      credits

      Why nations trade, barriers to trade, balance of payments adjustment and exchange rate determination, eurocurrency markets, and trade-related institutions.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Causes/consequences of trade; effects of tariffs and quotas; strategic trade policy; political economy of trade restrictions and other topics.

      • Prerequisite

        ECON 302 or ECON 333

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Trade balance movements, exchange rate determination; monetary and fiscal policies in open economies; international policy coordination; the world monetary system.

      • Prerequisite

        ECON 304 or ECON 333

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Problems of capital formation, institutional considerations, theories of economic growth.

      • Prerequisite

        ECON 302 or ECON 304 or ECON 372

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A survey of the major aspects of international business environment and operations with an emphasis on the cultural dimension.

History/Geography

    • 3
      credits

      In-depth study of the origins and conduct of World War II. Political and economic aspects as well as military.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Contemporary economic, social, and political aspects of the United States and its role as a world power since 1945.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Focuses on the political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; explores the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      • Note

        This course will fulfill the Global History requirement at the 400 level.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      A selective overview of the history of imperialism and nationalism in Africa.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This course uses parks and protected areas — both in the U.S. and globally — as a framework for exploring broad themes of sustainability, conservation, and socio-ecological systems.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduces students to the multiple connections of people and the environment through the dynamics of food and the places where it is produced, processed, and consumed.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduction to the relationships between humans and the natural environment, in addition to the theories and methods that geographers employ in addressing them.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      The human use of resources and ecosystems and social causes and consequences of environmental degradation in different parts of the world; development of environmental policy and management strategies.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Designed for students to understand the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity and quality, for all types of freshwater surface, groundwater, rivers, lakes, wetlands.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Human dimensions of global environmental change: human causes; human adaptations; and policy implications of global warming.

Electives (15–18 credits)

Among the above degree requirements, students should incorporate at least:

  • 3 credits in U.S. cultures
  • 3 credits in international (IL) cultures
  • 3 credits in writing-across-the-curriculum courses

The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
    Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
  • B.A. Fields: 9 credits
    Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
  • Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
    Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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