As nations become more interdependent, and world issues gain importance for the U.S., the demand for college graduates with a strong background in international affairs has only increased. Likewise, jobs in foreign and domestic organizations, agencies and business have also expanded.
To meet this need, CU Boulder offers a comprehensive and flexible interdisciplinary undergraduate program in international affairs. It is an energetic and academically challenging program that provides students with an understanding of the world stage.
Majoring in International Affairs has taught me how to critically think about a diverse set of topics and apply my knowledge to real world situations. I feel well equipped to make complex arguments about many of the problems we face today."
— Rachel Ensign ('19)
Are you interested in global or world issues? What about an interdisciplinary program that lets you follow your global interests? If so, then International Affairs might be a good choice for a major.
The International Affairs Program is an interdisciplinary program that has grown to become one of the largest majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is an energetic and academically challenging undergraduate program that provides students with an understanding of the world stage.
As a major, students take courses in political science, economics, history, anthropology, geography, and business. In addition, they 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.
Overall, the undergraduate degree in international affairs emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:
In addition, students completing the degree in international affairs are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:
For the undergraduate students pursuing a degree from the International Affairs Program and interested in research or scholarly work, there are a number of opportunities beyond just class work:
The International Affairs Program prepares students for a variety of careers in places like the federal government, international organizations and agencies, international nonprofit organizations, international businesses and for public service like 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 offers free services for all CU Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation, to help 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 by discussing major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.
According to the 2017-18 College Salary Report by PayScale Human Capital:
At CU Boulder, International Affairs graduates earn roughly the same amount as the nationwide average of comparable majors as reported by PayScale. CU Boulder alumni in this discipline earn an estimated annual salary of $87,381, based on a pool of 1916 alumni who graduated between 1989 and 2018. This amount is also roughly the same as the average for all CU Boulder graduates with a bachelor's degree, according to a survey by Esmi Alumni Insight of 25,000 alumni who graduated during the same stretch.
Job growth in some fields related to international affairs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for 2016-2026, is faster than the average for all jobs, including: management consulting, 12 percent; and political science, 21 percent.
The International Affairs program has an extensive list of alumni that are either working or have worked in a variety of industries across the globe. Some alumni of the program include: