26 July 2023

Great Colleges for International Relations Majors

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International RelationsInterested in pursuing an interdisciplinary field that delves into how individual states and global interactions impact diplomacy and conflict? If so, consider majoring in International Relations (IR)!

In International Relations, students can evaluate how global, regional, and domestic factors influence relations between state actors. Given the vast variety of tracks within international relations, such as an emphasis on international economics, human rights, or global health, international relations also serves as a perfect interdisciplinary supplement to other fields of study. Studying International Relations prepares students for a wide variety of careers, ranging from law to politics, and the major continues to expand as the world becomes increasingly globalized.

To help you evaluate your options, we've curated a list of great undergraduate International Relations programs in the United States based on Foreign Policy magazine's Best International Relations Schools in the World. Our list covers a mix of private and public universities and liberal arts colleges, and includes admission rates, test profiles, program highlights and links for more information.

Click on Continue Reading for the list


Michelle Jin Michelle Jin is a graduate from The Harker School's Class of 2023 and will be attending Stanford University this fall.


Great Colleges for International Relations Majors

College Kickstart LLC

Institution/Program State Admit % Mid 50 Testing Features Notes
American University
School of International Service
DC 41 1290-1420
  • Conduct facullty-mentored research at 10+ SIS research institutes
  • Become an Olson Scholar or Said Peace Scholar
Brown University
Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs
RI 5 1500-1560
  • Pursue internships with Brown Semester Internship Programs, the Applied Policy Research Internship, and 10+ funded research opportunities
  • Attend Brown in Washington to intern with public and nonprofit sector agencies in D.C.
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research at 15+ Watson Institute research centers
  • Tap into leadership via the IR Student Advisory Council
Carleton College
Political Science & International Relations
MN 17 1430-1540
  • Participate in educational and experiential Off-Campus Programs in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and D.C.
  • Write and edit for PoliS (Carleton Journal of Political Science)
Claremont McKenna College
International Relations
CA 10 1450-1540
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research at 11+ CMC research institutes
  • Seek an internship and interact with political figures via the Washington Program
  • Partake in enlightening conversations with professionals and scholars at the Athenaeum
College of William and Mary
International Relations
VA 32 1380-1520
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research in 12+ international relations labs, including the National Security Archive and International Justice Lab
  • Pursue internships and experiential learning through the W&M D.C. Center
Columbia University
Political Science -- International Relations
NY 4 1500-1560
  • Pursue sponsored research supported by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP)
  • Attend undergraduate seminars and research conferences in NYC
Dartmouth College
Government -- International Relations
NH 4 1480-1560
  • Partake in global experiential learning via Paganucci Fellows Program
  • Find student research and internship opportunities at the Leslie Center (including an annual internship offered by Dartmouth with Reuters)
  • Gain professional experiences with the London and Washington D.C. Programs
George Washington University
Elliott School of International Affairs
DC 50 1320-1460
  • Pursue independent research via Dean's Scholars Program
  • Tackle faculty-mentored or paid research at 25+ GWU research centers
Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service
DC 13 1410-1540
  • Tackle research at Centennial Labs and over 20+ research institutes
  • Pursue fellowships via the ISD Fellowship in Diplomacy and Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellows
  • Attend unique research forums and conferences via The Walsh Exchange and Carroll Round
Harvard University
Government -- International Relations
MA 3 1480-1580
  • Pursue funded internships (only open to Harvard Government concentrators) at the Center for Global Studies in University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and the ZOiS Internship in Berlin, Germany
  • Tackle faculty-mentored research (updated projects available on website every season)
  • Attend cutting-edge conferences at The Institute of Politics (IOP) and the Government Department
Johns Hopkins University
International Studies
MD 6 1520-1560
  • Pursue independent research via the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship
  • Become a student leader via the International Studies Leadership Council
  • Attend annual IR events at the Aronson Center
  • Publish IR articles in JHU's Foreign Affairs Review (FAR)
Macalester College
International Studies
MN 28 1350-1490
  • Discuss global issues at the annual International Roundtable
  • Pursue research and professional development initiatives at the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship
Middlebury College
International and Global Studies
VT 13 1420-1520
  • Hone language skills through studying abroad at Middlebury Schools Abroad, located in 37 cities in 17 countries
