International Relations Major

Major in International Relations, History

International Relations is an interdisciplinary field concerned with understanding global interactions, both in the historical past and in the present. IR-History is one of the three tracks of the interdepartmental major in International Relations.

Students who successfully complete a major in IR-History will have acquired, in addition to the body of knowledge, experience, and intellectual skill shared by majors in History (see History Major):

  • Interdisciplinary background training, especially in economics and political science.
  • Specific knowledge about the history of modern international relations.
  • An appreciation of the importance of culturally and geographically localized historical knowledge to a larger understanding of international relations.
  • An understanding, through case studies, of the relevance of history to contemporary international issues.

Requirements for the Major

The IR-History major consists of 14 units of course work as described below. In addition to this course work, all IR-History students are required to demonstrate advanced proficiency in a modern language, normally defined as two units of language study beyond the minimum required by the College. Language courses do not count towards the minimum 14 courses, nor do AP/IB credits.

IR-History majors take the same set of five "core" courses as their counterparts in the IR-Political Science and IR-Economics tracks:

  • Econ 101
  • Econ 102
  • Econ 213 or 214 or 220
  • HIST 205
  • POL3 221

IR-History majors take, in addition to these courses, nine courses distributed as follows:

  • Two History courses dealing substantively with the era before ca. 1900.
  • Three History courses dealing with the modern history of countries or regions.
  • Two courses dealing with modern international history to be selected in consultation with the advisor.
  • HIST 395: International History Seminar.
  • Three of the eight History courses listed above, including one pre-1900 course, must focus on one region of the world; at least three courses must deal with the non-Western world, and at least two must be at the 300 level.
  • One additional 200 or 300-level course in Africana Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology or Women's and Gender Studies.
  • At least two 300-level units must be completed at Wellesley.

IR-History majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester in a  study abroad program. Transfer credits from study abroad programs must be approved by the department chair (or designee). Students are strongly encouraged to seek the relevant approval before studying abroad.

Honors in IR-History are governed by the same provisions and procedures as Honors in History.

IR-History Committee (Major Advisors)

  • Pat Giersch
  • Lidwien Kapteijns
  • Tak Matsusaka
  • Alejandra Osorio
  • Nikhil Rao, Director
  • Quinn Slobodian