Politics and International Relations

All Majors & Minors

Independent Learning

Independent learning lets students take responsibility for their education and develop initiative and independence by enhancing their confidence in their own abilities. 


Politics & International Relations majors often engage in original research, with faculty members serving as mentors for student-initiated research projects.  Opportunities for original research include independent study during a semester, participation in the Summer Fellows Program, and honors research. Honors thesis topics recently completed by Politics and International Relations majors have included: 

  • “The Democratization Process in Chile and Its Global Implications”
  • “Radical vs. Rational:  Examining Western Media Portrayal of Islamist Terror”
  • “Immigration in the Thought of America’s Founders and Its Implications Today”
  • “A Critical Analysis of France’s Role in the Arab Spring”
  • “Spheres of Development: Factors Behind the Successful Development of the Asian Tigers and the Unsuccessful Development of Africa”
  • “An Investigation of the Evolution of Political Feminism in Argentina, 1930s - Present”
  • “Rape in Islam: How Misinterpretations of the Qur’an, Sunnahs, and Ahadith Enabled a Perpetuation of Rape Culture” 

Students regularly present their work at research conferences.  Majors also edit and publish their own research in the department’s Journal of Politics and International Relations


Politics and International Relations majors may undertake an off-campus internship for credit, either during the school year or over the summer.  Recent internships undertaken by Politics & IR majors have included: 

  • Intern at Embassy of Papua New Guinea, Washington DC
  • Intern for Mayor’s Office of Human Services, Homeless Services Program, Baltimore MD
  • Legal intern at the law offices of Stanley J. Ellenberg, Esq., Philadelphia PA
  • Campaign intern for Steve Grossman for Governor, Boston MA
  • Conference management intern at Institute for Humane Studies, Arlington VA
  • Intern at U.S. Mission to the United Nations, New York , NY
  • Research intern at Greek Liaison Office, Macedonia
  • Intern with International Medical Corps, Chad 
  • Intern with Tagesspiegel newspaper, Berlin, Germany

Off-Campus Study

Students also gain practical experience through a variety of off-campus study programs. Students may choose to study abroad for up to a year and often complete an internship as part of their study abroad experience. Through a partnership with the Washington Internship Institute, students may spend a semester in Washington DC, taking classes in politics and policy or international and foreign policy studies and gaining professional experience through a related internship. Students can spend a semester or a summer in New York City, taking classes and gaining hands-on internship experience with the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program. The Capital Semester in Harrisburg offers firsthand