  • Partake in 10+ seminars, scholar cohorts, and workshops offered to undergraduates, including the Rohatyn Global Fellows Program and California Climate Semester
Occidental College
Diplomacy and World Affairs
CA 39 1380-1490
  • Partake in Oxy's flagship Kahane United Nations Program, where students move to NYC and pursue an internship at UN agencies and government offices
  • Conduct funded global research at the John Parke Young Initiative on the Global Political Economy
Ohio State University - Columbus
International Relations and Diplomacy
OH 57 1260-1420
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies
  • Pursue IR-related service opportunities at 20+ Ohio-based organizations
  • Participate and engage with student researchers at the Denman Research Forum
Pomona College
International Relations
CA 7 1480-1540
  • Experience living-learning foreign language communities and the International Relations Colloquium at the Oldenborg Center
  • Conduct summer research via the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
Princeton University
School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)
NJ 4 1470-1560
  • Tackle public policy issues practically via Policy Task Forces and Policy Research Seminars
  • Pursue a summer internship as a Liman Fellow
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research at 15+ SPIA research centers
Stanford University
International Relations
CA 4 1500-1570
  • Conduct faculty-mentored research with the Summer Research College
  • Seek IR career opportunities at International Service Opportunities Fair
  • Pursue internships and fellowships via Stanford in Washington (SIW), Stanford in Government (SIG) Fellowships, and more
Swarthmore College
Global Studies
PA 7 1460-1540
  • Pursue independent, interdisciplinary projects through the Global Studies Initiative
  • Tackle a ""Special Major in Global Studies"" for increased mentorship and research opportunities
Tufts University
International Relations
MA 10 1450-1530
  • Publish IR articles in Hemispheres or the Tufts Observer
  • Receive internship and travel funding opportunities, such as the IR Internship Award
  • Pursue faculty-mentored research via the IR Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and the Anne E. Borghesani Memorial Prize
University of California - Berkeley
Global Studies
CA 11 Test-Free  
  • Conduct research in 15+ institutional research centers relevant to international affairs
University of California - Los Angeles
Global Studies
CA 9 Test-Free
  • Gain research and field experiences via Quarter in Washington Program
  • Conduct research at 20+ International Insitute research centers, such as the Burkle Center for International Relations
University of Chicago
Global Studies
IL 6 1510-1560
  • Conduct research at 30+ instiutional research centers
  • Indulge in UChicago's recently revamped Global Studies curriculum
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
International Studies
MI 18 1350-1530
  • Pursue 5+ funding opportunities for IR-related independent research and internships, including the International Human Rights Fellowship and the Arctic Internship Fellowship
  • Publish in the Michigan Journal of International Affairs and participate in the Michigan Foreign Policy Council (an undergraduate think tank)
  • Conduct research at 20+ institutional research facilities
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Global Studies
NC 17 1350-1510
  • Conduct research at 6+ associated area studies research centers
  • Engage in leadership opportunities via Global Studies Student Association (GSSA)
  • Apply for ample research and internship funding opportunities—such as the Global Studies Summer Experience Awards
University of Notre Dame
Keough School of Global Affairs
IN 12 1450-1530
  • Pursue faculty-mentored research with the Kellogg International Scholars Program, Kellogg Developing Researchers Program, and/or 9+ institutional research centers
  • Conduct international internships with grants offered from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Pulte Institute for Global Development, and more
  • Attend top-tier speaker events offered by the Keough School
University of Pennsylvania
International Relations
PA 6 1480-1570
  • Pursue a fellowship via Penn Washington Semester Program
  • Become a student leader through Penn IRUSA
University of Southern California
International Relations
CA 10 1450-1550
  • Gain field experiences via the Washington D.C. Semester Program
  • Conduct on-campus research at the Center for International Studies and the Center for Political Future
  • Pursue faculty-mentored research with SOAR, SURF, and the Renaissance Scholars Program
University of Virginia
Department of Politics—International Relations
VA 16 1400-1510
  • Participate in 4+ IR speaker series, including the Frontiers in Global Development Seminar and Lansing-Lee/Bankard Seminar
  • Pursue the Distinguished Majors Program—an advanced program with in-depth research opportunities relevant to the major
Wellesley College
International Relations
MA 14 1420-1540
  • Cross-register for political science courses at MIT
  • Intern with government agencies via Wellesley in Washington Summer Internship Program
Yale University
Global Affairs
CT 4 1470-1560
  • Pursue independent projects and internships via the Leitner International Research and Internship Fellowship and the Les Aspin '60 International Public Service Fellowship
  • Interact with offerings from the Johnson Center, International Leadership Center, Kerry Initiative, and Leitner Program on Effective Democratic Governance—all of which have their own offered fellowships, conferences, and events
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