Due to the growing interdependence of all nations, the United States has seen an expansion of employment opportunities in international organizations, agencies, and businesses. Today there is a need for college graduates with a strong background in international affairs.

CU-Boulder offers a comprehensive and flexible interdisciplinary program in international affairs leading to the bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree. As a major you’ll take courses in political science, economics, history, anthropology, geography, and business. In addition, you’ll become well acquainted with at least one selected region of the world outside of the United States and attain proficiency in one of the languages of that region, as well as familiarity with its cultural and political activities. Regions of concentration include Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, and Latin America.

As an international affairs major, you’ll begin your studies with a survey of the most compelling global issues of the day and then go on to detailed analyses of international relations and economics. Courses also focus on problems of international development, the environment, international economic relations and United States foreign policy.

As the curriculum progresses, you’ll  analyze the effects of international trade, investment, world population, and the use of resources. In addition, you may  choose elective courses that apply the theories of conflict behavior and social organization to the problems of war and peace. Because geographic boundaries have an important influence on the political activities of a country, the program includes a systematic study of power and strategic concepts.

The International Affairs Program prepares students for careers in the federal government, international organizations and agencies, international nonprofit organizations, international businesses, and the Peace Corps.     

If you plan to continue your education in graduate school, the program provides an excellent background that permits you to pursue postgraduate study in international relations, political science, economics, history, area studies, law, international management, and journalism.

Career Services (www.colorado.edu/career) helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work. 

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

If you would like to become involved with related activities outside of your coursework, be sure to look into student groups affiliated with the program. The Alpha Eta chapter of Sigma Iota Rho (SIR), the national honor society for international affairs majors, encourages the discussion and awareness of international issues through intellectual and social discourse. Participation in SIR provides an opportunity to meet other students, faculty, and community members interested in world politics through its close relationships with other internationally oriented organizations. In addition to the above, majors may participate in the Model United Nations—a program hosted by Harvard University. There is also an International Affairs Club that puts on programs of interest to students in the major.

The program offers an internship class during the fall, spring and summer that grants credit for international work both here and abroad. The Honors program provides another avenue for students with an overall 3.3 GPA and 3.4 IAFS GPA to research and write a thesis. Students with an interest in media can pursue an International Media Certificate. For information on these activities, see the IAFS web site at http://iafs.colorado.edu/.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Grant recipients learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data, and present the results. For more information, call at 303-492-6765, http://enrichment.colorado.edu/urop/.

International affairs majors are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or a year in another country at a foreign university to obtain a new perspective on the theoretical and practical problems of international society. Most international affairs majors can satisfy some area and language proficiency requirements while abroad. In addition, the department awards global grants towards a CU-Boulder study abroad program each fall and spring semester.

Through CU, you may choose from over 100 study abroad programs and may spend from a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program selected. You will earn credit as if you had taken courses here, in some cases fulfilling major and core requirements. Language study is a prerequisite for participation in many of the programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. For more information, call the Office of International Education at 303-492-7741 or stop by the Center for Community. Find their home page at: http://studyabroad.colorado.edu/.

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

International Affairs 4-Year Plan

NOTE: This example will outline the major requirements, but the order of some of your classes can vary greatly.  It is important to check your Degree Audit and work with your major advisor each semester to make sure you are aware of your requirements and graduation timeline.  This is especially true of students with added majors, minors, or certificates.
 

First Year – Fall Semester
IAFS 1000
(4): Global Issues & International Affairs   
PSCI 2223 (3): Intro to International Relations
Beginning Foreign Language 1 (5): If needed; does not fulfill IAFS major course requirements
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Lower-Division Written Communication)         

First Year – Spring Semester
ECON 2010
(4): Principles of Microeconomics
Beginning Foreign Language 2 (5): If needed; does not fulfill IAFS major course requirements
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematical Skills)       
CORE (4): Suggested: Natural Science with lab (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)    


Second Year – Fall Semester
ECON 2020
(4): Principles of Macroeconomics
Intermediate Foreign Language 1 (3-5): If needed; does not fulfill IAFS major course requirements
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
CORE (3): Example: Natural Science
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)   

Second Year – Spring Semester
PSCI 2012
(3): Intro to Comparative Politics
Intermediate Foreign Language 2 (3-5): If needed; does not fulfill IAFS major course requirements
CORE (3): Example: Natural Science    
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)   
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)   


Third Year – Fall Semester
Upper-Division Foreign Language
(3-5): See Degree Audit for options
IAFS (3): Functional Area 1 - Development & Culture, e.g. (see Degree Audit for options)
IAFS (3): Functional Area 2 - International Economics, e.g. (see Degree Audit for options)       
IAFS (3): Concentration requirement - Contemporary History (see Degree Audit for options)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Upper-Division Written Communication)         

Third Year – Spring Semester
Upper-Division Foreign Language
(3-5): If needed; see Degree Audit for options
IAFS (3): Functional Area 3 - Political Geography, e.g. (see Degree Audit for options)
IAFS (3): Functional Area 4 - International Institutions, e.g. (see Degree Audit for options)       
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)    
IAFS (3): Concentration requirement - Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, or Latin America (see Degree Audit for options)     


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
IAFS 4500 or 4800
(3): Senior Seminar
IAFS (3): Additional Functional Area (1 of 2 required; see Degree Audit for options)      
IAFS (3): Concentration requirement - Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, or Latin America (see Degree Audit for options)   
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)


Fourth Year – Spring Semester
IAFS 4930
(3): Off-campus Experience (see details in Degree Audit)         
IAFS (3): Additional Functional Area (2 of 2 required; see Degree Audit for options)  
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper-Division Literature & the Arts)    
CORE (3): Example: Natural Science   
Elective (1-3): If needed to reach 120 total credits      

Notes:

  • If starting from the beginning of foreign language, 6 classes total are required to reach 3000-level proficiency (5 classes if taking Spanish).
  • IAFS students are exempt from the Contemporary Societies core requirement.
  • See Degree Audit for details for each of the four IAFS concentrations areas: Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, or Latin/America.
  • The courses being offered each term for the Functional Areas and Geographic Concentrations can be found here: http://www.colorado.edu/iafs/semester-course-lists
  • Tip: Save most of your IAFS Geographic Concentration classes for a Study Abroad experience around your third year.