Be inspired. Be involved. Be international.

The International Affairs Program (IAFS) is a comprehensive and flexible interdisciplinary major within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Our major requirements include courses from the Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History and Political Science departments, as well as other departments across the college and campus.

Students have a geographic concentration which allows them to deepen their knowledge about that region of the world and attain proficiency in the regional language. Regions of geographic concentration include: Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, and Latin America. Students also complete courses within the four Functional Areas: Development and Culture; International Economics, Business, and Political Economy; Political Geography, International Security, Foreign Policy; Institutions, Rights, and Norms.

With opportunities to study abroad, complete an internship, add a certificate, and graduate with honors, an IAFS degree is comprehensive, flexible, and robust. Students who graduate through the program go on to work in foreign service, government, international development, education, business, law, non-profit organizations, and more.

Prospective Students                Admissions

  • As of 2021, IAFS has an incredibly high retention rate of 98% for majors. Despite having a challenging curriculum, including the high language requirement, the six year graduation rate for IAFS is 78%, well above CU Boulder's average.
  • AS of 2019, 9% of IAFS seniors graduated with honors, representing the highest percent of honors graduates among social science units in the College of Arts and Sciences, and 11th highest among all CU Boulder degree-granting units.
  • In 2020, The IAFS program was one of the largest programs in the College of Arts and Sciences with over 574 students enrolled in the program, the 8th highest enrollment within the College of Arts and Sciences. 
  • In 2021, the average length of time it took an IAFS student to graduate was 3.67 years. 
  • IAFS prioritizes study abroad and real life experience, while also providing grants and support to make study abroad and internships feasible for all students. 

(information gathered from the 2020 IAFS Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee (ARPAC) report and Academic Review and Planning documentation. 

 IAFS majors begin their studies with a survey of the most compelling global issues of the day and then go on to perform a detailed analysis of international relations and economics. Courses also focus on issues of international development, the environment, political economy, political geography, international institutions, global gender issues, the problems of war and peace, and human rights, and United States foreign policy. Students analyze the effects of international trade, investment, world population, and the use of resources.

 The undergraduate degree in international affairs emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:
  • major political, economic, social and ­cultural problems facing the international community, including international economic relations, world population and ­resource utilization
  • the international political system in the broadest global context, international organizations and alliances and foreign political systems and processes
  • ethical issues involved in international relations
  • patterns of conflict and ­cooperation among nations and peoples
  • chief historical factors that give rise to existing international institutions and processes
  • problems and issues in United States foreign policy

In addition, students completing the degree in international affairs are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • analyze an international problem from a political, economic, historical and cultural perspective
  • read, critically evaluate and synthesize information obtained from international affairs literature
  • analyze international phenomena critically
  • communicate, orally and in writing, findings to other students of international affairs and to a broader audience
  • communicate in other cultural contexts through advanced foreign language study


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